How we cracked the auto-marking of GCSE short-text responses

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Courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/niexecutive/9570621018

The mainstay of most GCSE exams is the short-text question. For our new GCSE Practice Exams, we have developed a free-text marking engine that is robust enough to deal with real GCSE questions and, more importantly, real students. That system is now Continue reading

Should you use the Flash or HTML5 quiz player?

There are two apps that run Yacapaca quizzes; the original that uses Adobe Flash and the mobile version using HTML5.

Modern browsers typically give you the choice of which to use, but require specific authorisation to use Flash. So which should you use? Here are our current (Feb 2018) recommendations:

  • Desktop or laptop PC: Flash
  • Phone or tablet: HTML5

The HTML5 version was written to work well on Continue reading

Question Types (updated)

I spotted a conversation between Dave and Dafydd over on the SchoolHistory.co.uk forum, about question types in quizzes. These guys are two of Yacapaca’s most prolific authors, so if they don’t know, we have clearly not got the message across. So for reference, here’s the complete list. Bookmark it now for future reference!

 

The Yacapaca assessment question types

Choose-1

AKA “select your answer”. The original multiple choice question. Two to six options.

Checkbox

Two to six checkboxes, none, some or all of which need to Continue reading

An effective assigning pattern with Teams

Team working is baked into Yacapaca, and on by default. Yacapaca uses existing student data to produce teams, of whatever size you decide, that are as balanced as possible. This means that even the weakest student has the potential to find him/herself on the winning team.

teams

Here is a pattern that leverages the power of teams.

  1. Assign your quiz as a pre-test, with just Continue reading

Do they really get it, or are they just giving me the correct answer?

This article by Dr Niki Kaiser was originally posted on the Kaye Chem Notebook. I wanted to share it with you in the context of ‘future-ready education’. It is no longer enough to teach knowledge, even if that is sufficient to pass an exam. To succeed in the future, our students need a deep and intuitive understanding of their subject. Few writers address this with either the clarity or the practical teaching background Niki does.

Ian

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One of the topics I most like to teach in chemistry is ionization energies: explaining their relative magnitudes, and outlining the consequent evidence for a shell structure in atoms. Students must draw on a range of fundamental ideas to master the new concepts that I introduce to them and, although they tend to struggle at first, they eventually “get it”, and the joy that they Continue reading