Tutorial 1: Fast student setup

Nomenclature: throughout Yacapaca we use the term “student sets” rather “classes” to encourage the idea that you are no longer limited by the four walls of a classroom. Any student may simultaneously be a member of a whole-year cohort, a class or a smaller group. Group your students in whatever way makes sense at the time.

‘Formal’ vs. ‘casual’ student sets

Do you have a spreadsheet with your students names, classes, admission number, etc?

  • Yes? Excellent! You should import these into “Formal” student sets. Formal sets are preferable when you can set them up, but they are not the subject of this tutorial.
  • No? Not to worry. Create “Casual” student sets and let students sign themselves up to Continue reading

Yacapaca helping Chinese schools and colleges for free during the Coronavirus epidemic

You may or may not know that there are hundreds if not thousands of international schools in China that teach wholly or partly in English. Yacapaca has always been popular with them for obvious reasons.

When China shut down all schools to slow the spread of the virus, the entire nation moved to teaching and learning online. We were proud to be able to serve, but quickly realised that schools that did not already have subscriptions were not in a position to buy one under the present circumstances.

The simple solution was to offer free usage to Chinese schools until the pandemic is over. We’ve earned substantial praise for this online, which has been great, but to be honest it wasn’t done as a grand gesture. It just seemed like a natural and straightforward way that we could help. This lovely video from FE Week was an especial surprise. The Yacapaca mention starts at 1:02.

The offer is now extended to schools in the UK that have already shut, and will be extended across the UK if/when the government declares a nationwide shutdown.

Yacapaca is FREE during the Coronavirus pandemic (updated)

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All UK schools are now closed due to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak. Suddenly, face-to-face teaching methods are no longer available.

China and Hong Kong, where schools have been shut for over a month, have moved all teaching and learning online – mostly using national resources, but in some cases using Yacapaca.

Yacapaca is the perfect tool maintain teaching and learning with students at home, so I feel it is our duty to step up and help at a time of national emergency. Here is how we are going to do that.

Any school in the world may now use Yacapaca free. To do so:

  1. Make sure you have Continue reading

Structured Peer Assessment reviewed by Ali Gray

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This guest post is by Ali Gray, Head of Geography, West Hill Park School, Hampshire.

I tried out SPA with a Year 8 geography class recently. I gave them 20 mins of guided research on a topic and then they started the SPA. I have never seen them work so hard/ fast for 15 mins while they wrote up their answers!

It is intense (for the pupils), but very effective learning.

They enjoyed assessing each other’s work and they Continue reading

Structured Peer Assessment: what is it and how do you do it?

structured peer assessment

Consider a class that has studied a particular topic. Different students know different amounts about the topic. Some understand one aspect well, others another. Some probably haven’t ‘got it’ at all. You could say that understanding of your topic within the class is lumpy.

How can you efficiently share that knowledge and understanding so that every member of the class is informed, and has a good chance of retaining their deepened understanding in the future? And how do you Continue reading