Structured Peer Assessment reviewed by Ruth Greener

This guest post is by Ruth Greener, Teaching, Learning and Assessment Coordinator and Teacher of English at St. Andrews School, Green Valley Campus, Thailand. When I got the email from Yacapaca, with details and links for the Christmas Story competition, I was keen to try it out. Students at my very sporty school LOVE games […]

It is long past time to abandon paper-based examinations

chinese exam g edit

The ‘exam paper’ has been around for the last 14 centuries and it is still going strong. The way things are going, the exam-paper looks likely to outlast even the news-paper.

But it shouldn’t. Paper-based exams are a hideously-unreliable method of assessing competence. Here are some of the major reliability problems of Continue reading “It is long past time to abandon paper-based examinations”

How much does your school spend on marking?

I have yet to meet a single head or senior teacher who can answer this off the top of their heads, but it is easy to work out using government-published figures.
  1. Teachers work 55.7 hours/week total1, and spend 9.4 hours/week marking2. That’s 17%.
  2. The average teacher salary is £28,9513, but we have to add the employer’s NI contribution of 13.8% to give an employer cost of £32,946, ignoring all overheads.
  3. 17% of £32,946 of is £5,601. That’s what we spend on marking per teacher, per year.
  4. The average secondary school employs 654 qualified teachers, so the total cost per school is £364,053.
I’ll repeat that. The average state secondary school spends well over a third of a Continue reading “How much does your school spend on marking?”

Set an exam using Quick Assignments

Sam Hucker from Winterbourne International Academy asked me this question this morning:

I have set up a partial exam for my BTEC Engineering students. Is there a way that I can set up further questions where they have to type paragraphs or free sentences in larger
quantities? Continue reading “Set an exam using Quick Assignments”

How to calibrate quiz percentages to levels or grades

calibrationIf you look in your gradebook for any given student set, you will see that all the results are reported in the grade scheme you chose for that set. It’s easy to take that for granted and not think about how it is achieved – at least I hope it is, because we have worked hard to make the enormous complexity of that task invisible to casual users.

Although teachers very rarely challenge the accuracy of Yacapaca results, I do occasionally get asked about their Continue reading “How to calibrate quiz percentages to levels or grades”