A wee note for authors about time and information

timeWhen writing any part of a question, please think about timeframe, and the student’s perception of time. In the case of a feedback statement, you have perhaps 10-20s during which the student can remain focused on the current question and the issue of “why did I just get that wrong”?

In this time, you can hit them with one boldly-presented point, and there is a good chance it will sink right into their brain. At this point, students will not pause to read a discursive argument, nor will they follow a link, or even note it down for future reference.

The place to put more detailed arguments (your own or links to resources elsewhere) is into a reference sheet that can be downloaded and studied between the first and second quiz runs. You could attach this file to the quiz where students can download it directly, or to the course, where the teacher can control exactly when it is seen by students.

How to author a course

In Yacapaca, a course is basically a way to collate quizzes into a logical structure. It enables you to provide teachers’ notes and downloadable files such as lesson plans or worksheets. A course also has its own markbook, enabling teachers to see results grouped separately from other assignments should they wish to.

What it’s not: a Yacapaca “course” is a completely different concept from something you would also find called a “course” in Moodle. Can’t really blame them for using the same name, but it hasn’t half caused a lot of confusion.

Here is an example of what a teacher sees in a Course page…


…but here is what the author sees…

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Managed analytics for your quizzes instantly improve lesson planning

A pre-test serves two functions, to provide a baseline from which to demonstrate progression, and as a planning tool to help you focus on the most-needed areas. We have just launched a really significant improvement on this latter function, that has the potential to make a real difference to the efficiency of your (and your colleagues’) teaching.

Click on any quiz that has results in your Assignments List, and you get a very neat analysis of what your students do and don’t know, like this…

The questions are grouped by up to 6 categories, and presented in a simple bar chart.

Sometimes, though, it looks more like this… Continue reading

Quiz Builder is making quiz authoring three times easier

Last month we completed our Quiz Builder project. The aim was to make quiz authoring easier, and to increase quality by encouraging authors to choose the highest-quality available questions in preference to writing new ones.

Did it work? Here are the monthly statistics for February, compared with the same month last year:

February of 2014 2013
Quizzes compiled 210 187
Questions authored 503 1382
New questions per quiz 2.4 7.4

Authors created approximately as many quizzes as last Feb (within normal variation) but they  Continue reading