Analysing spelling errors

When students misspell a common word, what is driving the error? I analysed 35,000 Peer Feedback entries in which the student had intended to write “wrong” and found 1614 instances of misspellings – about 5% of the total.

 

wrong again

Of the misspellings,

  • 62% entered “rong”, a phonetic error
  • 27% entered “worng”, a typographical error.

My own spelling changed from atrocious to moderately good overnight, when a psychologist colleague taught me the visual spelling strategy. It looks like a good proportion of these students could still benefit from the same thing. The rest just need to learn touch typing.

Finally, we got our patent

And here it is. Patents are written in a language that is absolutely mind-numbing to the rest of us so I’ll forgive you for not reading it. Basically what it covers is our Thurstone Ranking approach to peer assessment system, which is absolutely unique in the world.

We applied for this patent four years ago so it has been a long slog to get it granted. You can imagine that corks are popping at Yacapaca HQ tonight.

Seven ways to implement differentiation in Yacapaca

My thanks to new member Yasmin Sheikh of Whitfield School in Barnet for asking why we show each question for 10 seconds before displaying the options. I realised that although we have worked like stink build opportunities for differentiation into every point of the Yacapaca process, I have never really explained them. Here, then is chapter and verse.
  1. Implicit differentiation: thinking time between question and options
    This gives students time to challenge themselves to get the answer before receiving the restricted possibilities of the options. This is a higher level of challenge, and it gives the student who manages it a great deal of confidence. You can gently encourage this by applauding the behaviour, but please don’t push students to do it if they don’t feel ready.
  2. Differentiation by time: Question speed
    Different students think at different speeds, but this does not correlate particularly with ability. Yacapaca times each answer from each student with an accuracy of Continue reading

An exemplary way to deal with trolling

Zahid RazzakWe have had a small problem recently with some students trolling the Peer Feedback system. If you are a teacher, you will know well that student empowerment can come at the cost of students being empowered to do the things they want and not the things you want.

95% of these inappropriate comments got caught by our filters and human moderators, so it wasn’t a major issue, but I felt it was time to reverse the trend. I wrote to our power users – the teachers who set the most assignments, and who therefore, statistically, must be teaching the largest number of trolls. I showed them where to check their students’ Peer Feedback statements, and asked them to address any issues they found with their own students.

I got a lot of really great responses from teachers, and even a few apology letters from students, but my favourite response came from Zahid Razzak at The British International School, Abu Dhabi. Here’s what he said

Many thanks for sending me those lists, I will certainly use this as an opportunity for a constructive lesson on how to provide feedback to others and netiquette.

Kind regards

Zahid

That’s the way to turn a problem into an opportunity!

To check your own students’ Peer Feedback statements:

Could we automatically analyse your students through their writing?

I have been experimenting this morning running Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) over students’ peer feedback responses. So far, all I’ve done is analyse the last 50,000 responses in aggregate, and only on a few dimensions. Here is what I found:

Untitled 4

The ‘personal’ and ‘formal’ columns are comparison averages generated by the system. I assume those are from bodies of text written by adults.

What stands out to me is how much more Continue reading