Structured Peer Assessment demo course now published

balloons

Imagine asking one of your classes a deep, but deceptively-simple, question. Have them judge each others’ answers anonymously, give their reasons for the judgements, then assess the reasons as well. At the end of the process you get a mark. Automatically.

No exercise books, no late-night marking sessions. Just high-quality formative assessment. Empowered, gamified, peer-supported learning that just works.

Now imagine running this lesson with an Ofsted inspector in your classroom. Think they’d be impressed? So do I.

So you can try SPA for yourself, I have created this set of demonstration exercises you can assign to your students. It costs nothing so give it a go.

Here are a few examples of SPA questions. Add your own!

  • You are a serf in a Norman village. Describe your day.
  • Where would you rather live – Singapore or Dubai? Why?
  • How could you use a barometer to determine the height of a tower?
  • Why can a cheetah run faster than a gazelle?
  • Explain why metals are sometimes defined as plasmas.
  • How would you measure the volume of a dog?

SPA is a technology we patented several years ago and have been quietly working on ever since. This is the first time we’ve had it available in the main Yacapaca interface.

Start here

 

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 A-level in Good Character? Yes, we can do that.

The Battle of Waterloo, it is said*, was won on the playing fields of Eton. Building character, not imparting knowledge, was traditionally seen as the primary task of the British public school and, subsequently, its state-funded inheritors. The quintessential attitude was sportsmanship. Not winning or losing, but playing the game right.

cricket

As time went on knowledge and skills came to be valued equally, as they should be, but somehow that pendulum just kept on swinging and now Continue reading

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.