A better way to recall formulae?

One of the first changes a science teacher realises when we moved over to the new trilogy science specification was the replacement of the coprehensive data sheet provided for trilogy (formly core and additional) science exams to a new ‘lite’ version.


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The new exams therefore require pupils to retain, recall and use a greater number of equations for their exams. As a potential method to use I was looking for different types of software I could use to help my pupils with their practice and recall.

I shared my ideas with a fellow Great Britains (American Football) coach I had known for some time. He runs an educational software company and mentioned that they were trialling a system that seemed to address the areas what I was looking for.

Their main site Learning by Questions outlines the basics;

Learning by Questions improves education with a pedagogy based on timely feedback and intervention. Our Question Sets result in better learning when used in class for just ten minutes a day.

Students answer questions at their own pace. Wrong answers are always followed by instant feedback. This is constructive in nature and formulated to develop understanding and guide learning. When they answer correctly, students are moved to more challenging questions.

Teachers get immediate insight into where they need to intervene, and feedback and intervention happen in the moment when the impact on learning and progress is greatest.

Using their website I created 34 multiple choice questions linked to the equations as well as units. Every starter/do now involved the pupils logging into the quiz through the app and answering the questions.

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On my computer I have the teacher side of the website and it gives me one of two screens:

Teacher view 1. Pupil-by-pupil breakdown of right and wrong answers. In the example below you can see Q2, 4, 5, 19, 24, 26 were answered correctly first time (green icon). However Q6 was answered correctly on the third attempt. This is the screen I use to log pupil scores each day. The total is recorded and intervention, support or praise is given accordingly:

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Teacher view 2. The more powerful screen. From left to right you are able to see the questions that have caused the highest percentage of incorrect answers. The wrong answer screen ranks pupils based on correct answers, a useful tool when considering where supprot/stretch is needed. The next is a progress/completion bar, this means that pupils can’t just sit there when they are done, you can target pupils with further work or ask them to begin the next task. The very right hand side shows a pie chart of overall class performance and underneath that a box that shows pupils who have been idle, not answered a question, for some time which again can be an indicator for further support being needed:

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While my questions and answers have no feedback yet, it is possible to give bespoke feedback dependent on the response that they give. This is similar to those at https://diagnosticquestions.com – where common misconceptions make up the incorrect answers and in turn should help guide future teaching.

This software is not commercially available yet I believe but if you would like more information or to give it a try with your classes, then feel free to drop me a message and I will happily put you in contact with the company who are more then happy to get feedback from the secondary education sector.



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