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New look Quizalize provides students with support and extension activities after they finish quizzes, plus these are tailored to their level of understanding and is sent directly to their devices.
Quizalize, the award winning gamified formative assessment tool from UK edtech company Zzish – known for its real-time teacher dashboards, has optimised the programme to make it easier for teachers to differentiate their teaching and, for the first time, measure the precise effectiveness of teaching resources at improving student mastery of topics.
Both Quizalize and Zzish was created by former Google product manager Charles Wiles, who has a PhD in AI from Cambridge University, and who was inspired to quit his day job and develop the platform five years ago when his teenage son was struggling at school in the bottom sets.
Mixed ability learning made easy
Teachers’ unsustainable workloads have made headline news for many years, with previous research showing that over 70% of primary and secondary school teachers have pulled ‘all nighters’ to prepare for lessons. The difficulties in teachers sustaining mixed ability or ‘differentiated learning’ methods tailored to each individual student’s needs have also been discussed among professional communities on influential teacher platforms, with lack of time cited as the main problem for successful implementation.
Quizalize’s parent company, Zzish, has now optimised the programme’s “Virtual Teaching Assistant” capabilities to automate the processes for differentiated learning. It is expected to significantly save teachers’ time on lesson preparation, results analysis and management of tailored, mastery-based exercises.
These pre-assigned follow-up activities can contain links to learning resources, such as tutorial videos on YouTube, practice resources such as PDF worksheets, and extension resources, such as pages on web sites explaining advanced concepts. Each help students at different levels progress and reach the next level of mastery.
After students have used or completed the follow-up activity, they are then automatically re-quizzed with the same interactive game in order to measure their new mastery levels and the system then updates data on the effectiveness of each resource in improving learning.
Measuring effectiveness of learning resources
When assigning differentiated follow-up activities, the integrated search engine provides recommendations for the most effective learning resources for each level of student mastery. The system learns and improves its recommendations as more and more teachers use it, particularly highlighting used resources that have proven to have a high ‘improvement efficacy’ in students.
As other teachers in the Quizalize community use specific resources to improve the mastery levels of their students, data is aggregated and the system calculates and provides a predicted percentage improvement in student scores that each resource will deliver when used with students of a particular mastery level.
Post-assessment Quizalize also gives multiple views and performance breakdowns on both a class and individual basis using simple bar charts. The views have titles such as “who needs help” and “what they need help with” making It easy for teachers to get the insight they need in real-time so they don't need to print or download anything if they don't want to. All the data is safe in the cloud.
Charles Wiles, founder of Zzish and Quizalize commented: “Differentiated instruction endeavours to address the individual needs and abilities of every student in a group so that everyone has the best chance of learning. That’s great in theory, but in practice we hear that teachers are struggling to implement this because they crucially lack time. By optimising the capabilities of our Zzish Hub “Virtual Teaching Assistant” that powers Quizalize, we have streamlined this process and automated it so that any assessment app, including Quizalize, can be genuinely useful to teachers on both the lesson preparation, grading and mastery front.”
He continued: “We are the first platform to measure “improvement efficacy” of learning resources, and the first platform to measure resource efficacy for students grouped into different levels of mastery. We believe this will help teachers make better decisions around which resources to use for differentiated learning, and it will also drive the quality of resources for teaching and learning to a higher level. We will continue our work to incorporate AI into our systems in order to improve the platform’s predictions of “improvement efficacy”, further refining our predictions for how each individual student will improve for each learning resource.”
Zzish’s technology is part of the real-time formative assessment movement - a new generation of edtech that works in the classroom itself allowing teachers to make more effective and more timely interventions. The Zzish Hub “Virtual Teaching Assistant” is a universal platform and gives any digital educational application that ‘plugs in’ the ability to provide teachers with real-time insight into student and class performance. Moreover its efficacy based recommendations helps teachers quickly discover the best apps and resources. Such technology is finally demonstrating the power of edtech and has been proven to improve end of year assessment scores by 10% in six months in a group of grade 6 science students in the US.
Today, 125,000 teachers and 2 million students have signed up to Quizalize. Quizalize was a finalist in the Teach Secondary’s Technology & Innovation Awards 2016 for its role in improving standards of teaching and learning at Key Stages 3 and 4 during the 2015/16 academic year. It is also a finalist in last year’s E-Assessment Awards for Best Use Of Formative Assessment and was selected by the Varkey Foundation in 2018 as one of the 50 education technologies most likely to have a global impact on education.
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