Stingy business model?

If you spent a while making some fantastic assessment materials, then someone else got hold of it and started making money from it, you’d probably be somewhat annoyed.

Yet this is exactly the business model that seems to be cropping up.

One business has this to say (paraphrased) on their web site:

  1. “Teachers upload questions”
  2. “Students take tests”
  3. “We use fancy algorithms to select which questions to ask and re-ask over time” etc

But then they conveniently miss out point number 4:

4. “To make the most of our product, you need to pay. And no, we won’t pay you for the question banks you’ve submitted that we use in our product.”

Seems a little unfair, doesn’t it?


‘Mote’ v ‘Verbal Feedback’

On and off, I’ve been using some form of voice input to speed up giving feedback for years.

In the early days I was using ‘Dragon’ (anyone remember?) to translate voice into text.

Faster broadband now means teachers are leaving recorded messages instead.

‘Mote’ is one such widely advertised tool, costing £39/user/year. So for 50 staff members, this is around £2,000. This company must be raking it in.

Verbal Feedback‘ is an alternative and priced at £200/year.

You do the math!


JCQ’s “helpful” grade descriptors and a translation.

Anyone who knows anything about grading knows that grade boundaries are proportional, with a given % getting each grade. There is mountains of ‘advice’ on how to grade from OfQual and JCQ. So it seems strange that we are being encouraged to use grade descriptors (which in my opinion are unhelpfully worded) rather than base grades on historic grade boundaries.

If you’ve read the terrible descriptors, I’m sure you’ll be able to identify with this ‘tongue in cheek’ translation…

Grade 9 = Better than a grade 8
Grade 8 = Not quite a grade 9
Grade 7 = Better than a 6 but not an 8 (better than OK)
Grade 6 = Did ok
Grade 5 = Almost did ok
Grade 4 = Not quite there
Grade 3 = Scraped the surface
Grade 2 = Did slightly more than nothing
Grade 1 = Did next to nothing
U = did nothing