Topic targeting

Student with a tablet computer looking at a pie chart.

The student revision report is a great way for students and teachers to visualise current levels of understanding across the course. Each topic has its own individual pie chart for each of Quiz, Terms and Advance shown on the report.

If students have joined a class and the teacher has the topic filtering set to “student guided” or “student controlled”, a student can now select a pie chart on their report to immediately navigate to either Quiz, Terms or Advance with the topic filters automatically set to just that topic.

When students exit the mode the topic filters will return to how they were set before a pie chart was selected.

This new navigation option allows students to easily target their exam practice on questions from just one topic more easily.

Note, this option is not available if the teacher has topic filtering set to “teacher controlled”. This is important because students should ordinarily make use of the automatic question selection algorithms to ensure spacing and interleaving. When students select just one topic from their revision report this is known as “blocking” and although great for targeted practice to master topics more quickly, it is a less effective technique over the long term.

Students who have not joined a class always have the topic targeting option available.

This release also included two bug fixes:

  1. Rounding errors on revision report pie chart tool tips have been fixed.
  2. Terms interactive input no longer displays after switching to reflective.

Data from Tasks is now included in Quiz, Terms & Advance

A robot looking at blocks that make a bar chart.

Until now, questions that students answered in a Task were completely independent of the Quiz, Terms and Advance modes, including data in their analytics reports. In this update, when a Task is committed to the mark book, a routine runs to update the data in Quiz, Terms or Advance and the associated analytics reports.

Each answer is date and time stamped, so that the most recent answer a student submits and the mark for that answer is the one that will affect the reports.

Here are some scenarios:

  • A student answers a question incorrectly in Quiz, but then answers it correctly in a Task. Once the task is committed to the mark book, the Quiz data will be updated to reflect the question being answered correctly. This will increase the mastery bar and move the question to the back of the Quiz playlist.
  • A student has mastered a question in Quiz, but when the same question is subsequently set in an end of topic test, the student answers it incorrectly. This will now reset their mastery bar for that question and prioritise it in Quiz.
  • For “define” questions in a Task, if the student achieves full marks, the keyword in Terms will have a green confidence assessment recorded. If the student achieves some marks, the term will be assessed as orange. If the student achieves no marks, the term will be assessed as red. This will affect the Leitner Terms deck builder.
  • Answers to longer answer questions in a Task will now be recorded as a previous answer in Advance mode, changing which questions appear first.
  • The analytics reports for Quiz, Terms and Advance will now include relevant data from committed tasks.
  • In all cases, if the answer in a Task is provided before a subsequent answer is given in Quiz, Terms or Advance, that mark will not be reflected in the reports as it has been superseded by a more recent answer from the student. It is therefore important to commit tasks to the mark book as soon as you can.
  • The analytic reports for an individual Task are unaffected by this update so you can still see the results of a single Task.

Sometimes we are asked why a Task needs to be committed to the mark book, why doesn’t this happen automatically after a question has been marked?

The reason is we want to offer teachers the ability to simulate real tests and exams where the marks for a Task are released to students all at the same time. If Tasks automatically commit when the marking is done, students will see their result at a different time to their classmates, depending on when their teacher (or AI) marked their work. If you prefer, it is possible for the teacher to commit Tasks for individual students as soon as they are marked too.

Note, this update will only affect Tasks that are committed after 19th April 2024. Previously committed Tasks will not run this new routine.

Huge improvement to AI marking

Although it costs 10x more to operate, we have upgraded the model used by AI marking for Tasks. This means that the marking is considerably more accurate and in addition more questions can now be marked by AI, including high mark questions requiring lines of reasoning. AI marking now also has the context of case studies where they are used by questions. Maybe even better news is that we are not passing on the cost of this service to users.

No personal data is ever passed to the external OpenAI large language model (LLM). We include a token with each answer provided by the student before it is sent to the LLM. When the response comes back this token is matched to the original question/answer making the whole process anonymous.

You may be surprised to learn that Smart Revise does not pass the mark scheme to the LLM. We found that doing so often restricted the responses and it was more difficult to credit answers that are correct but not included in the mark scheme. Marking is more accurate when the LLM can use its vast training data to deduce if an answer is correct rather than narrowing its scope.

After extensive testing we have been unable to reliably mark questions requiring a calculation, so for now these questions remain not markable by AI.

Content update for GCSE Computer Science courses

  • Edexcel GCSE (1CP2):
    • new topic: 6.1-6.6 Practical programming tasks.
    • 20 new paper 2 style Python questions that are also matched to levels in TIME 2 CODE.
    • new marking ranges for questions to include programming questions up to 15 marks.
    • marking now includes option buttons for 0, 1, 2, or 3 marks to be awarded for solution design, good programming practices and functionality.
  • OCR GCSE (J277):
    • 54 new 2.1.2 Designing, creating and refining algorithms questions.
    • 8-mark questions now all use the “Discuss” command word.
    • Presentation of the 8-mark questions accurately reflects the style in past papers.
  • AQA GCSE (8525):
    • Questions about methods or functions are now always presented as pseudocode using the “Subject Specific Vocabulary” guidance. Additional explanations about the syntax of the command shown is given when it may be different from real high-level language code. This should reduce confusion between real code in Python, C# or that students are learning and how questions may be presented in the exam using pseudocode.

2023 release notes

  • Third option for topic filtering allowing students to filter topics within those selected by their teacher.
  • Option to pay by purchase order is more obvious when shopping for course vouchers.
  • Single sign-on for Google and Microsoft.
  • Customised leader boards.
  • Toggle command word help on/off for tasks.
  • The answer for Quiz questions can now be seen when choosing questions for a task.
  • Task shortcut link available for future tasks.
  • Matrix reports can be sorted by each column.
  • Analytics report colours now match the chosen colour scheme.
  • New colour schemes for Protanopia, Deuteranopia & Tritanopia.
  • Automatic 30% discount for orders of 200 or more vouchers.
  • Leitner system is now supported in Terms.
  • AI marking of questions in a task with written feedback for each question. Does not include questions with an image, calculation or level of response marking frameworks. These will come in a future release.
  • Task creation can cause what looks like duplicate Quiz questions to be chosen. They aren’t actually the same question, but that’s not obvious from the short question snippet shown.
  • Students can join a class with unverified accounts making it much easier for teachers to set up classes.
  • Shuffle button for terms.
  • Teachers can change a student’s name.
  • Alert for tasks that have no students assigned.
  • Assign multiple students to a task after it has been set and not just when it is created.
  • Custom date range for usage reports.
  • Students can jump to a question from task feedback for a question.
  • Select all option for transferring vouchers to another teacher.
  • “1 days” is now shown as “yesterday”.
  • When creating a task, replacing a question with another shows all available questions of the same type, not just those in the same topic. This increases the number of questions that can be used to swap.
  • Students can paste an answer into the answer box in Advance (for example to paste code from an IDE).
  • Update Filter button for topic filtering has moved to the panel header so it is always visible to reduce scrolling.
  • Teachers can access individual student revision reports in analytics.
  • Teachers can hide the number of days until the exam in the class configuration options.
  • More informative error message if a teacher tries to navigate to a task using a student link.
  • A user configurable Submit button that navigates to the next student or next question.
  • A more obvious indicator on the list of students when all the questions have been marked for a task.
  • M.A.R.C.K.S. feedback option for tasks.
  • Task marking UI has been redesigned to reduce scrolling,
  • Descriptive marking status statements for each student instead of codes.
  • Task setting UI changes to reduce the chance of a teacher navigating away before a task has been assigned to students.
  • The current mark for each student can be seen on the active tasks page.
  • Peer marking of tasks. Students can now mark each other’s tasks.
  • More SQL questions for all Computer Science courses.
  • Cambridge IGCSE (0478/0984) course released.
  • AQA GCSE (8132) Business course released.
  • OCR GCSE (J204) Business course released.
  • OCR J277, H446 & AQA 8525 video references include a video number in the title for easier signposting for teachers.
  • OCR GCSE J277 Topic 1.2.3 Units – Quiz questions have been updated to use multiples of 1000 and not 1024 to better match the specification.
  • Edexcel 1CP2: all code questions are now written in Python syntax.
  • Edexcel 1BS0: new scenarios and questions.
  • Model answer videos for Pearson Edexcel 1CP2 GCSE Computer Science.
  • Model answer videos for OCR AS/A level Computer Science.
  • A new logo to make it clearer on different themes and at a smaller resolution.
  • Bug fix: AI markable icon does not update after a question is replaced when creating a task.
  • Bug fix: pressing [Enter] to submit a mark did not work as expected.
  • Bug fix: multiple choice questions in tasks containing code didn’t render as expected.
  • Bug fix: when accessing a question from the task question matrix report, it loaded the answer to the first question in the task instead of the requested one.
  • Bug fix: building a deck in Terms when reflective/interactive modes are restricted by the teacher in class settings did not work as expected.
  • Bug fix: UTC was shown instead of BST on one screen in tasks.
  • Bug fix: copying a task now copies the MARCKS setting.
  • Bug fix: topic filtering did not work in some edge cases for sub-topics when others are locked in trial mode.
  • Bug fix: “Click to copy” not working for shareable link in task creation wizard.
  • Bug fix: Incorrect percentage values being calculated on leader boards (rankings were still correct though).
  • Bug fix: in some rare cases a task is not assigned to students even though it appears to have been assigned successfully.
  • Bug fix: discount codes are now applied correctly.

2022 release notes

  • Students can mark their own tasks.
  • Track progress of individual students as they complete and mark a task.
  • Tasks requiring action by the teacher have a notification bell icon.
  • New active tasks panel for teachers displaying more data.
  • New active tasks panel for students displaying more data.
  • 70 model answer videos for Edexcel GCSE Computer Science 1CP2.
  • Join a shared class button is now also on the teacher dashboard. This reduces the number of steps for setting up shared classes.
  • Edexcel Business course launched.
  • Give control of vouchers to another teacher, enabling central purchasing and distribution of purchased vouchers.
  • Every AQA 8525 Advance question has a model answer video.
  • Every Advance question for OCR J277 now has a model answer video.
  • Full course access in student mode for teachers who have purchased vouchers.
  • Free trial includes a limited number of topics from real courses instead of a generic course.
  • Students do not lose progress from the trial when upgrading to full access.
  • A shopping basket experience for purchasing course vouchers.
  • Courses for the same subject are grouped together on the teacher dashboard.
  • Support for markup in questions.
  • Questions can have a case study.
  • Summary of the ticked mark scheme entries shown when deciding a mark for level of response questions.
  • Ticked mark scheme entries do not determine the mark with level of response questions.
  • Moved the task feedback input box to reduce scrolling.
  • Prevent follow on marks being applied if they are not applicable.
  • Navigating to the dashboard does not reset the teacher/student mode selection.
  • References are not shown for new courses that don’t have any.
  • Protection against purchasing a course more than once by pressing the submit payment button again before the transaction is complete.
  • Hyperlink for a task to copy and paste into Google Classroom, OneNote, ClassCharts etc.
  • Update the task marking UI so that the total marks box and submit button is visible without having to scroll on short mark schemes.
  • Set the same task for multiple classes, including shared classes in the same year group.
  • Deadlines shown on active tasks screen.
  • Independent scrolling of a student answer and the mark scheme when marking a task.
  • Command words exactly match each examination board specification instead of using the JCQ list.
  • Deadline enforced tasks. Work is handed in at the deadline, even if it has not been submitted with this option.
  • Students can see references and model answer videos automatically in their task feedback.
  • OCR J277 1.1 Systems architecture Quiz questions have been updated.
  • Change a task deadline for an individual student.
  • Drag and drop questions into a different order when creating a task.
  • Indicate if a student has already purchased their own course voucher so they don’t need to be allocated one.
  • Dark theme.
  • Analytics reports for tasks.
  • Sort students in the mark book.
  • Bug fix: some model answer videos linked to the wrong question.
  • Bug fix: task share links ignore the available from date.
  • Bug fix: the coloured bars in the top 10 questions analytics report could be displayed incorrectly.
  • Bug fix: debit/credit card orders made by teachers would sometimes fail unexpectedly.
  • Bug fix: in rare cases when questions for a task are changed, the total marks for a task displays as over 100% in the mark book.
  • Bug fix: display order of mark scheme entries for terms.

2021 release notes

  • Questions containing code have better formatting.
  • 50 model answer videos for OCR J277.
  • Tag tasks for filtering in the mark book.
  • Replace a question manually from the automatic selection when creating a task.
  • View the complete question when creating a task.
  • Delete a task from the mark book.
  • Date filter on the mark book.
  • Show which topics questions were taken from in tasks in the mark book.
  • Download both percentages and raw marks from the mark book.
  • Better DDoS protection to protect up-time.
  • Questions can belong to a sub topic.
  • Return a task to a student before it has been marked to handle a student clicking submit too early.
  • Cream and lilac themes to help students with Dyslexia.
  • New Tasks feature allows teachers to set the same questions for all students in a class, mark the answers and keep track of outcomes in a mark book.
  • Bug fix: rendering issues with Quiz questions containing <> symbols.