Changing when students can select quizzes

Update 20/03/19: These improvements are now live!

We think it’s really important for students to be able to focus on specific topics occasionally - however, giving students complete freedom with this has meant that some of them have missed out on the benefits of spaced learning and interleaving, two of the key principles that Tassomai has been built on.

We are therefore introducing a feature where teachers can control when students are able to take specific quizzes from the Subjects tab. When teachers go to the “settings” page for a class, they can choose one of three options for this:

  • Never

  • After they have completed their Daily Goal (recommended and default)

  • Always (not recommended)

There are several problems with allowing students to always take quizzes from the Subjects tab:

  • This lets them ignore the recommended quizzes, which the algorithm suggests based on what that individual student needs to focus on most;

  • Selecting quizzes from the Subjects tab also interrupts the interleaving which is built into Tassomai’s algorithm;

  • Some students have been “gaming” the Daily Goal by quizzing the same topic repeatedly, making it easier to complete their Daily Goal, without them actually progressing through the course or learning.

There are also problems with never allowing students to take quizzes from the Subjects tab:

  • Students often want to focus on a specific topic if they have a test on it coming up;

  • The Subjects tab can act as a plenary activity after studying a topic, reinforcing what they have just looked at.

We would therefore recommend choosing “After they have completed their Daily Goal” - this is the default setting.

We feel that this still encourages independent learning, and gives students the opportunity to take ownership of the learning process, while ensuring that they still benefit from the cognitive science and neuroscience principles which Tassomai is built on.

Changes to pausing topics

This setting also controls when students can pause or unpause topics. Although teachers can choose which topics are switched on or off for their classes, students have been able to temporarily change this (with it reverting at midnight). Obviously, since teachers choose which topics are and aren’t paused for a reason, we thought that they should also control when students were able to override this setting.

N.B. These settings can only be changed at the class level. If a student is in more than one class, the more lenient setting will apply (Always > Sometimes > Never).