14 May 2018

Having a lot of problems is, well, a problem. When it comes to maths however, teachers will tell you that you can never have too many problems as practice makes perfect. Unfortunately, learners are often not motivated to practice maths, as often they feel they will never grasp the concepts, or they don’t know where their knowledge gaps are. This leads to maths teachers having to spend time on intervention strategies, or for parents to pay for expensive extra lessons which don’t necessarily provide the required direction –  sometimes all learners do is solve problem after problem with the hope that they will eventually “get it”.

Enter Bettermarks®, a sharp online platform for maths that employs very sophisticated technology in order for learners to access personalised learning. Bettermarks® takes adaptive learning to the next level – it is a truly personalised platform which is complimented by how easy it is to use by both teacher and learner.

Closing the gaps

What makes Bettermarks® stand out is that learners get real time feedback at every stage, it gives specific feedback, and even gives the option to access the textbook if necessary. This turns mistakes into learning opportunities as it allows for errors in thinking to be diagnosed immediately, and then remedied, before a crucial test or exam.

There are thousands of questions and the adaptive technology checks the thousands of competencies needed across the curriculum to flag any knowledge gaps, and then provides learners with further exercises to practice and master topics. Real time feedback and self-monitoring helps motivate learners and gives them confidence.

Teachers can access learners’ results and progress via reports and then apply hands-on intervention if necessary – or assign further exercises via the platform. The platform will keep recommending exercises to learners to fill knowledge gaps until the teacher is assured the problem has been solved, and the teacher can then close the gap on the platform’s back-end.

Track and progress

Teachers can use Bettermarks® in many different ways to help them monitor learner progress and difficulties, and to assist them in their progress. Features include the option of building worksheets from the question banks and distributing them to all learners – or individual learners – depending on the need. The questions can also be formulated into a test (which prevents tips and textbook access and is password protected). The platform marks all worksheets and tests automatically which saves the teacher a significant amount of time.

One of the outstanding features is that Bettermarks® is developed to test learners’ skills in answering a maths problem – not just multiple choice. Depending on the question, learners may have to divide blocks into fractions, draw graphs, or indicate points on a number line, amongst many other practical applications.

The teacher dashboard gives a teacher a one screen overview of learners’ progress, and it also conveniently highlights areas in which all learners are struggling, thereby making whole class intervention strategies clear.

This easy-to-use platform is a class act and a true asset to the classroom. Learners pay only R150 per calendar year subscription and teacher access is free with every class set purchased. Request a demo today by emailing za.digitalsupport@macmillaneducation.co.za or calling 011 731 3359.

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