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A Head of English perspective on Studiosity

Sarah Crossing

Sarah Crossing

Oct 31, 2008

Many teachers at our partner schools ask important questions about Studiosity before they become fans. Babs Helleman, a veteran English teacher with over 25 years of education experience, was no exception. Below, Ms Helleman describes how her perception of Studiosity changed when her students at The King's School - where she is Head of English - first began to use the service.

In an effort to help staff cope with the enormous marking load, the executive of our school made the decision that all students would have access to Studiosity three years ago. After the initial presentations to staff and students, I saw considerable merit in the service, but believed it offered little to the English Staff. Nevertheless, we were prepared to embrace the concept and I encouraged all staff to tell their students to use the service. Some did, some didn't! 

What has surprised me is the number of King's boys who have chosen to use the service. Each enquiry represents one less enquiry to an English Staff member. We set a variety of tasks for years 7-10 students, from writing a short story, to an assignment on Macbeth to comparing and contrasting two novels that deal with the human condition or growing up in a different part of the world, to an unseen essay task on poetry or set novel or play. 

Studiosity offers an independent voice, not a voice that will rewrite the assignment, story or essay, but a critical voice that can assist the students to improve their work. There is no doubt that those students who use the service regularly have benefited. Just receiving feedback that makes them think about their writing is a huge advantage. 

Studiosity has been able to cope with our peak demands. The student comments, an excellent feature, really allows for proper monitoring. I suggest, if your school is prepared to offer Studiosity, you give it a go. Just remember, for it to be effective, you as teachers, have to tell your students they should use the service.

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