The end of year exams are on the horizon, after what has been an out of the ordinary year for students as well as their parents.
The culmination of lost teaching time, curriculum changes, as well as migration to virtual learning platforms, has resulted in peaked stress and anxiety levels for learners and educators.
Luckily, Covid-19 has also prompted the emergence of many beneficial educational technologies to promote learning during this critical time.
Numerous online educational applications have been developed to assist students with their studies during the lockdown period, including Examsta.
'How the brain learns'
Examsta provides a web-based platform from which students can access a variety of quizzes based on the South African school syllabus. Each quiz includes ten to fifteen multiple-choice questions, with clear explanations and diagrams used to explain answers so that learners can improve their score in the next round.
"Revolutionary cognitive scientific research around the 'testing effect' has given educators a new understanding of how the brain learns, and how instruction, curriculum and assessment can be adapted to be more effective," says Marie de Wet, founder of the online educational app.
"Widely referred to as 'retrieval practice', the teaching method is a well-known psychological phenomenon whereby memory recall is accelerated through regular quizzes".
'Not just a passive process'
Marie explains that Examsta has been developed as an accessible learning tool that enables learners to benefit from this powerful study technique.
"Studying is not just a passive process of re-reading information, taking notes and hoping to internalise knowledge," she explains.
"Quizzing and testing facilitates active learning and has been proven to be much more effective for long term retention".
Empirical study into how memory operates began way back in the 1880s when Hermann Ebbinghaus measured the rate that information is lost after initially learning it.
In the classroom, it is unsurprising that pupils struggle to recall yesterday’s lesson.
Access all Life Sciences content free of charge
"Teachers and learners in most learning situations would benefit from increasing the level of retrieval, and this should be preferred to re-teaching as a learning strategy," Marie says.
Currently, the platform is in testing phase, with Life Sciences quizzes available to Grade 10, 11 and 12 learners free of charge.
“Examsta will give learners the edge when it comes to preparing for exams, where the act of retrieving information prompts the brain to ensure that it is more accessible in the future".
With matric exams set to begin in November, Marie encourages learners to visit www.examsta.co.za where they will be able to access all Life Sciences content free of charge.
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