PARadise Academy 


Q.What happens when you find an arror?


If we are made aware of an error we immediately find all occurrences of it and correct it. If the software is affected we have to do an update and upload it to this website before anyone downloading is able to get the corrected version – depending on the severity of the errors this may happen anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks later.
We indicate on the website any time we put a new version there.

View "Changes we have carried out" (click on this).

Q.Why have you changed your software to give students a second go at the answer?


Actually, we haven’t. There’s no way any of my students using my own software will ever get a second chance – because we’ve kept our “no guessing” original version but with a “Show Answer” button added, as we had already suggested we might do.

What we have done – we’ve made it possible for each Centre to choose which approach they will take when they install the software.

On installation a Centre can choose either of 2 options:

1. Standard set up.
– No second chances allowed for answers. [This is to discourage guessing.]
– A "Show Answer" button that allows the correct answer to be shown.
– Unhindered navigation: Use Escape to leave a lesson, Click on progress bar to go to any question.

2. Modified set up.
– After 2 incorrect answers a password is required before further activity can take place.
– If the second attempt is correct the red square in the progress bar changes to orange.
– Answers can only be accessed once a password has been entered.

On the first few versions we put out there was no second chance. Our reasons are given below.

  • We purposely set the programme for one attempt only. This is to encourage students not to guess. I have found the guessing problem has diminished since I started using my own software. But, of course, I also encourage students to ask for help if they have tried to work out something but are unsure about how they are doing it. It seems to help.

    It’s just that we live in an age of children playing computer games etc where they are getting used to pressing a re-start button and having another go if things don’t work out. Yet . . . when they sit exams, later on, there’s only one chance to get the question right. As I say to my students, “Pretend you‘re a pilot. You wrongly put in a 345 instead of a 3450. The plane does what you said – and crashes. You just killed 400 people. You don’t get a second chance. You’ve got to get it right the first go”.

  • We wanted students to know what the answer was if they got it wrong. Some other programmes don’t do that. We have now put a “View answer” button – so a student may choose to see what the answer should have been. It is not shown after every wrong answer as it was before.

    I find students wanting to have another go at the same lesson; to improve their score. I encourage that. They select the same lesson, click on a question number in the progress bar and go to the question they want, put in another answer and have it marked. So there are ways that students can repeat questions.

Q.Why don’t you get students to type their name in?


In short, from what I had seen over ten years of tutoring using software that asks for names, the typing in of a name every time a student began a lesson amounted to time wasting. I found older students, especially, got really annoyed by a computer that squawked at them if they hadn’t hit the Shift to give a Capital letter to begin their name. More time wasting. So why include such a feature? We chose not to.

After a student asked me why they had to type their name in [on other software they were using] I did an experiment: I asked other students why they thought they had to type their name in. They didn’t know!! So why were they asked to? Simply so that their own name appeared on the final screen that congratulated them on their great work. But . . . I found most students didn’t even realize it had their name there!! The other thing that students often joked about was how they could be congratulated for their great work – even if they got none right [on the software that puts their name in].

Q.You haven’t got any passwords?


I haven’t. Definitely not! No thankyou! – But I have put the option there for those who want to use them. You can have them if you want.

Once again, it’s similar to the question above. To me, they're just a nuisance. On programmes which demand passwords, I show the passwords to new students in the first session I have with them – just as I would show a student where the answer pages are in a book they are going to work from. I want them to be able to mark their work often, if they’re working from a book. Not like some who cut the answers out!!

I think tutors should have a rapport with students that involves trust. Just as students should be asking when they need help or don’t understand something, shouldn’t tutors also be able to allow students some liberty to go back into a lesson, jump to the questions they got wrong and check if their new answer is correct or have another go at part of the lesson. Sometimes they may want to finish off a lesson they had begun a previous lesson and need to jump in at say question 12. They can read that off the page we use to record their programme of work and get on with it.

If tutors are worried about students abusing the system then they should remember that when students use the PAR software they have to be accountable because their progress, as shown on the progress bar at the top of the screen, including answers that have been accessed, is highly visible throughout the lesson, and the summary page at the completion of a lesson also displays the numbers of any questions that were skipped or had answers accessed.