One of the things we’re proud of at Carousel is the level of engagement of our community of users. We get tons of feedback which helps us make Carousel better, and in return (as well as generally developing the platform) we try and pass on as much collective wisdom as we can. We do have some high-frequency queries which we wanted to provide clear answers to. If you have any questions in addition to the below, feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or @Carousel_learn on Twitter.
There are loads of quiz platforms out there all promising improved retention. Why should I use Carousel?
There are platforms that do bits and pieces of what we do, but there aren’t any that do all the things we can do. Here are a few of the things which we think make us unique:
- We're blooming easy to use. It takes a matter of minutes to get set up and running, and setting a quiz is completely effortless. To see for yourself how easy it is, check out this help article on how to get started.
- You can tailor your curriculum... You upload the questions you want to use, so you don’t have to rely on anybody else’s content. Given that all schools teach things slightly differently and in different orders, this flexibility is crucial.
- …But you can still access other teachers’ resources. That said, there is still the option to take advantage of our community of shared resources. You can choose from hundreds of high quality question banks created by teachers just like you. This blog post gives more detail about the Community.
- Students can revise before a quiz. Students can first revise using flashcards, then take a quiz. This approach of preparation ➜ quiz is a highly effective route to long term retention.
- We're optimised for free text answers. Many quiz platforms focus on Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) first and foremost. We're fans of multiple choice too, but we felt there was a gap in the market for a platform that really thought through in detail how to handle short and medium answer questions (see our blog here for further discussion). So that's what we've done, using clever techniques like Student self-marking. On which note...
- Students self-mark their quizzes... Questions with exact match answers are marked automatically by Carousel; then where there's a variance, students mark their own responses. This neatly sidesteps problems with computers making weird marking decisions, while also encouraging students to take a more reflective attitude to their work.
- ...But you can still moderate their marking. Teachers have an easy interface for scrolling through all student responses and moderating student responses (i.e. changing self-marked questions from CORRECT to INCORRECT and so on). They can also pick out specific responses as a springboard for in-class feedback.
- We help teachers to feedforward. The data generated by Carousel is rich and granular, and our analysis and feedback functionality allows teachers to gather insights from students' performance, helping them to learn more over time.
- We keep close to our community of users. We are constantly in touch with our users and regularly take and use their feedback to improve. For example, you can use the Carousel Roadmap to see what we are planning next and to vote on what you think should come sooner.
I checked out Carousel early on, but I’m struggling to find the time to actually get started! Is it worth it?
We think so! You can set yourself up for quizzing in under three minutes, and our teachers tell us that it’s making a huge difference to student retention over time, student engagement with homework, reducing teacher workload and improving lesson planning.
I’ve created an account but I don’t really know what to do. How do I get up and running?
We’ve tried to make it as easy as possible to get started with Carousel, and this help article should give you what you need to get going. It also contains a handy video demo for the visual learners. (Jokes! Visual learners don’t exist). If you are still struggling please feel free to get in touch with us by email or Twitter.
Our students already use a lot of different platforms. Will giving them another one not be confusing?
We don't think so, though appreciate that this will be a big concern for teachers who are fed up with "sir, I've lost my login" conversations. We’ve made Carousel’s student-facing area as simple as possible - for example, you don't even need a login/password to use the system. So, while you might be adding another platform to your repertoire, we expect your students to take it easily within their stride.
How does Carousel conform with GDPR and data privacy good practice?
There are no shared resources in the Carousel Community for the curriculum I follow. When will content be available there?
We’re incredibly grateful to all the teachers who have shared their resources with the community, and as we grow, more and more content will be available. The best way to keep abreast of new content is to follow us on Twitter or join our mailing list. There are of course tremendous benefits to writing your own question bank in terms of your pedagogical content knowledge and mastery of your course, and we’d love to see you sharing resources to help other teachers in a similar situation.
I’ve imported a question bank from the community, but I’d like to edit it. Is that a possibility?
At the moment, no. It’s quite a complicated question as the copyright for question banks is owned by the person who wrote them. The last thing we want is for people to be able to take advantage of teachers’ hard work and pass it off as their own by making a couple of small edits. At the same time, we know that plenty of teachers are happy to see their work remixed, so we are working on this and we’re confident we will have a solution that works for everybody before too long. Watch this space!
The screen looks a bit funny when I use my mobile – can you change the layout?
When we started, we had to plan for how we thought our most common users would be accessing the site. We assumed students would be using tablets, laptops or mobile phones, so we optimised their interface for pretty much any device. We assumed that teachers, on the other hand, would probably not be using their mobiles for this kind of thing, so we didn’t spend ages developing the mobile interface for teachers. We’ve taken this feedback on board though, and in time we will add mobile/tablet apps to address this.
As you'll see from a bunch of these answers, we aren’t perfect yet and don’t make any claims to be. There are some things we just can’t do yet, but we do promise that we take your feedback seriously and as time goes on we will do our best to act on all of it. In the meantime, thank you for your support and we are incredibly grateful for your comments and questions.