We've recently been featured on the Vulcan Post, courtesy of the very nice Sade Dayangku!
Here, I'd like to expand a bit on the article and to give a more fuller description on some of the problems we see in education in Malaysia:
Student needs being overlooked - chiefly, this is a problem of any standardised education framework whether it's IGCSEs or SPM. Each student’s weakness and/or strength are not given due weight; instead, when homework or work is allocated, it is done so across the board: the weak student is given and expected to achieve the same level of performance as the better abled one. By plowing through the data, Abel is able (no pun intended!) to assign homework to students based on their level of performance based off their historical performance in formative and summative tests.
This leads us to teachers being overworked. It’s incredible how much teachers have to do, I have a tremendous amount of respect for teachers now! The natural question of why students needs are being overlooked can partly be placed on teacher workload: when you are pressed for time, you don’t think so much about the individual student - you can’t. This leads to a stunted understanding of where your students are at. Abel abstracts all the data analyses away, and gives teachers visualizations to identify patterns, and recommendations: e.g. you should reteach Electromagnetism because x% of students scored below the minimum y%. Teachers then get to track these recommendations, almost like their very own to-do list.
Schools lacking a systematic data collection framework: with Abel, students have to input the data themselves through their Abel accounts. If you're a school, you're probably recoiling at this idea! But we’ve streamlined the whole process such that it only takes 5 mins for each student.
This is an order of magnitude faster than the traditional way of teachers inputting data for the entire class, and with much higher granular control. We see this as consistent with the modern pattern of giving young people responsibility over their own data.
For parents, no more "oh Farhan scored 65% in Physics" and instead be able to drill down to “Farhan scored 4 out of 7 possible marks for this subtopic of Dispersion, he could do better.”
I'll be posting a follow-up post on how Abel deals with this. In the meantime, check out the Vulcan Post article here.
It’s almost the end of the year! We’re gearing for a hectic 2020, and getting teachers equipped for the new academic year. Abel has so far analysed over 1100 questions across two classrooms, and given powerful recommendations to our teachers on how to improve their pedagogy.
This month, we’ve added the ability for teachers to track these recommendations so they don’t get lost in the whirlwind of things to do. Educators can also now view their class’ progress of multiple papers across assessment periods. Prior to this, you only had the ability to view classroom performance for each paper.
We’re in full swing now, building a more robust infrastructure on AWS servers so schools can reliably trust us with their data.
And even more, teachers will be able to send their students homework sets with a single click, curated especially for the students’ skill level. Yes… you read that correct, and no, it’s not farfetched at all! Hope to see you in Jan 2020!
If you’re an educator and you’d love to try this out in your school, get in touch! It’s completely free to use for individual teachers. Alternatively, get us in touch with a decision-maker at your school.
It’s been a great journey so far! We started building Abel in June 2019 as a simple tool to collect high-quality data efficiently in a classroom. We’ve now been testing the product for 3-odd weeks now in classrooms across 2 schools. One of the most encouraging things I’ve heard firsthand from my student, after seeing her performance on her Physics IGCSE trials sketched out clearly on Abel’s charts, was “Now I know where to spend my time studying…” — took a pause, then continued — “I wish we had this in Chemistry and Biology… and Maths and Add Maths! I wish this was in all my sciences!”
This spurred me on to continue on this path to building classrooms that foster a desire to learn and for better teaching in Malaysia.
Now, for the coming year ahead, we want to add the following. We’ve been working hard building a suite of features on Abel so it can be a platform that best serve teachers, students and schools in delivering dang good education!
So here it is, the plan for 2019 - 2020, our Roadmap!
ability to promote and archive classrooms:
a year 10 classroom needs to go over into year 11 (obviously).
What happens when students from year 11 graduate? Instead of deleting the classroom (and the data), teachers and schools can now archive the classroom, preserving student results for future reference (e.g. background checks by students’ future employers, etc.).
collate Exam Results from multiple source papers:
Visualisation and recommendations are better, happier, and more accurate with more sources feeding it!
track the performance of an entire cohort of classrooms over time:
For school reporting - essential part of the education process!
ability for teachers to track their interventions when using Recommendations:
teachers can track what they’ve done in bridging learning gaps in their classroom
this gives HODs a bird’s eye view over their teachers’ works
the ability to build Lesson Plans on Abel, linking these to the results data:
teachers can easily track the standard of performance directly back to a lesson plan - leading to objective feedback on your teaching programmes
E.g. 60% of the class scored below 50% in electromagnetism. I can now view the lesson plans on the topic of electromagnetism that led up to this exam and critically evaluate how it was conducted.
To our users who have been testing this out with us, thank you!
There's a lot more I'd like to add to this Roadmap, and we're taking suggestions! If you have any, buzz us here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re in private beta - Abel’s core functionality is now up and about and kicking! That means efficiently gathering student results down to a granular level (importantly, with minimal time spent for teachers), and then visualising and transforming that data to improve learning outcomes. We’ve been testing this in real classroom settings now.
If you don’t yet know, Abelytics is on a mission to building classrooms where children can learn to the best of their abilities and realise their potential to be change-makers in our society. Teachers have been teaching in the blind for too long, without sufficient feedback on their pedagogy. Abel provides a feedback loop to both teachers and students, illuminating where class weaknesses lie.
If you’re a teacher, a school principal, or just an interested parent, get in touch with us at email@example.com and see your classroom potential go up, up and away!