As a teacher, it can be challenging and time consuming to find the perfect exercise for a student or set of students working on similar skills. Often, the choice is between selecting a less than ideal exercise that exists on a public website or other resource or creating one from scratch and sending a doc or email to your students.
The exercise system in Talaera aims to address this problem by providing teachers with a way to rapidly create, share and assign custom exercises. It's an ongoing project and new types of exercises will be added on a regular basis. At the moment, teachers can choose between creating Free From exercises and Fill in the Blank style exercises.
For a quick overview of the exercise creation process, check out the video below. Further details on the various components are provided later in this article.
Exercise Feature Tour
If at any point you would like a guided walkthrough of how to create an exercise, you can do so by starting a tour. You can start a tour by clicking the New Exercise button from the exercises page and then clicking the Start Tour button in the top right.
Talaera Exercise System in Detail
Creating an Exercise
To create an exercise, click on the Exercises tab from the top menu of the Talaera app. This will take you to the exercises page where you can search and browse all public exercises on the Talaera system. To create a new exercise, click the New Exercise button in the top right of the page.
Components of an Exercise
All exercises, regardless of type have a few components in common:
This is the text that describes what you would like your student to do. For a Free Form exercise, the prompt is the question itself, whereas for other types, such as Fill in the Blanks, the prompt provides guidance as to how the student should tackle the problem and is followed by the sentences with blanks.
For Free Form exercises, the answer will also be free form. Teachers are encouraged to provide answers for every question. If the question is an opinion type question or other such question that has no single answer, it's helpful to provide aspects of a correct answer, so that your student has some way to self correct.
For Fill in the Blank exercises, the answers are generated automatically - they are the words or phrases you chose to create blanks from.
Sometimes, it's helpful for the student to get a hint that points them in the right direction. Hints can be provided for the whole exercise or for each blank in a Fill in the Blanks exercise.
The name of the exercise should be as descriptive as possible. Keep in mind that as you create (and possibly share) many exercises, a good name will help you find the exercise you're looking for when the time comes.
Each exercise should have a level associated with it. Granted some exercises have different meaning for students of different levels, in which case you can just select the average of the range.
As the Talaera exercise library, and your own personal library of exercises grows, searching by tags will become a useful way to find the right exercise you're looking for. As such, its a good idea to add descriptive tags to your exercise when you create it. Tags are broken into two categories:
Topic Tags: Tags that describe the content or theme of an exercise, if it has one (such as Politics, Technology, Food, etc.)
Skill Tags: Tags that describe the specific skill(s) the exercise focuses on, such as Pronouns, Prepositions, Conditionals, etc.
If you search for a tag that doesn't exist, you will be prompted with the option to request it. Requested tags should be added within 48 hours.
Once you've created your exercise, you can edit it or remove it at any time.
Locating your exercise
Your exercises are located under the Created By Me link on the left menu of the Exercises page. Alternatively, you can search for them using words from the name of your exercise or the tags you associated with it.
Assigning an exercise
Each exercise has an Assign button in the bottom right of the exercise. Clicking the button will show you a list of the students you interacted with most recently. For other students you can click the More... option, to see your full list of students
Editing an exercise
You can edit an exercise by selecting Edit from the exercise menu, located in the top right of the exercise. Note that these options are only available to you. Your students will not see these options.
Selecting Edit will take you to the exercise editor where you can change any of the content or parameters you set when you created the exercise.
Previewing an exercise
If you would like to see what the exercise looks like for you student, you can click on the name of the exercise. This will open the exercise on it's own page. You can also preview the exercise answers by clicking the Show Answers option from the exercise menu. Note that this option will not be visible for your students. They will only see the correct answers once they have submitted their attempt at the exercise.
Making an exercise private or public
When you create or edit an exercise you can choose to save it or publish it. Saving it means that the exercise will be saved for you and marked as private. It will only be visible to you and assignable to your students, by you. Publishing the exercise means that other teachers can see the exercise. It will typically show up in their search results when they are looking for a particular exercise for their students, which is why providing a descriptive name and tags is a best practice.
Deleting an exercise
Should you decide that you no longer need an exercise, you can delete it at any time by selecting the Delete option from the exercise menu in the top right of the exercise. Deleting the exercise means it will no longer be available for you or any other teacher to assign to a student. If the exercise has already been assigned to a student and they have provided an answer, that copy of the exercise, along with their answers will remain in their exercise repository until they finish their lessons on Talaera.
Student View of Assigned Exercises
When you assign an exercise to a student, it will show up in their Assigned Exercises queue. It will also be associated with their most recent session, where it will show up in their session feedback page, under Additional Exercises. Note that these exercises are separate from the more specific Session Practice, which you provide as part of the session feedback, after each lesson.
To see what your student sees, you can check out the student help article for Homework, Exercises and Session Practice.
As with all Talaera features, we very much appreciate your feedback. Please let us know if you have any questions, comments or suggestions for improvements that would help make life easier.