Introducing Diji

WhatsApp Bot for learning in local languages

South Africa is in a skills crisis, compounded by the demands of an increasingly digital world. Its citizens need to learn basic digital skills, including how to use computers and how to search for, and assess, information. These skills could enable them to start their own small business or to recognise fake news and scams online.

Online learning platforms do not cater for the majority of South Africans. The courses use too much data and are presented in a language that is not familiar to the learner. We conducted research with over 8,000 respondents and 94.5% of them wanted to learn on their cell phone and in their mother tongue language.  

With Diji, our WhatsApp chatbot, we have combined the power of WhatsApp and mother tongue language learning to develop short courses on basic digital skills for Zulu speakers. Click here to start learning digital skills on WhatsApp, in Zulu, for free!

Media enquiries 

For media enquiries, please send an email to: hello@mcnulty.co.za

Which is better and why? Formal or informal assessment?

Find out the key features of both formal and informal assessments in the classroom. Learn how to use them effectively for maximum results!

Introduction

We all know the importance of assessment in the classroom. But what is considered formal and informal assessment? In this post, I will define both types of assessments to help you determine which type best fits your needs. 

Most teachers are comfortable using formal assessment in the classroom. The curriculum requires certain formal assessments at specific points in the teaching year, and guidance is provided on these requirements. When it comes to informal assessment, this is mainly left up to the teacher’s initiative. This post will discuss the differences between informal and formal assessment and offer some pros and cons of each. Informal assessments are typically less time-intensive than formal assessments but can be lacking in accuracy. Formal assessments are more accurate but require more time to complete. When deciding which type of assessment is best for your needs, it is essential to consider the amount of time you have available for assessment purposes versus how much information you need about students’ progress on a given skill or concept. 

assessment
Assessments

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Simplify your teaching now, using Bloom’s Taxonomy Question Stems

Do you know all the question stems for each level of Bloom’s Taxonomy? If you’re teaching in the class or online, this is your resource!

Bloom’s Taxonomy question stems is a tool for educators that will help them create and scaffold questions to meet the needs of their learners. It can be challenging to know where to start when setting a question for your students, but you’ll have all the tools necessary with this resource! 

Bloom’s taxonomy is a multi-layered model for encouraging learning by progressing through six levels of increasing complexity. Bloom’s taxonomy encourages learners to engage with knowledge at a deeper and more interactive level, working with what they are learning in the real-world sense, rather than passively taking information on board.

Bloom’s Taxonomy questions

An ideal way for a teacher to engage students is to plan questions that can be used in class discussions or as written assignments. Bloom’s Taxonomy provides a framework for structuring these questions from lower-order thinking to higher-order thinking. The use of questions in the classroom works best if they follow these guidelines:

  • The questions are planned and closely linked to the objectives of the lesson
  • A climate for open discussion is generated in the classroom, i.e. there are no stupid answers
  • Questioning follows the teaching of content or skills
  • Closed questions are used to check understanding and recall; open questions are used to generate discussion and debate
  • Questions are planned to increase through the cognitive levels from lower-order thinking to higher-order thinking

A valuable tool for teachers to use to generate questions is to use question stems. Question stems are used to generate questions that respond to each level in the taxonomy. Below is a comprehensive list of question stems for all levels that teachers in the class can use.

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