Set and enforce your own team names for scoreboard challenges

New feature as of May 2017

Normally, students are prompted to type in their own "scoreboard names" when they take part in a textivate scoreboard challenge, and they also have the option of using the same scoreboard names so that they can compete together in teams.

(A scoreboard challenge is a way for students to compete individually or in teams, scoring points by completing all sorts of reading, text-reconstruction and vocab activities. See this blog post for more info.)

A recent addition was the facility to select from one of the existing scoreboard names, which makes it easier to return to a challenge on a different device or to join an existing team, without fear of spelling the name wrongly, as explained in this blog post.

What we've now added is a way for the teacher to set the team names. And students can only log in to a challenge using the team names specified by the teacher.

The image above shows the "new challenge" pane. There's now a section at the bottom which you can use to specify the team names that you want your students to use.

Simply type in your team names, separated by a semi-colon ;

If you leave it blank, students can use whichever team name or individual name they like. But if you include two or more semi-colon-separated team names, those names will be enforced, and students will have to pick a team from a dropdown menu, as demonstrated in the image at the top of this post.

Here's an example for you to try: >> French, daily routine, past tense (passé composé) <<

N.B. You can edit your existing challenges and add team names. But note that any scoreboard data that you have not deleted will still be visible on the scoreboard. You can delete scores in the usual way, via the challenge scoreboard page.

Why team challenges?

One of the benefits of a team competition is that all team members can feel that they are contributing to the overall team score, even if they, personally, are not the brightest and would quickly lose heart if they saw that their scores were very low while other students in the class were racing ahead. This would work particularly well if you set up "vertical" teams, where every team has a range of ability, and preferably equal numbers. (Having said that, allowing for varying numbers of team members might also be a good way of redressing the balance between groups of students with different abilities.)

This new feature even makes it possible to set up inter-class competitions!

Here's a quote from a user of textivate (a TPRS teacher) commenting on team challenges on facebook:

"The challenge gets everyone engaged. We do it as teams. My classroom gets so quiet you can hear a pin drop and then there is raucous uproar when someone on a team dumps a chunk of points. The kids get so intense. It is a great wrap up activity after a story has been told and I've done everything I want to with actors and re-tells, etc. this is my final push and we end with a bang!"

:0)

See also:

Copy name from scoreboard feature added to challenge login -- good for Team Challenges :)

We've added a new feature allowing users to select from names that are already on the scoreboard when they log in to a challenge.

Why? 

Well, this makes logging in much easier for Team Challenges, where you want several students to use the same scoreboard name to identify their team. (Previously the log-in box appeared in front of the scoreboard, so it wasn't easy to copy existing names...)

That's all. Just a little tweak to make things smoother. 

(A number of people had asked for this feature...)

>> Check out Team Challenges <<

:o)

Team Challenges

Have you tried a team challenge on textivate?

You can do this during class time or between classes, or from one week to the next. (Just make sure to set an appropriate end time for the challenge.)

It's dead easy to do. Simply create a challenge based on one or more of your resources, split the class into as many teams as you like, and tell each member of each team to use their team name as their "scoreboard name". In the example above I've rather unimaginatively used "Team 1" to "Team 4", but you can use whatever names you like -- just make sure the students type them in correctly...

What you end up with is a team challenge where students can return to the scoreboard between activities and see how well their team is doing. If you are doing this in class, you can set it up so that the scoreboard is on display on a projector or IWB, with auto-refresh turned on, so that the scoreboard automatically updates every 30 seconds or so. (You can only do this if you are logged in and the challenge was created by you.)

A challenge is a great way of encouraging students to re-read a text in lots of different ways, increasing their exposure to repetitions of core structures, vocabulary, etc, and it provides extrinsic motivation to engage in the many activities -- i.e. to score points and beat the other teams! 

One of the benefits of a team competition is that all team members can feel that they are contributing to the overall team score, even if they, personally, are not the brightest and would quickly lose heart if they saw that their scores were very low while other students in the class were racing ahead. This would work particularly well if you set up "vertical" teams, where every team has a range of ability, and preferably equal numbers. (Having said that, allowing for varying numbers of team members might also be a good way of redressing the balance between groups of students with different abilities.)

Here's a link to the challenge featured in the image above. Why not join a team and contribute?

http://www.textivate.com/challenge.php?id=iycjn10

(BTW, if you feel that the text featured in the example above is not the sort of content you would like to expose your students to, well, that is not a problem -- you can make your challenge based on whatever text and / or vocab items you want to expose them to.)

Here's a quote from a user of textivate (a TPRS teacher) commenting on team challenges on facebook:

"The challenge gets everyone engaged. We do it as teams. My classroom gets so quiet you can hear a pin drop and then there is raucous uproar when someone on a team dumps a chunk of points. The kids get so intense. It is a great wrap up activity after a story has been told and I've done everything I want to with actors and re-tells, etc. this is my final push and we end with a bang!"

:0)

See also:


Sequence? Challenge? What's the difference?

A challenge is not the same as a sequence. What's the difference?

Sequences

  • A sequence is a specific set of activities based on a particular resource (or on multiple resources).
  • A sequence requires students to complete only the specified activities AND in the order specified. 
  • You can set a 'pass mark' for activities within a sequence, so that a student needs to score, say, 90%, in order to pass on to the next activity in the sequence. 
  • A record of time taken, individual scores and the overall score is uploaded to textivate when a student successfully completes a sequence. 
  • Teachers can access student scores via the gradebook icon on the textivate home page. 
  • You create sequences for your resources via the "Sequence" tab on the textivate home page. 
  • A sequence is usually part of a textivate resource -- the sequence information is stored and uploaded as part of the resource itself.
  • See this blog post introducing sequences (and see also the links on that page to other posts related to sequences).
  • See this example of a sequence with 18 activities based on a text + match resource (a short text in French + vocab on the subject of "chez moi")

Challenges

  • A challenge can be based on several resources, or just on one resource.
  • Students can do any of the activities from any of the resources included in the challenge, in any order they like. 
  • Points are added to the scoreboard after each activity. Scoreboard points are based on how well the activity is completed, and more difficult activities score more points than easier ones. 
  • You create challenges via the challenge trophy icon on the textivate home page.
  • A challenge is completely separate from your other textivate resources. You can make changes to the challenge at any point without this affecting the resources themselves.
  • Students and teachers can access the scoreboard at any time.
  • See this blog post introducing challenges.
  • See this example of a challenge based on a text + match resource. It's the same short text in French + vocab on the subject of "chez moi" as used in the sequence example above.

CHALLENGES in textivate

Get your students competing in class or for homework with a Textivate CHALLENGE!!

A Challenge is a time-limited competition based on one or more of your existing textivate resources. (Anyone with a Premium or Group subscription can make challenges.)

The challenge menu

Click the trophy icon on the textivate home page (see image above). This opens up your challenge menu (see below), which lists all of the challenges that you have created. (It will be blank at first, of course, until you have created some challenges).