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Friday, 02 September 2011 18:13

Makebook makes light work of English

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A new piece of online software, with a name suspiciously similar to a leading laptop product, has been launched with the specific aim of helping high school students out with their English skills.

Makebook Campus provides students with the ability to practice essays, learn from mentor avatars, access marking criteria and even submit essays for grading and feedback from an HSC marker.

Released last week, Makebook Campus has been in development for three years and has recently been independently assessed and validated as an "effective educational tool", in a collaborative study between Macquarie University, the Epping Centre of Excellence and Makebook Pty Ltd.

Makebook Managing Director Mark Stanley explained, 'students work towards their English HSC exam for two years, only to have their ability measured by writing short 40min essays and creative pieces."

According to Makebook, many students miss out on marks due to lack of technique and misunderstandings around what HSC markers are really looking for in their responses to exams.

'When creating Makebook Campus, we collaborated with HSC markers to ascertain the writing  strategies and techniques that earn marks and used that information to create a series of  interactive online writing guides for students to use," said Stanley.

"Through our network of HSC markers we are also offering students the unique opportunity to have two essays marked and critiqued by HSC  markers to provide them with feedback and direction to further improve their writing.'

Once students have had their work marked online, and to further improve their results, they are given access to works written by other students that have achieved a better result to the same essay question.

Having the ability to compare and experience different approaches is intended to give students new perspectives, insights and confidence to write better.

'All Makebook essay questions are based on the current NSW reading lists and themes and for 2011 this theme is belonging,' concluded Stanley.

"Available online for just $99.00, Makebook demystifies the existing HSC marking criteria, and provides students and parents with increased visibility of this complex, yet incredibly important examination."

Readers who want further information can find it here, at the Makebook website.


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