Revision strategies and support in and beyond the classroom – VERSION 2!

RevStrategy - v2Further to my last post introducing a document I have written called “Revision Strategies in and beyond the classroom”. Lots of people have kindly made other suggestions for good ideas to add. I always intended this to be a ‘live’ document that will hopefully continue to grow so please do send feedback or other ideas of good practice which could be added to share with the education community. In the meantime, here is Version 2 of the document – Part 1 has been significantly updated with new ideas and I would like to thank those people that have contributed, both from St Ivo and from the Twittersphere!

As before please do email any feedback or suggestions to me (contact at side of blog).  Ideas can also be sent via twitter to @RobGeog.

Revision Strategies in and beyond the classroom

Revision Strategies and Support in the ClassroomThere are lots of websites with ideas for students on revision strategies and how to structure their revision. However, with the exam season rapidly approaching, course content nearly if not already taught, and a focus on revision in lessons over the forthcoming weeks, I thought it would be useful to try and compile ideas for teachers with regards to planning revision activities for both in and beyond the classroom in one document.

Some of these ideas are for activities which could be adapted and used in lessons whilst others are for creating revision resources which could then be shared with students via email, the school network or online (for example on blogs) to help them with revision beyond the classroom.

I am also interested in bringing together ideas on how new technologies can be used to support staff in creating and sharing revision resources with students. I have therefore written this document which I hope can be updated with suggestions of strategies that have worked well for you which you would be happy to share with others.

Please do email any suggestions to me (contact at side of blog).  Ideas can also be sent via twitter to @RobGeog.

Above all – I hope it is of some use to you in preparations and planning for the forthcoming revision period!

Imvoto – student response system – using mobile devices to assess learning

ImvotoImvoto is another very useful system enabling immediate assessment of learning to enable teachers to quickly intervene where required to help students progress, tackle misconceptions and move learning on.

This is definitely one to have a look at – you can easily write your own questions to assess your class and students can use a variety of devices to take the assessments, mobiles, tablets or desktops. Questions can also be differentiated depending on student responses.  A particularly useful aspect of this tool is that as well as writing your own questions you can share your questions and also discover and use other teachers questions. Another benefit is the ability to include a range of media in your questions, including audio, video, images or LaTex.

Here is a quick introduction video:

There is also an excellent dedicated Imvoto Youtube channel with an excellent collection of videos providing a guide to creating assessments, interrogating data etc.

Online Revision tools for Teachers and Students

revision-clipart-english-clipart_11-300x270With the revision season already underway and set to become particularly busy over the next few weeks I thought it would be useful to summarise some of the most useful online revision tools / apps available for both staff and students. Anymore you can recommend? Please let me know and I’ll add them to the list!

Revision Organisation

Revision Ace – a useful app for organising revision schedules, setting revision reminders and revision targets

PocketMod – create a pocket size revision planner – templates include monthly and weekly calendars and a task list really useful for revision.

RevisionWorlda tool for creating and printing revision schedule as well as lots of revision resources for students.

Get Revising Study Planner – a useful online study planner – easy to set up (see video below)

Mind Mapping Tools:

Mindomo  – useful tool for both students and staff. Teachers can use this to produce mind maps to simplify / summarise more complex information – for example helping students to break down an exam specification into the various component parts to facilitate revision. You can create 3 maps for free with the free account but beyond that this is a paid resource with a pricing structure for education.

Xmind – a free download (open source) although a paid for pro version is available – a good mind mapping tool and results can also be saved to Evernote making access across devices easier.

Coggle – easily produce mindmaps to simply and present more complex information – can be shared with others.

Online Revision Tools:

Flashcards++  (app) – an app for iOS to help memorise from flash cards – you can create own flashcards and share with others. You can listen to cards (text to speech) or record your own audio.

Examtime (free) – has an excellent set of tools to support revision and studying, including tools for mind-mapping, flashcards, quizzes notes etc. There are also useful notes and resources on study tips. – free learning tool for staff and students. Create own study quizzes and flashcards – can be created by students and teachers and classes can be set up to share these with others. Can be used on iphones / iPads and android.

Flashcards to Go – online study tool (cross devices)

Memrise – useful tool for learning vocabulary (takes some setting up).

Tools for quick formative assessment during revision in class:

Socrative – quickly assess through realtime questioning with the use of smartphones, tablets, laptops etc.

QuickKey App – the fantastic Quickkey App can be used to quickly assess students. Teachers can use smartphones / iPads to scan answers and quickly assess students and identify correct and incorrect answers (see previous post on QuickKey app). I already use QuickKey on a regular basis for Year 10 and 11 to do quick formative assessments as part of each unit (to complement other assessment skills)

GoFormative – online student response system

Creating Revision materials for use in the classroom:

IWB – SMART Notebook – the only limit to this one is imagination! There are a number of inbuilt activities for creating interactive revision quizzes etc. for the IWB, including the Lesson Activity Toolkit. Many of these are ready created activities which can simply be edited. The activity builder allows you to be more flexible in creating your own resources. Simple drag and drop can be created easily and other tools on the IWB provide opportunities for interrogating exam questions / modelling answers as a whole class.  Using SMART notebook is also particularly useful for structuring revision session as you can use the paperclip function to organise all resources associated with the lesson together (e.g. word documents, powerpoints, audio and video clips etc..) – in the newer versions of SMART notebook you can even integrate weblinks directly into the pages to use with students as part of a presentation.

PowerPoint – great for creating summary presentations for revision and you can easily integrate hyperlinks to other resources or even hyperlink between pages to create question and answer quizzes for whole class use on the IWB. There are various templates for such quizzes available on the web.

Contentgenerator – create useful e-learning quizzes with no knowledge of coding required – simply input the questions. Students love these and they work very well on the IWB as well as being easily integrated in blogs and websites for students to use in revision. Pricing structure is available on the website. – lots of great tools for creating free quizzes and activities (well worth exploring – great for use on the IWB or again can be integrated into blogs).

Explain Everything – Great app for the iPad – many uses – but when it comes to revision it is great for projecting student answers on the board (e.g. using AirServer or Apple TV) and doing peer / whole class assessment to look at the development of exam technique / allocation of marks.

New Review Game – Connect Fours

ClasstoolsThe brilliant Russell Tarr from has created a great new review game called Connect Fours. As with all the fantastic tools on the website, they are free and can be hosted on blogs, websites etc. and require no password or signup. The game consists of a wall with 16 clues which then need sorting into 4 rows of connected items. A sample game can be tried out here.

ConnectFoursColdEnvironmentsThere are many good ways to put this to use as a little starter or plenary activity on the IWB to check understanding and to act as a stimulus for class discussion. I am going to try it out as a starter for a forthcoming Year 12 revision lesson to practise categorising landforms in cold environments.

Richard Byrne from Free Technology 4 Teachers has created a short youtube clip showing how to create a review game using Connect Fours. also has a fanpage on Facebook with frequent useful updates and is worth a follow!

Think piece on Revision Practises and Online Video

Further to my previous post regarding new research from O2 Learn, they have published a very interesting think piece called “Review of Revision Practises and the value of Video Lessons” which is well worth a read. Some really interesting points at a particular pertinent time in the school year as we are preparing students for the public exam.s

New Research from O2 Learn – “Too little too late – school pupils fall short of teachers’ revision advice”

O2 Learn ( is an innovative education initiative designed to celebrate the UK’s finest teaching and create a lasting learning resource that can help young people achieve their ambitions. Teachers are encouraged to upload and share videos of their best lessons on the e-learning hub. The ambition is to build Britain’s biggest classroom online, giving young people everywhere, from all backgrounds, access to inspiring teaching.

O2 Learn has conducted three surveys with parents, pupils and teachers about revision patterns and also some desk research into revision best practice, memory and learning styles. Some of the main findings include:

– Students generally are falling short of teachers recommended time spent on revision.  The teachers surveyed, suggested starting on average six weeks in advance and studying on average 8 hours per week (7.7) totalling 46.2 hours. This is 7 hours more than is currently being achieved by students.

– Parents play a far greater role in their children’s revision today with well over three quarters of parents (86%) actively involved. This compares with more than half of adults (58%) who had no involvement at all from their parents in their revision.

– Teachers receive very little formal guidance in relation to how to support students with revision.

Young people are developing different learning styles from previous generations due to a greater use of technology. Despite this, just one in three (32%) young people use online study guides and only one in ten (12%) is turning to online video to support their study.

– Teachers also identified a number of benefits that resources such as online videos and video clips deliver including:

  • The ability to watch them more than once (82%)
  • Seeing things being explained (68%)
  • Being able to pause, rewind, fast forward (68%)
  • The fact that they’re free (59%)

– Video resources, such as O2 Learn, that combine verbal and visual information could be ideally suited to young peoples’ learning styles. Research suggests that multisensory learning brings particular advantages for memory.

Experts believe that the parental support that students receive now needs to be matched by adopting a more varied mix of revision methods to be truly effective.

Sir Mark Grundy, the Executive Principal of Shireland Collegiate Academy, said: “There has been research for a number of years highlighting how people learn in a multi-faceted way.  The multiple intelligences models have existed for some time, but the resources to support this blend of styles have not been available – until now!
“In the last few years Learning Platforms have evolved and are now capable of acting as the glue to stick resources together and as importantly to present them at precisely the right time.  Most students need a framework to support their revision and resources which present the same ideas in many different ways.
“By putting the O2Learn resources in your learning platform and delivering them to students this has to help our students to achieve at higher levels.”

Gav Thompson, creator of O2 Learn, said: “As we reach the heart of the revision period, at O2 Learn we want to make sure that young people and their parents are taking advantage of the unprecedented range of online tools and resources now available to make learning easier and more efficient.
“Teachers and experts are agreed on the value of online learning to complement more traditional methods.  Whether its pupils wanting to tackle a tough question in an accessible way at all hours, or a parent looking for an easy way to help their child revise interactively, the value of digital learning is clear.  Our research today shows that we are in danger of missing an opportunity to bring revision to the next level and I want O2 Learn to play as big a part as possible in helping that happen.”

Remember O2 learn holds a competition for teaching awarding £1000 each week for the best lesson uploaded. See this previous post for more details.


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