More than just a file repository

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We've already discussed why Wurkbuk came into existance in our blog post imaginatively entitled "Why Wurkbuk?". One of our reasons was that most other VLEs, LMSs or TMWs (Teaching Management Websites as I like to call them) are just glorified file repositories. Here's why this can cause a few issues and how Wurkbuk gets around this...

Essentially, with regular VLEs, LMSs, TMWs, a teacher or administrator will create a course or lesson which consists of uploaded resources, like a PDF or word document, or if they're being adventurous, a spreadsheet file. The main problem with this is that if your environment, system or website does not have a way to view these natively, then you'll just have to download them to see them. From a student's point of view, if there's only one file, then there's not much problem. If there are a few document, this can start to get a bit long winded. It get's even worse if the file required for learning meets technical compatibility issues, e.g. you don't have the software required to open it or it is formatted differently on your version of the software. These are largely quite rare in 2021, but do happen.

Now let's take the teachers point of view. If the file you want to use to assess the students is a word doc, for example, that means whatever you upload, you'll have to download. With just one student or a small handful, the process will be minimal (but not negligable). With a normal class, of 20-30 (if you're lucky), this can be a real issue. Yes, you have some environments, systems or websites that can natively read these, so you don't have to go through the trouble, but not all of them do, and the ones that do aren't cheap or easy to use or setup. If you don't have this, then maybe you can bulk download all the assignment and open them up offline. But you still have to open each document up, read through it, mark it and save it. Then you have to get it back to the student somehow, by uploading it back into the system or email. Or if you've had enough by now, you just print it off and ask them to come and collect it, producing avoidable waste.

Why not have an environment, system or website where you don't have to upload or download anything? Where everything is done within the system. That's Wurkbuk. Although it is possible to upload materials, like PDFs and other such files if you really, really want to, it's not in Wurkbuk's nature to wurk like that. At the very least we would want you to embed the file, if you can. But the aim of Wurkbuk is to have everything the student needs

  • to find out what the lesson is about,
  • to learn the new piece of information,
  • to practice and apply that knowledge,
  • and to evaluate their learning,

all on the screen, within the same system, without having to take any extra steps, like uploading, downloading or opening in another environment.

This keeps the flow of the lesson connected, cuts out a lot of steps (therefore lots of clicking) and lots of possible avenues for error and disruption within the class. And importantly, it saves time within the lesson and keeps things simple for students.

Not having to upload the assessment material for students, means that you won't need to download that same material once it is completed by the students. So marking the wurk on those 30 word document for your grade 8 or year 8 class, or the 120 assignment for all the classes in that year group or grade, will be that much easier.

Let's quantify it with a simple example.

Let's say one click is about 1 sec. If you're working with a word document and it takes: 1 click to upload, 1 click to download, 1 click to open and 1 click to  close, for a 120 assignments, that clicking alone will add 480 second, or 8 minutes to your schedule. Let's round that up to 10 minutes for the time you have to wait for loading and other things. 10 minutes is not insignificant. That's just from 4 clicks. It could easily be more than 4, which means you are potentially wasting more time.

Wurkbuk aims to cut all those extra clicks out, by allowing you to create everything required within one system and share that with students.

Why not check it out the help videos and documents to see it in action?


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