The pressure on students at GCSE and A Level is high and this can be tough for both students and parents. Research now shows how students can memorise 2x faster and prepare better.
Learning approaches that make use of neuroscience principles have been found to improve students’ performance, but are not yet frequently used. London-based software company Seneca Learning aims to change that by offering a free learning platform with 150+ KS3, GCSE and A Level courses. It lets students learn official course content using techniques based on neuroscience and artificial intelligence and has proven to be 2x more effective than revision guides.
How was the research carried out?
Seneca, who designed the software with Oxford, Cambridge and UCL scientists, set up a randomised control trial with 1,120 Year 9 school pupils last year. During the trial, pupils were split into two groups: one using the tool and the other using regular revision guides.
The trial and quiz covered content that was new to all students. Both groups studied the same content using either regular revision guides or our new software. After four weeks, a final quiz tested which group had learned the content better.
What are the findings?
Results showed that students of selective and non-selective schools significantly improved their scores in a standardised test after using the software (Source: Impact Journal). In fact, these students performed 2x better than the other group. Based on this outcome, Seneca significantly expanded its course offering and has now made the online tool available to all schools and students for free.
Dr Flavia Belham, Chief Scientific Officer at Seneca, says that “more than 250,000 students are now studying for their GCSEs and A Levels based on neuroscience principles with Seneca. The benefit of letting students learn online is the amount of data that can be used. The platform shows course content in different Q&A formats and uses data science to repeat the same content at the perfect time for the brain to memorise it.”
Positive impact on the 2018 GCSE exams
“The platform went live just on time to give the 2018 GCSE cohort sufficient time for their revision. The feedback that we have received after the results day from students and teachers has been absolutely great (See an overview of tweets here)” says Dr. Belham. A teacher tweeted: “One of my students was predicted 5s, but achieved 9/8/8 in Sciences. I never needed convincing of the power of the website. Evidence it works!”.
How parents use the free platform
Although the platform is designed for students and their teachers, more and more parents are signing up to the platform as well. “They’ve told us that it’s a perfect way to monitor the progress of their kids,” says Dr Belham. “Parents create a class the same way as a teacher but will invite only their own children. That way they can see what courses and sections their kids understand, and which ones need more rehearsing, as well as statistics on the amount of time spent studying and questions answered.”
“Seneca is free because we wanted all teachers and students to be able to access it regardless of their backgrounds & budgets”, says Stephen Wilks, CEO of Seneca Learning. “Because it has become so popular, we are likely to have to charge for some premium features in the future to help cover the costs of running Seneca. However, all the courses that are live now will remain free & accessible for teachers and their students.”
About Seneca Learning
Seneca is the UK’s fastest growing EdTech company with over 250,000+ students and teachers signed up in the last 6 months. Headquartered in London, Seneca doubled students’ test scores in a 1,120 student Randomised Control Trial (published in the Impact journal). Seneca’s personalized adaptive solution is available to all ages from KS2 up to A Level. Seneca’s use of cognitive neuroscience and AI can support teachers in the classroom and help pupils maximise their potential | senecalearning.com.