An app has been developed to help students track their NCEA progress.
The app, NCEA Credsta, which uses colourful cartoon characters to turn the chore of recording NCEA credits into a game, was developed at Massey University and is designed to make the tracking process fun.
Developers say this gives it the edge over other credit calculators.
“There are other methods out there for tracking credits but they can be complex and tedious to use,” says Massey University’s Julian Rosser, who led the project development team.
“We really wanted Credsta to be an enjoyable experience for its users, which is why we made entering NCEA credits into a game. It’s like exercising, if it’s too hard you won’t do it, but a device like a Fitbit can provide that extra motivation you need.”
Mr Rosser says while NCEA is a great qualification system, it is very complicated.
“It’s especially confusing when you first encounter it – for students and their parents – and it can be quite intimidating for some people. Some parents never really get a handle on it.
“Achieving your academic goals under NCEA, whether that is University Entrance or something else, is not just a case of passing an exam at the end of high school.
“It’s a gradual process of collecting credits as you work towards your goal. Credsta’s main aim is to make tracking that progress easier by having all your details in one, easily-accessible place.”
The app allows students to record credits as they are achieved – whether they are at Level 1, 2 or 3 – and track overall progress. In the process, users earn virtual coins to buy collectible badges that reflect their achievements. The app also contains a virtual marketplace where users can buy, sell or swap badges, with the aim of collecting all five sets.
Credsta’s designers have tested the app with its target market – Year 11, 12 and 13 secondary school pupils – and the feedback has been positive. The collectible badge concept and artwork evolved after students told them they were after something more sophisticated, Mr Rosser says, but the idea of turning the process into a game received the universal thumbs up.