About Version 2 Concept Builders

About our Version 2 Beta Test Trials

As of this writing (February, 2020), we have begun experimenting with Version 2 Concept Builders. This Beta Trial will start with a small number of teachers and students and slowly expand as our confidence in their functionality grows. We hope to open the trial up to the public by March or April of 2020. 

As we conduct Version 2 trials, Concept Builders will operate no differently for those who are not participating in the trial. However, students will unboubtedly observe some messages that they have not noticed before. Teachers may want to be informed so as to answer these questions. 

First, a student will know that they are doing a Version 2 Concept Builder if they see a Version 2 label on the Title Screen just below the title. The absence of a Version 2 label means that the Concept Builder has not yet been optimized for Version 2. We will be updating these slowly over time and testing their functionality one-by-one.

How to Know It's a Version 2 Concept Builder

Second, when the Title Screen appears for a Concept Builder,  a notice may be given that informs the student that they are not connected to the database and that their progress results will not be saved. They will be offered an opportunity to Log In or to continue using the Concept Builder as a Guest. If the student's teacher is not participating in the trial, then they should simply use the Concept Builder as a Guest. To use the Concept Builder as a Guest, the student should simply enter their name in the field and tap on the Start button (as they always have done). Using a Concept Builder as a Guest means that the Concept Builder performs as it always has. The student will notice no differences in the functionality of the Concept Builder after leaving the Title Screen.

Appearance of Title Screen When Not Logged In

For convenience sake, we have identified all Concept Builders optimized for Version 2 using an icon next to the link to the Concept Builder. Look for the Version 2 icon shown at the right.

What is Different About a Version 2 Concept Builder?

A Version 2 Concept Builder offers additional functionality that was not present in our original Concept Builder. All Concept Builders track a student's progress on each of the activities using a system of Stars and Trophies. But that progress has never been saved. When a student exits the page, all knowledge of their progress is lost. A Version 2 Concept Builder adds the functionality of saving and retrieving student progress.

The process begins when a teacher requests to have a teacher account with The Physics Classroom. Once the account is set up, the Teacher can invite their students to join their course using a simple form and Class Code. The teacher can assign Concept Builders to their classes, set due dates, identify which parts of the Concept Builder must be completed, and fill out a form identifying how the Concept Builder will be scored and whether late submissions are allowed and what type of penalty late submissions will be subjected to.

When a student logs into their account, they will see the assignment information set by the teacher. They can click on the assignment to do the Concept Builder and their progress on each level or activity will be saved in their account. If they complete the first part of the Concept Builder at school and attempt to complete other parts at a later time, the system will display the trophy for previously completed parts. 

Teachers will be able to view student progress for each Concept Builder and print or export class results and scores. A Version 2 Concept Builder is a natural extension of what already exists with the added functionality of storing, retrieving, and displaying assignment information and student progress information inside of Teacher and Student accounts. 

I'm a Teacher. How Can I Participate in Version 2 Trials?

Beta Testing will be expanded throughout the Spring Semester of 2020. The Beta Testing began in February and the rate at which it expands is dependent upon how smoothly and successful the testing goes. We are hoping to be able to allow widespread testing by the public beginning sometime in the months of March or April. The exact time that we do this is determined by the stability of the system and the successs of the testing and not by the date on the calendar. As such, it will be difficult to project exactly when that date will be. 

We will continue to provide updates about the progress of our Beta Test program on this web page and on our social media sites:

Are There Directions for Version 2 Concept Builders?

As of this writing (February 2020), we are still working on directions. Once we have the system working the way we want it and adjustements made, we will publish our directions  in two forms - a written manual and a collection of short video walk-throughs for the various steps.

Will There be a Cost for Version 2 Concept Builders?

Participation in the trial will be free of charge. We will run the trial through July 31, 2020. We are hoping that many teachers will be able to test out the program during the trial months in order to experience the value and the ease of being able using Concept Builders as assignments and tracking student progress. Such an experience will help teachers evaluate the effectiveness of the program and decide if they wish to subscribe to it during the 2020-21 school year. Requisitions and orders can be placed during the summer months, allowing a teacher to be up and running at the start of the Fall semester of 2020.

Beginning August 1, 2020 the cost of Teacher Accounts will be $50 per teacher per year for up to 50 Students. There will be an additional charge of $1 per Student beyond 50 Students. We believe this is an affordable program for those schools that are typical users of The Physics Classroom and our Concept Builders. And given the low cost and the obvious savings of time for busy teachers who use the Concept Builders as auto-graded homework assignments, the benefits are likely worth the cost. Payments can be made by teachers or by schools using Purchase Orders or through direct payment using a credit card or a PayPal account. Information about Subscriptions and payments will be available later in the Spring of 2020. 

If I Don't Opt In, Can I Still Use the Concept Builders?

Yes!! Version 2 is a premium offering. Teachers who do not register for an account will still be able to use the Version 2 Concept Builders in the same manner that they always have. They will just miss out on the functionality of being able to keep track of student progress on assigned Concept Builders. A Version 2 Concept Builder can be completed as a logged-in student of a subscribed teacher or as a Guest. Using a Concept Builder as a Guest will be the same experience as it has always been - with Stars and Trophies and Dataways ... and lots of learning along the way. The Physics Classroom would never get in the way of that.


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