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    Using teoria.com in fundamentals class

    I am considering having students in my fundamentals course use teoria.com as registered members, which would allow me to track their progress in various drills. Does anyone have experience doing this?

     

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    • 8 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
    • I have required students in both theory and musicianship courses to practice with teoria.com and to report their progress. However, I have never asked them to enroll as registered members. Instead, for any required assignment, they take a screenshot of their score page, print it and show it to me in class (or email the screenshot to me). I imagine it is easier to simply look up registered users' scores on teoria's database. Will you require students to purchase the $20 annual membership?

      Jana Millar

       

       

    • Hi Jana. That's what I'm wondering, whether it's worth having students get memberships. It's only $10 each for a group of 5 or more students, for a year of membership. There are other potential advantages, like allowing the instructor to set exercise parameters and create links such that students (when doing the assigned assessed task) can't change the parameters. 

    • correction: the $10 membership I was quoted is for groups of 25 or more. 

    • Hi David, 

      I used Teoria (the paid version) for about a year. For me, its biggest flaw is the way in whicn it randomizes the exercises. For example, I just did a key signature ID exercise. The first key given was four flats, then one sharp, then four flats again. It's quite possible that a student might get thrown the same question 3 times within a 10-question quiz. That was a deal-breaker for me. Hope that's helpful.

      Jena Root

      ps. Hi Jana! :-)

    • Thanks Jena, for pointing out that the randomization is, well, too random. I don't see that as a deal-breaker, because at the price ($10) I can envision a lot of good directed practice and even substantial assessment, as long as I balance it with a modest amount of similar in-class assessment. But have you found online or other CAI that you find preferable for drilling and assessing skills semi-automatically?

       

    • We have been using Teoria for a year and a half in our aural skills courses. We also use it in our keyboard skills classes via MIDI, for chord construction, clef reading, and echoing by ear (“Note Ear Training”). We actually use musictheory.net in our fundamentals class, but we plan to change over to Teoria for that course too. Teoria is the best package we have found.



      For the most basic types of drill, such as interval identification, chords, scales and key signatures, you may find that musictheory.net allows you to make a more varied selection of exercises than Teoria, but Teoria has a much broader scope, with many types of exercises that are not found at all in musictheory.net.

      Both packages let you create web links for specific exercises. Musictheory.net allows you to check students' work with verification codes that you enter on the web site. With one code per exercise, this can be cumbersome. Teoria generates reports that encompass all of the work for each student, so this is easier to use, as long as you get your students to purchase memberships. Also note that when you make your own links to exercise settings in Teoria, students are able to change the settings. The settings can be locked down by paying the developer a bit extra to make a custom index page. This is well worth the cost. I sent him links in about six batches throughout the semester and he always updated the index page quickly, even when much of Puerto Rico was without electricity.

      We like some of the pre-composed ear training examples in Teoria, especially the short two-part dictation ones. It appears that these are selected with a random shuffle algorithm so you would not get the same one twice in a row. It is true that with quick drill exercises such as intervals, you sometimes get the same interval or the same starting note three times in a row. This is not catastrophic.

    • Thanks Justin and all who have advised. I agree that teoria.com has more depth and flexibility than musictheory.net. For this term, I am going to require registration but (for now) not purchase the "create your own index page" service. Whenever it's important to me that students not change options, I'll check that individually; if that becomes a hassle I'll use the index page option next time around.

      With the recent addition of our Music Technology major, which (unlike our existing concentrations) has no entrance requirement of previous musical training, many majors are now taking Music Fundamentals. This makes a solid, rigorous course that incorporates applied skills is more important now than ever.

    • Hi David. It's true that we never had much reason to suspect students were changing exercise settings. The main advantage we found with the index pages is that they make the reports easier to scan, by allowing you to give a unique name to each exercise. Otherwise you may have many entries called "Interval Ear Training" and have to look closely at detailed descriptions to understand what's what. Depending on class size and number of weekly exercises, this may not be a huge problem; I just wanted to mention it quickly.