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I tried Teoria for our school, and found that I much prefer ToneSavvy. (http://www.tonesavvy.com . It used to be called "Java Music Theory.") The two most significant factors in my decision:
1. Teoria doesn't randomize well. For example, if you set up a quiz where the student is to spell 10 scales, it's possible that G major will appear three times in that quiz. ToneSavvy has an algorithm to ensure a variety of questions within an exercise.
2. In Teoria, the student spells scales (and intervals, chords, etc.) by clicking on letter names at the bottom of the screen, so you really don't have much assurance that the student is actually ableto read the clef. ToneSavvy has students click notes onto the staff.
I hope that's helpful!
Jena Root, Youngstown State University, Ohio
Hi Danielle. I posted this question a year ago, and was persuaded by the responses to have my Fundamentals students buy a membership. It's only $10 if they're part of a class of 25 or more, and free to you. There's a higher level of service where you or you school does have to pay, but I have been happy with the free (for instructor) situation. This year I am expanding to use it in my Theory I class.
Hi Danielle. I don't understand this SMT site very well. I never removed a post intentionally. Anyway, I assigned specific teoria drills (you can set parameters and post or send links with these settings) with weekly deadlines for various topics in Fundamentals. You can take a look here: www.uvm.edu/~dfeurzei/009x/assignments/index_teoria.php
If you buy in fully, then teoria (which seems to be just this one guy, José) can set up a fixed page with such drills, from which the students can't adjust the parameters. However the students' ability to change quiz parameters was not a problem for me, because the students didn't try to do so in testing mode and if they do you can see that in the results reports. BTW, José is in Puerto Rico and despite all the hell that's been going on there I've never had an interruption in service or a question he didn't respond to within 24 hours.
It is true that randomization is wonky. Maybe I should tell José that lots of people comment on this. However I think that over time that works itself out in the law of large numbers: no student can consistently get lucky with 3 G majors in a row or whatever. That said now I'm curious to check out the site Jena mentions.
Good luck on your quest.
We have been happy with the reports that Teoria generates for paying users. You will still have to check students did the exercises they were supposed to, and transfer the scores to your own spreadsheet, but this is the same with most packages that I know of. The reports are easier to check if you also pay to have a custom index page made for your class. This allows you to give each exercise a clear name such as "Week 5 Intervals" instead of squinting at a long list of options. The cost for this can be absorbed by your institution or it can be factored into the student subscription price. Like David, we were impressed by José's reliability despite the disaster in Puerto Rico. We have also had productive discussions about features we would like to see added or modified. He might be able to switch from random exercise selection to a shuffle algorithm.
Jena, thanks for recommending Tone Savvy; I haven't tried that one yet!
Justin Mariner, Schulich School of Music, McGill University
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