Our Stake has been given permission to participate in a pilot program for seminary that was developed by a Bishop in our Stake. At present, it is found on the seminary home study site, and is only available to our Stake. We are the only unit in the church at present that is involved in this program. Basically, the site helps teachers to have a better understanding of their students' comprehension of the scriptures they read, and helps the students to gain better comprehension through their reading.
Here is how the program works. The student logs on to the site. They may either read their assigned chapters for that day from their own scriptures, or they can read them online. After they finish reading them, they take a sort of chapter quiz to see how well they comprehended what they read. They are scored, but this isn't part of any grade. It just gives them an idea for how well they understood what they read. The teacher also has access to their scores to be able to see how they are doing. There is a journal section where the students can either write comments about what they read, or ask questions. The teacher also has access to this and can reply.
The belief behind this program is that success is improved when it is measured. So far only a couple of my students have taken the time to take any of the quizzes, but it will be interesting to hear their feelings about whether or not this helps their reading comprehension. I have offered a bribe this week to those who participate, so I'm expecting more participation. :) Normally on Fridays I ask the students to fill out a card to let me know if they did their reading for the week. They can make a comment or ask a question on the card. If they turn in a card, they get a piece of candy. We then have a drawing from those cards for a slightly bigger prize (like a pack of gum). I told them that if they take a quiz during the week, I will give them an additional piece of candy. I know.....but bribery does sometimes work. :D
I don't know if the creators of this program will really see any results during this first semester. It may take well in to next year before students get the hang of it and really participate. But I am interested to see where this goes. I had the choice whether or not to have my class participate. Some teachers didn't opt to participate, but I felt it couldn't hurt. I figure anything that helps them understand the scriptures better is a benefit! I'll let you know how it goes!