Always be sure to search for “Junoed” online (not just “Juno”) or you will trudge endlessly through photos of Ellen Page and Michael Cera before finding what you want…(not a totally bad thing, mind you).
And please click here for an example Juno “Chapter” or bundle that serves as a model for the description and points made here. It even comes with a practice quiz on this blog post.
What is Junoed?
Straight from the website:
Juno is a free platform to develop and deploy online textbooks, tutorials, and exercises. Upload your text, questions, images, and videos to create interactive content without any programming!
Use Juno to create your own online tests and worksheets. Your students work on computers, tablets, or smartphones. Then their grades are submitted directly to any compatible gradebook! Or print your materials when computers are not available. Create a curriculum library for your whole school to share.
In reality, the textbook functionality of Junoed is still limited compared to platforms like Google Sites, iTunes U, or iBooks, and most teachers using Juno continue to deploy it primarily as an assessment tool. However, there are some useful features that make it more than just a quiz machine.
And please click here for an example Juno “Chapter” or bundle that serves as an model for the description and points made here. It even comes with a practice quiz on this blog post.
Pros of Using Junoed
1. Once you’ve got the hang of the interface, creating assessments is simple. (And learning about the interface is easy via Joyce Pereira’s meticulous instructions.)
2. You can create numerous types of assessment questions, like:
- Multiple choice
- Short answer (be careful when setting up Juno to do the grading, responses you might accept Juno, might not)
- Long answer (great for essay practice and writing prep)
- Multiple short answer
- Sorting (great for timeline questions)
3. Basic question types can be set for auto-correction, saving you time and providing timely feedback to students.
4. You can choose to print out a hard copy of the quiz, just in case there is a technology issue. You can also create multiple versions of the quiz to avoid cheating.
5. You can choose which students take the which quiz, and you can even make multiple quizzes on the same subject live at the same time. Again, preventing possible cheating.
6. All of this can be done from your desktop, laptop, phone or iPod. If you have a student who needs to re-take the quiz but you cannot be present, you can ensure that she is supervised and make the quiz live from a distance.
7. The same goes, of course, for students–they can take the quizzes on pretty much any mobile device.
8. There is no need for you to be paying attention when you want the quiz to shut down: you can set a time limit and the quiz will go offline when time is up.
9. With the analytics function (found under “Scores” when you are reviewing a quiz–not under “Docs” like the Juno help index states) you can review student work in a number of ways: class average per question, student by student, etc.
10. Students with more than one teacher using Junoed need only one username and password. For schools, like ours, that use Jupitergrades, students can access Juno directly through Jupiter. Temp codes are provided for teachers whose students lose their passwords.
11. Big score: for schools using Jupitergrades (like ours) there is automatic gradebook integration: grades can be automatically submitted to Jupiter and calculated directly into the student’s other grades.
12. And of course, the whole process is gloriously paperless!
Cons of Using Junoed
- The interface is not self-explanatory and the help glossary is underdeveloped. Natural digital tinkerers will be fine. Teachers easily intimidated by or frustrated by technology will not. Recommendation: hold a solid introductory PD session, and then what I call a “group-tinker.” Get a couple of tech-savvy teacher to patrol a room of newbies guiding them through the process as their peers offer support and sympathy.
- Lockdown always seems to lockdown the Wi-fi. Processing time skyrockets when the Lockdown feature is activated. This sometimes results in students losing work. I have gone back to patrolling the room rather than run the risk of student work being compromised by Lockdown issues.
- Some browsers work better than others. We have found Firefox to be the most reliable, but Chrome has now become steady as well. Explore which give you the least trouble and tell students to flip between them if they are having trouble with a quiz.
Proptips & Applications
- Make use of the textbook function, it is superuseful. Text and review materials germane to each assessment can be uploaded for revision before the assessment. “Textbooks” also serve as folders for your courses and units.
- When you create a quiz on Junoed you can see the point value of each question, but students cannot once it is published. If you want them to know the value of each question, you must add it to the text.
- Textbooks/chapters/bundles also create lots of potential for adding worksheets as well as reading to Juno, both for review and practice.
- Make a decision on whether you want students to be able to review their quizzes. Sometimes this will be the right thing to do, but if you plan to repeat the quiz for other classes, remember you are in the world of the screenshot these days.
- It takes work, but I make two quizzes for the content I want to assess so that absent students cannot benefit from being absent.
- Slides are great for adding needed reminders and advice–I have slides with essential writing rubrics directly embedded in each assessment so students know exactly what is required of them.
- A great feature of Junoed is the ease with which multimedia can be added. Photos, images, MP3s, gifs, Youtube videos–all integrate smoothly.
- Uber-Protip: Remember to require students to have headphones or earphones if you are going to use video or music in your assessments. A classroom of 28 iPads playing the “I have a dream” speech can get loud.
Bottom line: Junoed may not be the right solution for every situation, but it is a brilliant and free tool that should be explored by every modern learning advocate.