We’ve got an update coming soon, and it’s our biggest upgrade yet! Primary clefs, games, clearly organized units, new curricula and overall greater customization are just some of the new features that will begin to launch this August.
Best of all, uTheory will still write all the questions, grade all the work, give students immediate feedback, and provide teachers with detailed progress reporting and assessment data. And it will run in any web browser on any device.
If you think uTheory is great the way it is now (and we know a lot of teachers who think so!), not to worry – you’ll be able to use uTheory as you already have, even after the update.
Here’s some of what we’re looking forward to:
We're consolidating all assignments in one central location: the Learn tab. Lessons, practice assignments, mastery assignments, tests, quizzes, and checkpoints, along with due dates, point value, progress and grades, will now all be visible in one place. You'll be able to organize these into sequential units, or distinct areas ("Rhythm" and "Ear Training," for instance). From the learn tab, teachers can view, add and edit assignments, and even re-order assignments with a simple click and drag. No more questions from students about what to complete next!
Teachers will be able to create customized practice assignments with specific parameters. In addition to making a skill available for students to practice, teachers will be able to:
- Define the number of questions in a practice assignment
- Add a minimum amount of practice time
- Set the number of points the assignment is worth (if graded)
- Customize the practice content and types of questions
- Choose a date to make the practice available to students, and a due date
- Assign practice to a class, group of students, or even individual students
So, if you’d like your students to practice identifying the major key signatures of C, F and B-flat, you can create a practice assignment for the major key signatures of C, F and B-flat with identification-type exercises only. And you won’t need to write a single question or grade any student work – uTheory will take care of that!
Another popular request from teachers: changing the order of assignments! Teachers will be able to change the order in which assignments appear by clicking and dragging, and can add or remove assignments, all right from the Learn tab.
New Comprehensive Curriculum Option
In addition to uTheory's current curriculum, which is designed to get students ready for college-level music theory and ear training fast, we're introducing a new curriculum that's designed to be used over a multi-year period, to allow students time to gain real fluency in music theory, rhythm and ear training concepts.
We think this comprehensive curriculum will be a great fit for anyone who gets to work with students over a longer term period. We hope this will be especially useful for high school and middle school ensemble directors and private lesson studio teachers.
The new curriculum comes with the ability to configure a primary clef on a per-student basis. Now trombone players will be able to learn the basics of music theory, rhythm and ear training in bass clef, violists in alto clef, and sopranos in treble clef all at the same time in the same class. Treble, bass, alto, and tenor clefs, and the grand staff, will be options for a student’s primary clef. All questions, lesson videos and exercises will appear in the chosen clef through roughly the first year of study to ensure fluency, after which other clefs are introduced.
The new curriculum is built for fluency. It will offer a spiral approach, introducing concepts gradually with ample opportunities to revisit topics. Lessons will cover smaller chunks of content than the original uTheory curriculum, with more time for review, repetition and creativity. New games (such as Solfege Sally) will bring play into the music theory learning process.
Roll-Out and Feedback
These new features will begin to roll out this August. It will be a seamless transition for existing classes, students and tests, though you'll have the option of adding content from the extended curriculum as it becomes available to your existing class. Or you can continue to use uTheory just as you do now.
We’d love to know your thoughts! Please send us any questions, comments or requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.