Content Production Plan May 2020

For the month of May we are planning to create a new series of reading comprehension units that meet the following requirements which are TOEIC and IELTS standard.

  1. The texts themselves should be between 200 and 250 words in length.

  2. The texts are fact-based instead of fictual (that’s different to TOEIC)

  3. The level should B1 to C1.

  4. The texts should be fact based and can have story character. Here is a good example that illustrates what I mean.

  5. Each text is followed by 3 to 4 questions.

  6. The correct answer option should not be phrased exactly the same way as in the text.

Now item number 5 is very important. A lot of the questions created in our previous round don’t meet the TOEIC standard because they don’t test the candidate’s vocabulary or inference skills. Look at the questions in the Monkey story and you’ll see what I mean. Question 1 is:

Which animals went ape because tourism is down in the ancient city of Lopburi?

And the four answer options are:

A) Anteaters
B) Monkeys
C) Elephants
D) Pangolins

Now, it’s obvious that the correct answer is B) because that’s exactly what the very first sentence of the story reads: Tourism is down in the ancient city of Lopburi, and the local monkeys are going ape. The question could be improved by at least adding ‘Apes’ as one of the answer options to try and test a candidate’s knowledge of the idiom ‘to go ape’. The other 3 questions and answers of this unit have the same structure – all a user needs to do is find the appropriate phrase in the text and match with the exact same answer option.

In short, we need to improve our quality control system. To that end I propose we create small teams or pairs and break down the writing process into several steps. One person can source and write the texts and the other one then creates the questions and answers.

For ideas on topics and content please use Topics and ideas for content creation

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Huh, that’s very interesting. I’ll have to go back through the batch I’m working on right now to phrase the questions better. Thank you!

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I really think the idea of separating the text writer from the question writer is fantastic. Coming up with questions to a text you know inside out yourself is actually quite challenging. It’s much easier to quickly read something you didn’t write yourself and make questions for it.

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Hi Sean, welcome back to the forum. I’m glad you like the idea of working as a team. Now, there are 14 articles on our site written by 14 freelancers like you who share their story of how and why they started freelancing.

As you know, @tim_m shared his story here, @Sumejja shared her story here, @Tamar has written about her labour of love and the story behind Worldhoney, you have shared your own experience as a freelancer here and you can find 11 stories more if you browse through the rest.

Now, @Andrea has agreed on Facebook that the demand for online teachers and freelance content writers has increased and so has the demand in useful materials and resources for those up-start freelancers.

What do you think of the following? We can create reading comprehension texts based on some of the stories by freelancers here on our site. You can pick those stories and people you like most, write a text and then Tim, Andrea, Sumejja or anyone else in the team can create the questions for your text.

And of course we can swap roles any time. This any good? Thanks.

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Hi Torsten. This sounds good to me! Chat to you guys later today!

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Hi there!
I will have five texts ready early this week (~ the 26th). I was wondering if anyone else would have some completed texts ready around the same time. That way we could swap texts and write each other’s questions.
Any takers? (:

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Hi Claire, many thanks for the update. Maybe @Sumejja could swap her texts with yours?

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Hi @Claire! I will also have five texts ready later today (or tomorrow at the latest) but I’ve already talked to @Sean-C at our content creation meeting about swapping with him. What do you two think about swapping in a way that each gets someone else’s texts to create from? That way nobody is excluded. For example, you do Sean’s questions, Sean does mine, and I do yours, or any variation thereof. Let me know what you think!

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Hi, @Sumejja! Thanks for the suggestion, it sounds great. I can send my texts to you (or @Sean-C) today. What’s the best way to get them to you? I write them in Google Docs, shall I just share the document with you both?

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That works for me! I also write them in Google Docs. I have a single document in which I’ve linked the rest (they can all be edited). Do you have my email? I think it should be available in the invitations for the meetings Torsten sends us. Otherwise I’ll just pm you!

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Sounds good. I’ve written everything in a single doc, and I’ll share it with you within the hour. Just doing the final editing now. (:
I suppose that if you’re writing my questions, it’s best for me to write @Sean-C’s questions, but I’ll wait to receive confirmation from Sean on that.

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Just shared mine with the two of you! I believe that leaves my questions to @Sean-C (good luck! Hope you fare better than I did!)

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Hey Guys,

I like this way of working.

How about I write Qs for Sumejia, Sumeija writes Qs for Claire, and Claire writes Qs for me?

Sumeija I’ve just got your texts. I’ll do the Qs tomorrow and reshare. I’ll also write my own texts between tomorrow and Friday (time depending), and share with Claire.

How does this sound?

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I can work with that!

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It’s great to see we have started a working process now :wink: How about doing some research on how to create reading comprehension questions for standardized tests and exam such as the TOEIC, TOEFL, IELTS, etc? They all follow the same patterns and once we crack the ‘code’ our production process will be even more efficient. What do you think?

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I just shared my texts with you. (:

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Sounds good, Sean! I’ll keep an eye out for your texts.

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