What is the Monkey Checker?

            In this article we introduce the Monkey Checker tool.

            What's the Monkey Checker?

            The Monkey Checker is our writing checker and a forever free feature of our Tools package.

            In more technical terms it is a Natural Language Processor, a complex form of computing that scans and analyzes writing.

            Our Monkey Checker is able to scan a Google Doc of any length to detect common errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation and structure. It is fully configurable, allowing teachers to pick which errors are detected by the Student and Teacher Monkey Checkers, if they use our Assignment Builder.


            Teacher & Student Versions

            JoeZoo offers 2 versions of its Monkey Checker:
            1. Teacher Monkey Checker - teachers use the Monkey Checker to find and auto-comment on writing errors, freeing their time for higher order feedback.  See how to use it.
            2. Student Monkey Checker - students can use their Monkey Checker to improve the quality of any doc for any course, while practicing their self-editing skills by finding and fixing their own writing errors.  See how to use it.

            Configure Monkey Checkers

            Both the Teacher and Student Monkey Checkers are fully configurable, meaning teachers can choose which errors each Checker will detect.

            For example a Grade 3 teacher may want their Student Monkey Checker to only detect "Misspellings", where as a Grade 11 English Language Arts teacher may configure their Student Monkey Checker to also detect "Fragmented Sentences" and "Subject/Verb Agreement". 

            To configure a Monkey Checker, a teacher should follow these steps:
            1. Go to any Assignment page in the JoeZoo web app
            2. Click the "pencil" icon at the top of the page to enter the Assignment Builder
            3. Once in the Assignment Builder, simply scroll down to either the Teacher Monkey Checker or Student Monkey Checker screens
            4. To remove errors from a Monkey Checker and drop them in the "Removed Errors" section
            5. To add errors drag them from the "Removed Errors" section and drop them in the Monkey Checker
            6. To edit the wording of an error, click it see its details, make your text changes and click "Save"



            Using Monkey Checker

            The Monkey Checker button is found on the home screen of the JoeZoo Express add-on.

            To run the Monkey Checker, a teacher or student simply clicks that button.  On click, the Monkey Checker scans a doc of any length, highlights all writing errors in the doc and auto-comment them, listing them in the add-on, grouped by Error Type.


            Colour-Coded Errors

            Research shows that colour-coded feedback is far more effective, helping students to focus and to better convert information to knowledge.

            JoeZoo's Monkey Checkers apply this research, automatically highlighting each error based on the error type, saving teachers lots of time and effort.


            Grouped by Error Type

            For teachers and students we group detected writing errors by Error Type, and sequence groups by which error appeared most frequently in the doc, so students know in which area they need to focus their improvement.

            For example, if "Misspellings" are the most detected errors in a student doc, it will be at the top of error list in the add-on.  It would also be the most important writing convention on which the student should focus.


            Pre-loaded Explanation and Fix Tip

            Teachers and students can then click on any comment record in the add-on to see what type of error was detected, the colour coded category to which it belonged, an explanation of the error and a fix tip. 


            Text-to-Speech Playback

            If the teacher has subscribed to our free Tools package, both teachers and students can have the entire comment read to them, through Artificial Intelligence (AI), if they click the "Listen" button, great for students that prefer voice over text feedback.


            No Auto-Correct

            JoeZoo was designed by teachers for the needs of education.  As a result, our Monkey Checkers do not auto-correct writing errors for students.  They are designed to guide students on how to fix an error without correcting the error for them, unlike the tools built into Google Docs which were created for adult writers not students.

            Improvement Tracking

            JoeZoo is focused on helping students to build transferrable learning skills, like Self-editing.  As a student uses their Monkey Checker we track their progress from assignment to assignment, across all their courses, so that we can report on their writing literacy improvements.

            Tutorial Video

            Watch this video to see how to customize the Teacher and Student Monkey Checkers and use them in the classroom.


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