What is Marco?

The year is 2024 and Joe is a student at College. Like a lot of students, he prefers demonstrating his skill through practical work rather than through writing. His grasp of spelling and grammar isn’t very good, however his qualification requires a certain amount of written work to be done. Joe completes his assignments just before each one is due, and doesn’t spend any time proof-reading his work. So it’s not really a surprise when his work comes back from the tutor covered in more feedback on his spelling and grammar than on the subject content.

Feeling despondent, Joe doesn’t even bother to spend any time trying to learn from his mistakes, and the cycle repeats with his next assessment.

Illustration by Andrew Mortimer

Then Joe is introduced to Marco.

Marco is a tool that Joe can access from his mobile device to help him improve his spelling and grammar. Before submitting his work to his teacher, Joe now uploads his work to Marco. Marco analyses the work and provides Joe with feedback on where his spelling and grammar mistakes are, awarding points that Joe can accumulate to customise his in-app avatar, receive digital badges and level up. The rewards Joe receives encourage him to use the feedback from Marco to correct his mistakes. He then reuploads it for more rewards on the parts of the work that have changed. When Joe is confident that he has done the best he can, he submits his assignment to his teacher for marking.

Illustration by Amy Mather

Joe also discovers that Marco is equipped with a variety of quick games that he can play whenever he wishes. These games help him to improve his writing skills in a fun way that doesn't feel like hard work. The more he interacts with Marco and uploads his college work, the more personalised these games become, helping him to improve in a targeted way.

Illustration by Andrew Mortimer

Joe’s teacher can’t believe the change that she’s seen in Joe since he started using Marco. Previously she was having to spend lots of time marking his work while she struggled to make sense of what he had written. Now she can understand what Joe is trying to say and she feels confident in awarding higher marks for the work because there is clear evidence of his understanding about the subject. She is also thrilled that by being easier to mark, her marking workload is lessened too.

Marco motivates learners to improve their spelling and grammar by rewarding them for what they do correctly and highlighting errors in a way that is simple to interpret and action, but that doesn’t provide them with an instant answer. Frequent interaction is also rewarded to encourage the learner to use Marco often, and provide an incentive to draft and rework their assignments.

As learners engage with Marco, it learns their common mistakes and provides targeted support to help them improve. This includes directing them towards the correct answer and providing personalised word games and challenges built from the learner’s own mistakes.

Marco can be accessed on both Android and iOS devices. Users can log in using an existing Google or Microsoft account, which provides direct access to their own Google Drive or OneDrive and keeps the user experience as streamlined and simple as possible. It is intended to benefit learners at a range of literacy levels and is available for any learner through the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Individuals who are learning English as a second language are also finding Marco helpful to improve their writing ability.

Back in the year 2022, Marco is still being created, but learners are enthusiastic about the concept and development is underway. The future is looking exciting.

© 2022 Marco Writing App

Last updated 19 October 2022