Italian high school students will this year face quite different final year exams starting from 17 June. The health emergency means there will be extraordinary rules for the much-anticipated exams: the traditional written tests will not take place and all students will face an oral exam in a new format, in front of a commission on internal members, while respecting the social distancing rules foreseen by the MIUR.
And once again, supporting Italian students as they prepare the maturità will be Studenti.it, the Mondadori Group brand, leader in Italy in the digital area in the world of Education with over 4.3 million users per month according to Audiweb and a Facebook page with around 500,000 fans, and which, for more than 20 years, has been helping high school students to get through this important exam.
In recent months Studenti.it has continued to support students who have been kept away from school. With a wide offer of content on its web site and on social media, this has allowed students to have material available for distance learning and to continue their preparation for the final year exam, known in Italy as the maturità. Fundamental teaching resources in this time of virtual lessons, as is confirmed by an online survey made by the brand on a sample of some 3 thousand young people at the end of March. According to both the interviewees and teachers, all of the material available online and on the most common audio and video platforms and useful tools to facilitate distance learning.
Podcasts: new tools for students
The offer of resources and material on Studenti.it has been expanded with a new, practical and easy to use teaching tool: Te Lo Spiega Studenti.it, (Let Studenti.it explain) the brand’s exclusive podcasts for final year students. Every week, four tips focusing on the syllabus of Italian and History, to help students form all streams to revise ahead of the oral exam or an assignment with the main points of a topic or mini biographies of leading figures who have left their mark on history. In just five minutes you can revise an author like Cesare Pavese, a work like Il fu Mattia Pascal or a literary movement, such as the Decadent Movement. But you can also learn what was discovered by Marie Curie, who Charles Darwin was or what happened on 9 November 1989, when the Berlin Wall came down. To these can be added those dedicated to the guides for preparing the maturità, where, for example, students can listen again to how to analyse a text or the techniques for improving your memory of what you are studying.
The technology partner of Studenti.it in the creation of this new content is Spreaker, Italy’s leading platform for the creation, distribution and monetisation of podcasts, conceived for beginner and professional podcasters, and for publishers and companies who want to include podcasts as a tool in their communication strategy.
The Te Lo Spiega Studenti.it podcasts have already been reached 100,000 downloads per month 100 across all of the most popular platforms used by kids and are among the content recommended by Spotify and Google. A result that confirms that listening to audio series is now a fast-growing trend, even among the younger generations: in fact, according to Spreaker the average monthly listener figures for podcasts in Italy has grown by 50% between December 2019 and March 2020, and podcasts linked to “Education” are always the most popular.
With its material in support of the world of school, from background materials produced by teachers to conceptual maps, summaries of dissertations and exam guides to podcasts, Studenti.it was able to respond immediately to the need for distance learning in recent months and provide support for students facing the final exam. The figures for April demonstrate this success and once again confirm the brand’s success, with an increase in traffic of 50% compared with the same period last year. In this period of virtual lessons it has been the teachers themselves that have suggested to their students the resources of Studenti.it and the boom in traffic shows that users recognise the reliability and authoritativeness of the available content.
Studenti.it has also again confirmed its position as leader in search engines for the most important keywords related to the maturità including, maturità 2020, maturità oral exam, paths to maturità and dissertations.
The community on social media
But the Studenti.it team is also supporting final year students on social media, providing information and news about the new form of the exam and helping them to measure up and find solutions to problems related to organisation and teaching. The Facebook page has reached almost 500,000 fans with a group dedicated to the Maturità 2020, to which has been added a new group on Telegram.
To support students in the weeks immediately before the exam and in June during the exam period, the team has developed a format called TG Maturità. This is a programme of live Facebook events to give examinees updates and news about the exams and replies to their most frequent questions. There will also be contributions from a number of guests who will help the candidates with last-minute doubts so that they can calmly face their exam preparation.
The success of the YouTube channel
There has also been a great success for the Youtube channel which has doubled the number of views, thanks to the development of new formats, which join the more traditional video notes. From StudentTalk to StudentTea and tutorials for the oral exam: a series of videos offering useful suggestions and advice for students beyond the didactic content. And then, of course, there is also the participation of authentic stars of digital education, such as Elia Bombardelli with her lessons in mathematics.
After the exams
Studenti.it accompanies students also after the exams, supporting them as they decide on their next steps, with content and targeted tests to orientate their choices and the creation of ad hoc Facebook groups such as Orientamento Università and Test medicina a numero chiuso, which to date have 27,000 and 40,000 members respectively. This is where students can exchange ideas on the best choices for their future, as well as a place to find information about universities, entry tests and receive the latest news on other issues of interest.