Simple "word-scramble" stack
sanke at hrz.uni-kassel.de
Sat Feb 19 06:46:49 CST 2005
While visiting a family with a third-grader I noticed a (written)
foreign-language exercise that used scrambled words. As the father of
the third-grader had an older Metacard version on his computer, I sat
down and produced a computer version of the exercise, which the young
child seemed to like very much. I added a standalone splash screen to
enable the young user to make changes to the lexicon and add words of
her own choice.
I think such a stack belongs in the category "for revolution novices"
like Klaus Major's "memory" stack or my stack "seminar01", which (the
latter) - among other examples - contains directions to build a basic
vocabulary trainer with gradually increasing complexity.
I have added the scramble-word stack to my website
<www.sanke.org/MetaMedia> on page "Sample Stacks" and "Tools for
A screenshot can be seen here
Direct download from
<http://www.sanke.org/Software/simplewordscramble.zip> (11 KB).
The stack is an example of a "guided" exercise, where the focus is on
"learning" and not on "testing", two pairs of shoes which are very often
mixed up. Support - the "guidance" - for the learner is offered in
1. When the learner types into the input field, the typed letters
disappear from the scramble field. Only letters contained in the
scramble field can be typed into the input field, otherwise a "warning"
2. If the user deletes letters from the input field, they reappear in
the scramble field; the learner can move the cursor inside the input
field using the arrow keys, then press the backspace key to remove the
letter on the left of the cursor.
3. You can re-scramble the word to possibly get a better idea what the
word could be.
4. Pressing "Help" shows the first and last letter of the sought word
and displays dashes as placeholders for the remaining letters in between.
5. Button "more letters", which appears after first pressing button
"Help", adds more - randomly selected - letters to the help field. The
last two dashes in a word however remain, the user has to find out them
on his/her own.
"Simple" as it is, the exercise card of the stack needs 25 controls to
achieve the described basic functionality and 8 of them contain scripts.
The longest script is that of the input field, which controls the
features 1. and 2. explained above. This script makes use of the
"offset" function, "returninfield" and "rawkey" handlers, and the
"selectedchunk" function, the last one to determine the place of the
insertion point in the input field. A special problem comes up when you
have to deal with special "national" characters, because the "rawkey"
values in this case are different from the "numtochar" values; therefore
I included some script lines to take care of the German "Umlaute" (ä, ö, ü).
Enhancements to the stack could added in many directions; in a workshop
for Revolution newbies I would - as an example - assign the tasks
a) to display a translation along with the scrambled word, and
b) to add the possibility to export the lexicon to an external text file
and to import from a choice of external files.
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