Educational Application

Wilhelm Sanke sanke at
Wed Apr 23 15:12:01 EDT 2003

On Tue, 22 Apr 2003  edutec <edutec at> (Roger Kenyon) wrote:

> Using dHTML, I cobbled together a sample of what I mean.
> Right now there is only the "Three Pigs digiTALE". If you try it, please
> take a look at the summative evaluation component (using the "?" button).
> This is a quick-composition, but sufficiently complete to convey the idea.
> Again, if anybody knows of something like it in RR, I would appreciate
> hearing from you. My success so far with HyperCard quizzes has been rather
> limited and, for some curious reason, I am finding javascript to be easier
> than Transcript.
> Thanks.
> -- Roger Kenyon
Hi Roger,

I had a look at your "Three Pigs" and I think we understand now what you
mean by "summative evaluation".

Javascript might be easier for you because you are probably used to it.
But: If you compare the number of script lines to achieve some kind of
interactivity, you may find that with Javascript you need about 10 to 15
times more script lines than with Transcript/Metatalk.

Some "experts" put educational programs like the "Three Pigs" in a
"drill-and-practice" category and consider them to be very basic tools
that are not compatible with the standard of possible
"higher-order-thinking" tools.
However, I think, there are situations where such drill tools - without
much of the frills and cosmetics of other programs - may be useful and
justifyable, and they are indeed useful as entry points to educational

There are some such drill programs on our ftp-server (of which some
fulfil your criterion of "summative evaluation") that serve as examples
for our students, when they are introduced to Metacard.
To run them you need at least Metacard 2.4.3 or Revolution 1.1.1

The address is:

 (There is a period between "Zentraler" and "Medienbereich").

Most of the programs and the comments they contain are written in
German, but some are in English.

- In the main folder you find "", a simple stack
that generates an infinite number of problems in 6 different formats.

- Sub-folder "MetacardPractice":
  * Stack "" - as a first introduction to Metacard -
contains the stepwise development of a very basic vocabulary trainer and
some matching exercises with drop-amd-drag.
  * stack "" illustrates the development of
multiple-choice-drills in  6 steps

- Sub-Folder "BeispieleExamples:
  * Stack "" with English comments and English
  * Stack "memoryspan" (originally written in HyperPad - the first
Hypercard clone in 1989) is not too basic. It tests your short-memory
span in 6 different modes. Warning: This stack may be addictive for some

- Sub-Folder "LanguageExercises":
  * Stack "" - dragging pictures to English words
  * Stack "" - in English - with 5 different exercises for
matching parts of a picture to words.
  * Stack "" -an older stack that is presently being
"revamped" - exercises of the "cloze" type with text analyzing, fill-in
exercises where you can use whole words or parts like prefixes and
suffixes, and a drag-and drop exercise.

 - Sub-Folder "Kerdelhue" contains a suite of language learning programs
presently "under construction", which have some French surface elements.
As this is part of work in progress there are many unfinished parts and
dead ends. The programs need different text formats for input to operate
and are partly interconnected. The stack for starting would be

All stacks have been tested with Windows, some of them with MacOS.

Among the essential criteria for drill programs for learning "lists" of
items we rate two as especially important - as is sort of common
knowledge in parts of the educational community:

1. random display of items to overrule "position" effects. This is
especially important for multiple-choice-exercises. In the stack
"multchoice" the distractors (wrong answers) and the correct answer
never appear at the same position when repeating..

2. repetition loops for unsolved problems. Wrong answers are stored and
can be dealt with again if the user chooses, thus adapting the program
to the needs of the learner. This process can be repeated until each
item has at least been answered correctly once.
You find this implemented both in stack "multchoice2" and "pumuckle2".


Wilhelm Sanke, Prof.
University Media Center, Director
University of Kassel, Germany

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