Fill-in blanks

Apr 16, 2012

I'm looking for a way to have students read a text, locate a comma splice/run-on sentence/fragment, click on it and have a text box appear where they can type in one of several possible correct answers.

I have not used any of the articulate software yet, but I am looking for software that will do what I want.  I teach writing and I'm looking for a way to have students edit errors in text and offer possible solutions.

I would like the end product to be uploadable to my website.

16 Replies
Jeanette Brooks

Hi Mark, and welcome! Articulate Quizmaker would be a tool that you could use for what you have in mind. Here's a super-quick example where the first question is a hotspot question containing a picture of some sample text, and the learner has to click on the problem sentence. The next question follows up by asking the learner to identify better ways to phrase the sentence.

This example shows just the default styling options and took about 60 seconds to create but there are lots of ways you can stylize the look and behavior of your quiz, including changing the font, colors, feedback text, results slide, images, etc. You can even insert movies and apply animations to the objects on your quiz slides. It's a very flexible tool

Your idea about having a textbox where learners actually write in the correct answer would be a cool approach, but depending on what you want them to enter, it might be more difficult to evaluate, especially if you need them to enter an entire sentence... there would potentially be a lot of different variations on their answer, so it would be less straightforward to score objectively... i.e., if they enter a stray extra space in the sentence, or something like that, they might end up getting the question wrong). Quizmaker does have a fill-in-the-blank question type, though, in which you can allow up to 10 variations of an answer (to account for alternate spellings, or different ways of phrasing a correct response)... so you could possibly experiment with using that to have the learner enter shorter strings of text, such as single words or short phrases.

I'd recommend downloading the free trial of Articulate Studio and kicking the tires a bit. (Quizmaker is one of the tools in the free download.) And of course have a look around here in the community for tips & tricks. Feel free to post here or in any of the forums with any thoughts or questions, and we're happy to help you come up with ideas!

Mark Brown

Your example is very cool.  I've been looking for something like this for some time.  The type of grammar errors that my students make generally have less than ten possible answers, so I will investigate Quizmaker over the next week or two.  I've been using Hot Potatoes for years and it worked fine for many grammar problems, but I really like the visual possibilities of your software output.

I teach writing at university and I think some of your other programs, such as Presenter and Engage, are going to be very helpful.

I'm in the process of re-building the website that I use for my students.   I think that Articulate is going to be very useful.



Jeanette Brooks

Yeah for sure, the visual flexibility in Quizmaker is really wonderful! In case you'd like to browse some of the possibilities, here are a few blog posts that contain some fun examples of how customizable a quiz can look...

How to Make Quiz Feedback More Meaningful

How You Can Design Better E-Learning Surveys with Quizmaker

Three Quizmaker Tutorials You Need to Know About

Art History Quiz Example

Three Paths in One Quiz: Possible? Yes!

Adding Images to Your Drag-and-Drop Questions

Why Hotspot Questions are Hot, and 10 Examples of How to Use Them

It's really as easy as working in PowerPoint, only with the added power of quizzing. feedback, and results. It's pretty cool!

Good luck with your projects Mark, and just let us know if we can help you with anything.

Mark Brown

I have been playing with Quizmaker and still can't figure out how to get exactly what I want.  I want the students to look at a text and find the mistake. Then I want them to be able to correct the mistake where the error exists. I think that actually creating/typing a correct answer is an important part of reinforcing the students' understanding of the grammar point. The hotspot question in Quizmaker is fine for a first round of practice where the students find the mistake and simply look at multiple choice alternatives, but I would like a second round of questions that require more thought.

I made the exercise attached to this post using another program and, if I could do this with Articulate, I would be very happy.

Any suggestions?

Jeanette Brooks

Hi Mark, thanks so much for sharing that example! Currently it's not possible to build something exactly like that in Quizmaker. However, here's an approach that would provide a similar experience: you could create 2 questions for each "problem sentence," and in the first slide allow the learner to identify the problem within the sentence (via a hotspot question). The second slide would then provide a fill-in-the-blank question in which the learner could type the correct text. Here's a sinple example of what I mean, and the quiz file is attached in case you'd like to open it in Quizmaker and take a look.

I should also mention that we are currently beta testing a new authoring tool called Articulate Storyline which offers new and richer interactivity options, and once that's available, it'll be possible to come closer to what you have in mind. (You can sign up here if you'd like to be notified when Storyline becomes available.)

Mark Brown

I've attached my first attempt.  Unfortunately, from now until the end of the semester, I am going to be marking constantly, so I probably won't do much more work on this until the summer vacation begins.  I like the basic idea, but I'd like to have multiple errors in a piece of writing.  I'm not sure about the box background (perhaps clear?) and outline (perhaps thinner).

I need to look at the other components of the Articulate Studio and make sure that my overall concept is sound.   I need to decide on colors, format, etc. before I try to create more that will go on my website.

Jeanette, I really like the background image you use.  The torn paper and tape adds a nice informal touch.

There's so much to think about.  Thanks.

Jeanette Brooks

Hi Mark! Looking forward to seeing your sample! Unfortunately the attachment didn't work for me though; looks like it was only the quiz.html file from your published output. (In order to launch a quiz with that file, all of the published files/folders need to be uploaded to a webserver, and users given a link to the quiz.html). When you get a chance, probably the easiest thing would be to attach your .quiz file instead; then we can just open that in Quizmaker and do a preview. Thanks!

Jeanette Brooks

Really nice, Mark! A few things to consider:

  • You might want to give the learner unlimited tries on the first question (so that they eventually get it right)...or, if you limit their tries and they do get it wrong, branch them to a blank feedback slide that shows them where the problem is. That way the 2nd question (which says "Now that you know where the problem is") will flow really nicely from the 1st.
  • Another thought: if you plan to keep the Quiz Review button on the result slide, it might be good to move the entry blank on question 2 to a different spot. Right now, because it's sized small to fit within the paragraph text, it causes the review info (the list of correct answers) to be truncated during the quiz review. The width of the fill-in-the-blank box also affects the width used on the answer text that gets displayed during the review. So what's happening is, the width on the entry box is too narrow to show the correct answers, and the review only shows the four green checkmarks. See the attached for an idea. (Preview the quiz and when you get to the end, click Review Quiz and see how the answers get displayed in addition to the green checkmarks.)
  • On the fill-in-the-blank question, I'd recommend requiring the correct case, since it seems like you'll want the learners to use the correct case on their answers. There's a box on the question editor that says "Answers are case sensitive," and here's where you can find that:

Again, great job with this! Looking forward to seeing more of what you create!

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Thanks to you both for these examples. Jeanette, I never would have figured out what the problem was with that text box, so thanks for the input. I'm still kind of disappointed with the way it looks (although obviously glad the Learner can see all possible answers when reviewing). It feels a bit off putting for the Learner. I wish there were a way it could look cleaner. Wouldn't want them to miss the answer simply because they didn't understand the interface. Thoughts?

Jeanette Brooks

If the Review feels clunky that way, you could always keep the question as Mark had it (with the smaller text-entry box) and disable the Review option from the result slide, and instead provide more robust question-by-question feedback during the quiz itself. For example, if the learner gets the question wrong you could branch them to a blank slide (which can contain remedial content/pictures/audio or whatever else you want). That might be a better solution because it would make the Quiz Review option less necessary.

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Hey Jeanette,

Sorry...didn't want that to sound rude. Apologies if it did.

I really like the option for Learners to review afterward, and see that in addition to their correct response there are others. And its nice to not to have bog down during the quiz.I'm really glad you explained that.

I imagine any confusion about how to complete the question could be covered prior to the quiz. I was simply making an observation and I guess wondering if there was a less finicky solution.

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