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Using MCBuilder - A Tutorial
McBuilder takes a list of facts in a plain text file and turns them into a Multiple Choice Quiz.
The list of facts in the Fact File is critical to the quality of the Quiz.
The better Fact File, the better the Quiz McBuilder will make.
1. First Get Your Facts
You probably have lots of suitable lists of facts already or know where to find them on the 'net.
If not here are a few suggestions that make ideal MCBuilder Quizzes.
- Terms and Definitions
- any Glossary of Terms - for example:- Medical Terms and Explanations
- abbreviations and full names - 'wysiwyg : what you see is what you get'
- Capital Cities and Countries
- Chemical Symbols and Chemical names
- English words to French words
- Images and Image names
- Flags and countries
- Tools and their names
- Faces and names
- Paintings and Titles
2. The Format of Your Fact File
MCBuilder works best when all the facts in a list share a common topic and format.
Here is an example of part of such a list.
'An Apple is Red'
'A Banana is Yellow'
'A Grape is Green'
These facts share a common topic - fruit colour - and format.
Notice that every fact also contains the word 'is' linking the parts of each fact.
MCBuilder refers to the word 'is' as the Link Word/Phrase.
Different lists of facts can use a different Link Word/Phrase
but the Link Word/Phrase must be the same for any one List.
When you build your list of facts, MCBuilder requires you to replace the common Link Word/Phrase in each fact with the symbol ~
For the example above the fact 'An Apple is Red' must be written as 'An Apple ~ Red'
While the word 'is' is the default link word you can use others.
Examples of Facts taken from three different lists and converted into a form suitable for MCBuilder.
|Original Fact||MCBuilder Fact||The ~ replaces the Link Word/Phrase|
|'An Apple is Red'||An Apple ~ Red||the '~' replaces 'is'|
|'London is the Capital of England'||London ~ England||the '~' replaces 'is the Capital of'|
|'AU is the Chemical Symbol for Gold'||Au ~ Gold||'~' replaces 'is the Chemical Symbol for'|
When you upload your list of facts MCBuilder will ask you what the '~' is to represent in your list.
Sample MCBuilder Lists
List 1. Where the Link Word/Phrase is the word 'is'
Inventory ~ the goods you hold for sale to customers.
A Liability ~ what your business owes creditors.
An Asset ~ an item of value held by the business.
List 2. Where the Link Word/Phrase is 'is French for'
Bleu ~ Blue
Verte ~ Green
With above information in mind you are now ready to create Your Fact File.
3. Create Your Fact File
Using a plain text editor, such as Notepad, copy or type in your list of facts.
Enter one fact per line.
Replace your chosen link word/phrase with the ~ character.
You can have only one ~ per fact.
You must have a minimum of 8 Facts in a list for the quiz to be produced.
Other things to consider to get the best out of MCBuilder.
- Facts should ideally refer to one area of knowledge - Accounting terms or Chemical Symbols
- Write Facts not Questions - Do not write 'Who is the God of Thunder?
Thor' but rather 'Thor is the God of Thunder'
MCBuilder will turn your facts into questions.
- Facts must be positive - 'Red is the colour of an Apple' rather than 'Purple is not the colour of an apple'
- Lists should not a mixture of singular and plural facts.
'Cats are cool' and 'A dog is intelligent' - can produce grammatically incorrect statements such as
'Cats is intelligent'
It is better to rewrite the offending fact, for example, - 'Dogs are Intelligent'
- Try not to include any key words twice in the same fact. - 'A cat is a cat like creature'
The resulting question will show the keyword, cat, in both the stem and the correct distractor making the answer obvious.
Save your list of facts to a plain text file.
Now you are ready for the final step of uploading your Fact File to create your Multichoice quiz.
©2009-11 Mike Capstick | http://cybertrain.info/ | email: firstname.lastname@example.org