One of the activities that can be created with StudyMate is called “Matching”. Perhaps “Matching” wasn’t the best name for this activity because there are preconceived notions of how it should work. A traditional matching question requires the instructor to create two lists of related items, such as the following:
|1. The Winter of Our Discontent||A. J. R. R. Tolkien|
|2. Catcher in the Rye||B. Emily Bronte|
|3. The Lord of the Rings||C. John Steinbeck|
|4. Wuthering Heights||D. J.D. Salinger|
StudyMate uses a similar approach but the choices that are available for a match (the distractors) are randomly selected from elsewhere in the database — specifically, the One Answer items in the file. For example, let’s say that the file contains the following One Answer items:
- John Steinbeck – The Winter of Our Discontent
J.D. Salinger – Catcher in the Rye
J.R.R. Tolkien – The Lord of the Rings
Emily Bronte – Wuthering Heights
Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice
Geoffrey Chaucer – Canterbury Tales
William Faulkner – The Sound and the Fury
Ernest Hemingway – The Old Man and the Sea
James Joyce – Ulysses
Lu Xun – Diary of a Madman and Other Stories
Jonathan Swift – Gulliver’s Travels
Leo Tolstoy – War and Peace
Mark Twain – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Virginia Woolf – Mrs. Dalloway
In the Matching activity, StudyMate will display one of the book titles (e.g. The Lord of the Rings) at the top of the screen and then offer nine answer choices. Eight of the answer choices (the incorrect answers) are randomly selected from other items in the database.
As shown in the screenshot above, this method works particularly well when all One Answer items in the file are similar in style and construct — such as a set of medical terms, or a list of famous persons, or items based on historical periods, or foreign language terms, etc.
But if the One Answer items in a StudyMate file are a mixture of concepts and styles, you’ll probably want to exclude the Matching activity when the Flash object is generated during the publishing step. For example, the following list of items has an “historical” theme, but the types of items are a mixture of people, time periods, dates, and terminology.
- Archaeology – The study of prehistoric people and their cultures
Neil Armstrong – The first man to walk on the moon
Triassic Period – The first period of the Age of Dinosaurs
Feudalism – A political system having lords and vassals
ENIAC – The first electronic computer
1215 – The Magna Carta was signed in this year
Peru – Modern-day location of Incan Empire
Shogun – Feudal Japan
Antiguo – Spanish for “ancient”
Edward Jenner – Discovered the vaccine for smallpox
A Matching question using this set of data produces a poor question because the correct answer is too easily identified, as illustrated below.
Thus, if you plan to include the Matching activity in the Flash object being created, its best to use a similar style for the One Answer items in the file.