Multiple-resource sequences

This post explores a new feature in textivate sequences. (Don't know what a sequence is? Look here for starters.)


The above sequence (in French) is based on 9 separate resources, each one dealing with a different section of the same story. (It's a description of the action from a Simon's Cat video called Fly Guy -- the sequence is actually made up of all of the activities featured on this blog post.)

If you try out the sequence, you'll see that as you complete one activity and click on the "Next" button, you are taken to a different activity based on the next piece of text -- each piece of text is actually a separate textivate file.

So how is this done?

Well, the easiest way is to open textivate in 2 separate browser tabs: one with an empty text box so that you can create your sequence and one that you use to open resources and get the urls.

Start by typing the following into your empty "Show all" text box:

Red herrings in user-defined gap-fill

If you make a user-defined gap-fill on textivate (as explained here and here) you can now add "RED HERRING" words to the word list.

These are words that cannot fit into any of the gaps that you have selected and they make the exercise more challenging for the student.

To add red herrings, first create your user-defined gap-fill by clicking on the "User-defined gapfill" button on the textivate home page:

With the user-defined gap-fill edit screen open, scroll down to beneath the box containing your text and you should see a section like this:

You can add extra words (or groups of words) into this box, separating your red herrings with semi-colons, like this:

Clues / prompts for user-defined gaps

If you make a user-defined gap-fill on textivate (as explained here and here) you can now add clues or prompts for some or all of your gaps.

To do this, first create your user-defined gap-fill by clicking on the button on the textivate home page:

Then close the user-defined gap-fill edit box. This adds [#] in front of the words (or groups of words) that you have selected as gaps. 

Then type your clue or prompt after the # on the textivate edit screen (in the "Text" box or the "Show all" box), like this:
[#your clue here]the_gapped_word

You might end up with a text that looks something like this:

What are "protected" resources in textivate?

"Protected" resources are intended for these sorts of situations: 

  • you want to set a textivate activity but you don't want students to be able to access the resource on the textivate home page or access any of the other activities for the resource;
  • you want to set a textivate sequence as a test / assessment, so it's important that students can't access the source text.

Click the "protected" checkbox to add ###protected### to the top of your textivate resource in the "Show all" box (you won't see it in the "Text" box). This has the following result:

  • via the share icon, all links (and embed codes) for individual activities have a longer "scrambled" url with no reference to the original resource url
  • similarly, if your resource contains a sequence, the sequence link will also have a different type of "scrambled" url, with no reference to the resource url, so students can't open the original resource in a new tab or window

The idea is essentially to try to stop students getting access to the resource home page. (Note that links to the menu screen and the home page are not scrambled.)

N.B. If you are going to make a resource "protected", it is a good idea...

  • NOT to list your resource as a public resource -- make it shareable instead
  • NOT to give students a link to the home page or menu page for the resource to get the sequence link themselves -- this defeats the object of what you are trying to do

Is this a useful feature? See what you think...

Spanish, reading comprehension sequence

French, reading comprehension, single activity

EFL - PET reading test - single activity sequence

And in case you're wondering, yes, you can still use the url tweaks to modify the landing page for your students if linking to a single activity.


Related posts:

Introducing Sequences on textivate

More on textivate sequences

LIGHT - an embedded KS3 Science sequence of 10 activities

Chez moi (a textivate sequence = a substantial bit of homework)

How to submit work at the end of a textivate homework sequence

Resource preview option.

Sequences based on activities from more than one resource

How to make a reading comprehension with textivate

A simple How-to guide for making a variety of reading comprehension exercises on textivate.

1. Start by adding a text

Clear the text box on the textivate home page by clicking on the "New" icon. 

Then, in the "Text" box, type or paste in the text for your reading comprehension. e.g.:

2. Add questions and correct answers as Match data

Then click the "Match" tab and add matching items (in this case questions and answers) separated by ==, with each new pair on a separate line, as in the image below:

NEW in Multiple-choice activities -- you can specify your own WRONG answers

The Multi Match activities or the MATCH side of Textivate (1 in 3, 1 in 4, 1 in 5, 1 in 10) and the Million activity (also on the MATCH side) have always presented the correct answer along with incorrect answers randomly selected from the rest of the answers for your resource.

BUT now you can specify your own incorrect answers! 

In the following way:

Simply add a vertical bar followed by hash |# after the correct answer, then as many incorrect answers as you like each separated by hash #

So you might end up with matching items that look something like this in your finished resource:

a house==une maison |#un appartment #une voiture
je fais ___ planche à voile==de la |#du #de l' #de #la #des
Que fait le garçon après le dîner?==il regarde la télé |#il écoute la radio #il prend le dîner #il se douche
Me ___ bailar==gusta |#quiero #gusto #quieren #gustan

(Now, clearly, it would be a pretty weird resource if all of the above appeared in the same resource...;-)

It doesn't matter how many "wrong" answers you include.

And you don't need to include them for every question. 

If you do include wrong answers, these will be used first (and any extra spaces will be used up with randomly selected answers from other questions in the resource).

You can use this feature along with a parallel text / audio / video to create reading or listening comprehension activities with a bit more of a challenge (i.e. where the answers are too obvious if they are randomly selected from the rest of the resource).

See this example of a listening resource created by adding wrong answers for most of the questions.

Thinking about it, you could even use this new feature to create multiple choice quizzes, grammar activities, all sorts.

(I think I'll be adding more to this later...)

Random order or original order? Why it matters.

Some Match activities have Random order / Original order options.

By default, these activities present the questions in random order.

But it can sometimes be useful to present the items in the original sequence, for example to make a "Find the French" activity simpler by having the questions appear in the same order as the vocab in the text, or to add comprehension questions to a resource which has a parallel text (reading comprehension) or audio or video (listening comprehension).

You can tweak your link urls -- add e1 to the activty url to make it start in the original order and no option to change. (See this blog post on tweaking your textivate urls.)

Here are a few examples:

French, multiple choice reading comprehension. (Questions follow the order of the text.)

French, reading comprehension, fill in the answers. (Word shapes provided. Again, follows the order of the text.)

Spanish, listening comprehension. Multi-choice.

Spanish listening comprehension, fill in the answers. (Initials provided.)

Remember, until this latest update, this sort of exercise would not have been possible on textivate as the questions would have appeared in random order.