English summary of open project for lithuanian language learning - www.klaidutis.lt
Labas! It means “Hallo” in Lithuanian. “Klaidutis” is a new concept of distance language learning.
Lithuanian language is probably one of the oldest Indo-European family languages, which is still spoken by 4 million
people all over the world. Because of extremely complex grammar, it is hard to learn it even for lithuanians.
This project was developed to help pupils with learning complex aspects and deepening their knowledge of Lithuanian language.
What is more important, pupils can share their knowledge and create computer tests, which will be solved by other pupils.
This principle could be adjusted to other languages. An example of task is that students have to fill in missing letters
in a complex-spelling Lithuanian words. Another task is to recognize “bad words” in sentences, i.e. which cannot be used
in Lithuanian language. This encourages students to learn about language more. To make learning more interesting and
enthusiastic, students are motivated by points, which are given when tests are passed correctly. The authors of “Klaidutis”
achieved their goal to build an interactive learning environment, which is now being developed further by pupils themselves.
Currently there are more than 7000 tests of Lithuanian language available.
This is an open project. According to number of hits per day, the website is very popular and used often by
pupils of all age groups in many schools, which makes “Klaidutis” important object of Lithuanian school society.
The most important thing is connecting two opposite things – one of the oldest language and the newest technologies.
What is also important, the principles used in this project could be adjusted for learning other languages.
The key features of project are:
- Jocosity, which keep project attractive for pupils
- Point collecting system, which motivates pupils to compete
- Community spirit, which encourages pupils to create language checking tests for other students. These simple elements work together well, that is why our computer grammar tests database is still growing and tends to grow in the future.
We have award in 2005 Lithunian websites champ!
How it works?
Take a look at this exercise.
There are complex-spelling lithuanian words written in red,
and you have to fill in missing letters:
(Tests are generated randomly from a more than 4000
tests database submited by students)
Here is another exercise:
You have to check correct sentences, i.e. which don't have "bad words".
(There are more than 3000 tests currently)
Evidence of popularity
Although this project has been set up just a few mnths ago, its popularity
is impressive. If you look on page visits counter, numbers are really
fascinating - 7,500 unique visitors and 92,000 visits last month without
any special advertisement. This shows that it is really successful idea, and
needs to be realized. In addition, when users filled up a survey,
96% found project useful, which could be also seen in forum feed-backs.
TEST making and point collecting
After students (or guests) sign up, they can eventually start making tests. In writing grammar section, this means inserting characters into empty fields, f. e. given the word L_PTOP, students are asked to insert letter "A". If student is correct, he is
awarded 1 point, else he is given -2 points penalty.
The most tricky part is to collect test database.
Our solution is as follows: to start a project, a small set of tests were entered
into database. But students, in order to collect points are encouraged to
suggest their own tests. Test are then checked by project editors (this
will be further explained), and after all test will be put in the database.
The trick is that approved test not only scores you 10 points, but also
a small amount (for example 0.1) of points each time somebody makes
a mistake on it. This engine works surprisingly well - if you want to
lead in points, this is the best way to do it. In fact, thinking a good and
confusing test can earn you hundred of points! Currently, about
20 ~ 30 tests are suggested a day
The last tricky part is test supervision. Suggested
test certainly needs to be checked for correctness. Human review is unavoidable here,
because practise shows, that the parts of tests are incorrect or might be
interpreted in different ways. So various editing tools are available to test
editors. Test editors are just simple users, who have collected enough
points and applied to be editor. When a new test is suggested by some user,
all editors can see it, and vote if it should be included in database. This
is very simple process, consuming just some seconds, so editors easily do this.
When a test collects enough votes, it is automatically included in
test database, or in contracts dropped from it.
Test supervision and editing
To prevent from mistakes in tests completely,
students can express their doubt about certain test. For example, if you
wrote LAPTOP with "O" instead of "A", editors are warned to re-check
this test again (in fact then, when three or more students express a
doubt). This is useful to prevent from mistakes.
Best score table. Students are divided in groups by age, and you can also
can see the TOP-SCORE table of your group. Because you always know
what is your result, you can calculate the difference from others. You
can also compare school results or result in your school, this way
making it like a competition..
Fast test making competition.
This is the funny part. Regularly (for example
once a week) small competitions among users are held. Students have
to collect as many points as possible in very short time (for example
3 minutes). So this doesn't require much time and is extremely challenging.
Gateway to exams
The newest feature, which was inspired by users
suggestion, is called 'Gateway to exams' (GTE). Even this is just
under construction,it will be very useful for those, who has preparing to take exams. Basically,
GTE is combination of theory and practise, i.e. the theory sections will be
given with a set of tests related to particular subject. The whole
course consists of several sections. So after every text, you are to make some related tests.
And only when you do them absolutely correctly, you are allowed to jump
into the next section. After finishing the whole course of GTE,
students are expected to be well prepared for exams and are also awarded some points.
There is also possibility to make your own team, and compete with other
teams. This was also found useful by teachers, who want to know how well do
their students do tests. I have heard that some teachers write marks
at school for particular amount of points earned.
So this is a brief explanation. Of course, while implementing all this, we have
dealed with some problems, but currently all small problems have been
over passed. So I will be glad, if you are interested and want to collaborate.
If you do not fear to test Klaidutis in lithuanian language, you are welcome: