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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


HyperGrammar

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 4 stars
Reviewed: Jul 17, 2002 by World Languages Editorial Board
Overview: In addition to focusing on grammar skills, HyperGrammar's aim is to provide
guidance for both native and non-native speakers of English to improve their
writing. Intermediate and advanced learners of Engish as a second
language can benefit a great deal from the explanations and excerises available
in Hypergrammar.

The site's Table of Contents progresses from parts of speech, through parts of
a sentence, punctuation, pronouns, verbs and verbals, modifiers, phrases,
clauses, sentence and paragraph building, and diction, to spelling and
miscellaneous topics to aid writers.

A page of explanation is followed by a self-scoring exercise. Hypertext links
to definitions of grammatical terminology and a detailed index enhance the
module's versatility and potential usefulness.

The site can be used in a projected image format as well as on individual
computer screens. Canadian English is used throughout this site developed at
the University of Ottawa.
Learning Goals:
Target Student Population:
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Type of Material:
Recommended Uses:
Technical Requirements:

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The site, created by four members of the University of Ottawa's writing faculty,
seeks to improve the grammar and support the college writing skills of native
and non-native speakers of English. It makes use of a horizontal bar of buttons
that allows learners either to proceed linearly through the module or to jump
among a several of options, including more difficult exercises on the same
topic, other grammar topics, a help page, the home page, or electronic
communication with the Writing Centre's staff. Teachers and learners will find
the tutorial on writing paragraphs, which helps users to distinguish among
stronger and weaker topic sentences, especially helpful and engaging.
Concerns:

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: Mastery of college-level grammar and writing skills requires individualized
instruction along with the kinds of practice that this site provides. Its
engaging quality derives not from multimedia, but from the unique design and
organization of the site along with its mature, well-written sentences and
paragraphs, some of which deal with topical Canadian issues. The site is better
suited to individual use (reference and self-tests) than to whole-class
instruction.
Concerns:

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: Screens, which feature distinctive, identical guide bars at both the top and
the bottom, are uncluttered and easy to read. Color is used sparingly but
effectively.

Concerns: Although the site's navigation bar and scheme are very clear, the presence of so
many hyperlinked terms within the body of the explanations can be disorienting.
Brief, pop-up definitions of terms used in the explanations may be more user
friendly.

Other Issues and Comments: