This is a repository for a collection of grammar and usage quizzes as well as well-organized online tutorials in specific areas of written communication. The focus of the site is on interactive grammar quizzes, but the site also includes "A Guide to Grammar and Writing."
Type of Material:
Quizzes and tutorials.
This is an ideal site for use in a grammar or writing course at the university level. It is also ideal for groups who need to brush up on specific writing or grammar skills. The quizzes can be used to establish a baseline for later study. The material is rich enough to be used in a class teaching environment, but is also applicable for homework assignments, study guides, or a general review of materials after presentation in class.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The major learning goal is to have students recognize errors in grammar and participate in tutorials for remediation. The site offers definitions, explanations, and examples. There are many opportunities to practice grammar skills.
Target Student Population:
The target is adult learners, college and beyond. However, the material is easily adaptable to writers of all ages and second language students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
The site is unbelievably comprehensive. It is composed of quizzes and tutorials from several sources: Twenty-one quizzes have been adapted from the instructor's manual and other ancillary materials accompanying Sentence Sense: A Writer's Guide. They are duplicated with permission of the author, Evelyn Farbman, and the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Inc. Seventeen quizzes were written by the English faculty at an unnamed midwestern university and are used with the permission of that department. Ten quizzes were prepared by students in Professor Karyn Hollis's Tutor Training course at Villanova University. The quizzes are detailed and go beyond writing skills into specific grammatical terms. The materials in this site are thorough, with excellent and simple explanations. The materials are accurate and well-presented.
Some users may be put off by the extreme detail of this site. However, an instructor could easily make choices among the quizzes and tutorials to suit his or her needs. Students will need specific directions as to where to go on the site. With guidance, the site is quite easy to use.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The site, because it is so comprehensive, can meet the needs of instructors of advanced grammar courses to those in teacher preparation programs who want their students to review writing skills and proper grammar.
The site requires that users sort through the many quizzes and tutorials to find the ones that most meet their needs. They are labelled carefully enough to make this process reasonably easy.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Finding the proper tools within the site is easy for both faculty and students. For those without the ability to use CGI files,
There are some issues with the placement of directions and the use of computer jargon without explanation for the common computer user. These could easily be remedied. They appear in the notes to the author.
Other Issues and Comments:
This site is extremely useful. It is comprehensive and well designed. It allows students to determine areas which need work and then work on those specific skills. Students are able to print out their quiz results for faculty to use as benchmarks.
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