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Using the Sentence Sense Applications

Application Types
There are two kinds of applications in Sentence Sense: the javascript variety in which you fill in a blank and click on a button to compare your response to the computer's answer and the cgi-based kind in which you fill in the blanks and then "submit" the application for computer grading.

Some Suggestions
It is important to read all instructions carefully before filling in any blanks. Each application is designed to look for very specific responses, and the answer given by the computer will not make sense if the user and the computer are not looking for the same thing. With the javascript applications, it might make sense to compare your first response to the computer's answer to make sure you are both "on the same page."

The applications will ask students to fill in forms by typing in a series of blank text-areas. Depending on which browser you're using, your typing cursor (where type appears when you begin typing) will either appear automatically in the first text-area that needs to be filled out or you will have to mouse-click in the first text-area before you start typing. You will soon discover that it is easy to move from text-area to text-area by using the TAB key, a process that is much more efficient than using the mouse-cursor to move from one space to the next.

CGI-based applications are graded by the computer when you click on the "submit" button at the end of the application. (This may take a moment.) You can change any of your answers up to that point. If you wish to re-take an entire application after it is graded, use the "back" button on your browser to return to the ungraded page and click on the "clear" button or reload the page.

Printing Pages
To print pages from Sentence Sense, use the Print icon or the Print option under the File menu. Where pages are divided into frames, you may have to click first somewhere within the frame you want to print (or the wrong frame might print). Printing sections of Sentence Sense, however, defeats one of the major purposes of putting the material online in the first place—the computer's ability to connect instantly (almost) with other parts of the text and with the computer's ability to provide immediate feedback on student responses. When a whole class is using Sentence Sense at the same time, printing out sections can be an enormous waste of paper and printer resources, and it is not educationally helpful. For review, students may find printing the Review and Practice pages adequate.

Usually a page from Sentence Sense will fit on a regular 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheet of paper. Some pages with charts and tables, however, should be printed with a "landscape" orientation so they will fit. It is probably wise, also, to set your browser's "page setup" preferences so it will print backgrounds; otherwise, some of the reverse type and shaded areas will not show up properly in your printed document. Some pages with charts and tables will display a printing icon that will directly engage the printer dialog box.

Manipulating Text
In some applications, you will be asked to manipulate text by changing or moving words and phrases. To do so, you may want to highlight text and then alter or move it to a different place.

Changing Words:
In some applications, you will be asked to highlight a word or phrase and then change that word in some way (perhaps to add an ending to change the tense or number of the word or to highlight certain kinds of words by changing them to ALL CAPS). To do that, simply double-click the word and start re-typing. Whatever you type will replace the highlighted word. Experiment by double-clicking the word "folks" (in the experimental text-area below) and writing "PEOPLE" in its place.

Cutting and Pasting:
Highlight the words you want to move, remove the words, and then paste them elsewhere in the text-area. Highlight words by placing your typing cursor just to the left of the point where you want to start highlighting and then holding down the mouse-button as you "drag over" the text you want to highlight (move the mouse-cursor to the immediate right of the text you want to highlight and release the mouse-button). This skill might take some practice if you haven't done it before, but it is very useful in all word-processing so work at it. If you are highlighting a single word, simply double-click on that word. To cut or delete highlighted text, click on the "delete" key. To move highlighted text elsewhere, hold down the control key and type the letter "x." (This will remove the text but save it to your computer's clipboard.) Paste this removed text elsewhere by placing the mouse-cursor where you want the text to appear, hold down the control key and hit the letter "v" (for "view"). Experiment in the text-area below by cutting, moving, and pasting the words into various patterns.

Copying and Pasting:
Copying and pasting words is another important skill. You will sometimes be asked to copy text that is not in a text-area and then to paste that material into a text-area. To copy text, follow the same process of highlighting suggested above, and then copy it by holding down the control key and hitting the letter "c" (for copy). To paste this text into the text area, click once in the text-area at the location where you want that highlighted (and now copied) text to appear. Paste the text by holding down the control key and hitting the letter "v." Experiment now by copying these words — Who said — and pasting them in front of the quotation that appears in the box below.



Pretests and Mastery Tests
Pretests are javascript applications. The easiest way to move through the pretest is to type an answer, hit "tab" to find out if your answer is correct or not (you can click the "answer" button, but using the "tab" is easier), and then hit the "enter" or "return" key to have the typing cursor appear in the next space. At the end of the pretest, click the "My Totals, Please" button for a diagnostic scoring of the pretest. Write down the recommendations for the specific chapter sections that will help you with the problems revealed in your pretest. You should read the whole chapter in order to understand the context of those problems, but pay particular attention to the chapter sections identified in the diagnostic scoring.

Mastery Tests are PHP applications that test students on the topics covered in each chapter. Access to the Mastery Tests is password protected. Instructors can request a password for one or all of the Mastery Tests through the Getting in Touch With Us Form. Once approved, the Instructor's name will be added to the drop-down list. Instructors can then distribute the password for a specific test to students. Students must choose their Instructor's name from the drop-down list, and enter the password provided to them. Students will not see the Mastery Test results, instead their results will be e-mailed to the Instructor. Students must make sure they enter their name, email and class in the form before beginning each test..

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