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Real MC and FIB Q&A Pairs vs. AutoMC and FIB Q&A Pairs

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WinFlash Educator has a very useful option that can automatically generate fill-in-the-blank or multiple-choice Q&A pairs from standard Q&A pairs. This feature is accessed in Options|Q&A Modes.

This raises the question "why should I bother to enter 'real' fill-in-the-blank or multiple-choice Q&A pairs when the program will do this automatically?"

Maybe you shouldn't. If you're building informal vocabulary files or other topics for personal study the questions framed by the program's automatic algorithms may be quite sufficient for your use - especially if you make good use of the Categories field when building your files.

Here are some reasons you may want to enter 'real' FIB and MC Q&A pairs:


You want to allow more than one answer to be accepted as correct - e.g. in the program's Quick Tour demo file the second Q&A pair asks the FIB question "2 + 2 = ?". The answer is programmed to allow either "4" or "four" to be accepted as a correct answer. An automatically generated FIB can only accept one answer as correct - the one given in the standard Q&A pair's Text for Answer field. Thus, if "4" was entered as the answer when constructing the Q&A pair, "four" would be marked incorrect if entered as the FIB answer in study mode.
You want to require multiple entries for a single FIB Q&A pair - e.g. the program's Spanish Vocabulary demo file Q&A pair that asks you to conjugate the verb 'ser'. This type of FIB cannot be auto-generated.


You want to make the choices more difficult. The program constructs the auto-generated MCs by using between three and five of the answers for other Q&A pairs to be the wrong answers for the current Q&A pair. The quality of the wrong answers is improved if you use Categories when constructing your file, since the program tries to pick wrong answers from within the same category as the current Q&A pair.
A teacher may wish to tailor the wrong answers to be harder to discern from the correct answers - especially for use in tests.
You want to use the 'multiple correct answer' feature of the real MC function - e.g. the Quick Tour demo file's question about the Boston Tea Party. Auto-generated Mc's have one and only one correct answer.


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