Clever End Around For Unused Words in Drag and Drop

It’s rewarding when a limit of what a tool can do is jumped by not changing technology, but a different, human thought, approach.

Recently, in our project Mattermost community, Wendi asked:

I just did my first drag and drop is there a way you can add extra terms that are not used?

This is a reasonable question! The Drag the Words H5P content type works where you enter the body text for an exercise. “Drag the Words allows content designers to create textual expressions with missing pieces of text. The end user drags a missing piece of text to its correct place, to form a complete expression.” To indicate words that should be “dragged” from a list to a blank spot in that text, you enter the correct response surrounded by asterisks.

But there is not anything built in to add additional words, e.g. “distractors” that do not go in any blank. There have been requests going back to 2015 on H5P for this as a feature.

I tried a few things as experiments, including putting some blanks in as un-used empty spots (actually an opposite approach to have blanks not used). I came up empty for Wendi.

But then Simon came through in Mattermost with an ingenuous way around this.

Hi @wendi – I had a similar though re distractors for drag and drop. One rather clunky work-around (but it is super limited) would be to have a place on the page that is titled something like “Left over options” that students drag the left over options to the “left over box”. This is quite nice because it requires students to not only state which are correct (and passively state which are incorrect), but they would then have to drag the ones they think are incorrect (actively stating which they think are correct / incorrect). I’ll see if I can take a look at how one could jimmy this option further — if you could create a “wrong option” box with three wrong options that are not linked to a specific place in the box

This is very clever as it can be done in the current tool! I tried with an example previously used to demonstrate the feedback options for Drag the Words.

There is not a way to include HTML in the content to put a line, box or heading around the unused words choice area. There is also a limitation to this in that there is still a “correct/incorrect” match needed for the unused words. So it might be more feasible to have just one unused/extra words, or perhaps use the suggestion/hint feature to help indicate where to put them.

It’s not perfect by any means, but we are more excited to see the way project participants are helping each other (especially when this chef was stumped). Thanks Simon!

Photo Credit: Image by Magic Creative from Pixabay 

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