Splitting TaskMagic3 files into individual games and activities.

When you create a TaskMagic3 file, remember that, in most cases, you are creating lots of different exercises.

Similarly, when you see a link to download a TaskMagic3 file, remember that this one file provides access to lots of different games and exercises. It's not just one game or activity.

It's easy to forget this. I sometimes come across

links on webpages to a variety of types of exercises - some created with TaskMagic, others not. If there are a dozen links and only 2 or 3 of them are to TaskMagic files, I have to remind myself that each TaskMagic file can contain up to 24 exercises, and typically, every TaskMagic link is the equivalent of up to 15-20 hyperlinks to other resource types.

Maybe it would make it clearer if the activities were listed as separate hyperlinks...?

Since version 2 of TaskMagic, it has been possible to create individual exercise files. (This is much neater and tidier with TaskMagic3). These individual exercise files can be opened via explorer or by hyperlink. When you link to one of these individual exercise files, this opens just the specified exercise rather than the front page with the text etc.

See the screenshot below, which shows the edit screen for Mix & Gap. In the bottom left of the screen there are 2 tabs (one white and one pink), listing the exercise types available within Mix&Gap. These tabs are used for (i) limiting the range of exercises available to the student and (ii) creating individual exercise files.

Limiting the range of exercises available in TaskMagic Play

The pink tab (see below) allows you to specify which exercises are available to the student when they open the main TaskMagic3 Mix&Gap file (mtx3), either by hyperlink or via TaskMagic Play.

So, by selecting or de-selecting exercise types, the teacher can decide which exercises are available. This can be the full range (from 1 to 24 in this case). See the examples below:

Creating individual exercise files

The white tab on the edit screen allows you to save individual exercise files, along with the main file, when you save the TaskMagic file.

So the selection above means that, when we click "Save", the following files are saved:

You'll note that, as well as the main file (mtx3) there is a list of other files with the ._tx3 extension. These files all have a similar name as the original file, but have a 5 character prefix. Details of these prefixes can be viewed and printed out from within TaskMagic3. Here is a pdf of the print-out:

You may be interested to know that you can create these individual game files manually. Simply change the extension of any mtx3 file to _tx3, and add the appropriate prefix to the filename, and you've created a file which, when opened, will go directly to the specified activity type.

So, what are implications of this for hyperlinking...? (NB. links below require TaskMagic3)

Instead of this 1 hyperlink...

AS French. Exercises based on a text on holidays and tourism statistics.

...you can have the following:

AS French. Exercises based on a text on holidays and tourism statistics.

1) 1 in 3. Reconstruct the text by choosing each time from 3 alternatives.

2) Tower Block: Build the tower by reconstructing the original text.

3) Find the French for the words and phrases provided in English.

4) Put the 8 tiles of text into the correct order.

5) Gap-fill: Fill the gaps in the text by selecting from the list of words provided.

6) Put the 15 tiles of text into the correct order.

7) Fill the gaps in the text by selecting from the words and sentences beneath it.

8) Put the 24 tiles of text into the correct order.

9) Put the verbs into the correct part of the appropriate tense according to the context.

10) Put the letters back into the text by clicking on them in the correct order.

11) Find the missing letters hidden in snake form in the letter grid.

12) Fill each gap with one word only according to the context.

(That's just 12 of the 23 that we could make from one Mix&Gap file)

When you create a TaskMagic3 file, it's easy to forget just how many exercises you've created. And when you see a hyperlink to one file, it's easy to overlook just how much practice material is contained within that one file. Saving the exercises as separate files can make it a lot clearer to the student just how much work is available for them to do / just how much practice is available.

Creating individual exercise files also allows you to propose a sequence, as I have done above. Moreover, in this way you can mix various files together, creating a sequence interspersing games and exercises taken from various TaskMagic3 files of different types (Mix&Gap, TextMatch, PicMatch, SoundMatch etc)

NB. All of the above links open with TaskMagic3 (version 3.2.0 and later - if you have an earlier version of TM3 you can update it at http://www.mdlsoft.co.uk/TMUpdate.htm )

If you don't have TaskMagic3, you can download a free 30-day trial from http://www.mdlsoft.co.uk/trialdownloads.htm

See this video tutorial on creating individual exercise files in Text Match:

See this video tutorial on creating individual exercise files in Mix and Gap: