Using Microsoft Word or Clicker for your Cloze Procedure activities? Maybe you are in a mainstream classroom, trying to figure out how a pupil who uses their laptop full-time for recording is going to access these activities... look no further than ClozePro.
Cloze procedures are simply missing words in sentences that pupils are prompted to fill in. We've probably all used 'missing words' worksheets at some point, e.g. "My brother said the ____ would bite me".
ClozePro is built by Cricksoft and bears a resemblance to their most famous product, Clicker 4. Although it has a similar feel, ClozePro has obviously been built with cloze procedures in mind. It uses a grid containing possible words for the gaps in the main text which, like Clicker, sits underneath the document. However, ClozePro contains important features that take it beyond Clicker for these exercises:
1. The user can jump from gap to gap and complete the sentences without disturbing the original structure of the text. If you have ever tried using Clicker for cloze procedures then you'll know what I mean. Although Clicker can send text from the grid to fill in missing words, the user needs to tell Clicker with the mouse exactly where these words should appear.
2. The grid can be set to remain at the bottom of the screen as in Clicker, or can be placed to the side of the text in a vertical position. If you want a more 'adult' appearance then a hovering list of possible words can pop-up automatically when a gap is selected.
3. The list of possible words can vary from gap to gap or remain constant throughout the document. With the latter, words can actually disappear off the grid one by one as they're used.
4. Reports of the user's progress are automatically generated by the program. The report lists the activities attempted by the user and their score in each one.
5. As in Clicker, picture support is present in the document and/or the grid, allowing you to use Clicker's in-built clipart library, digital photographs or even graphics from the Internet (See my tutorial for downloading pictures from the Web).
6. The gaps in the cloze procedures are usually illustrated by underscore ( _______ ) but this can be changed to any character you like. I was surprised to find that ClozePro has a feature where it puts a blurred version of the word into the text instead. Being able to see the shape of the word could provide a big clue to struggling pupils.
7. Talking of helping struggling pupils, the program also has a 'clue' button that reveals the word in the gap a letter at a time. It can obviously be turned on or off at design time.
8. Like Clicker, ClozePro has an easy-to-understand step-by-step guide to its features built into the program.
The features in ClozePro make it far superior to Clicker for cloze procedure activities. There is a tutorial on this website describing the use of Microsoft Word for cloze-procedures which can be useful for older children but really isn't a patch on ClozePro for features or for younger pupils.
Well done Crick for creating another great piece of software!
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