There are many authoring systems that one can find to produce various question formats like multiple choice, dichotomous, matching, cloze, crossword puzzle, drag and drop, short answer, and jumble up. One of those authoring systems is Hot Potatoes, designed by University of Victoria, Canada.
If you are a non-computer major or not a computer expert, you can still produce interactive courseware for your courses by using HotPotatoes. You don’t need to know to how to use programming languages which require you to understand basic algorithm and syntax commands. With Hot Potatoes, you can create your digital lessons and tests quickly.
Hot Potatoes is like a cake mixer. In order to bake a cake, you have to gather all ingredients like flour, sugar, eggs, chocolate etc.; then, you carry a step-by-step procedure to mix them together using the cake mixer. Once you are ready, you can put the dough in the oven to bake it. It is interesting to know that the company that distributes this engine or authoring system is called Half-Baked Software Inc. The company provides a half-baked cake, you will bake the other half of it. In brief, the company provides various templates, you fill in the templates with your own content.
Where to find Hot Potatoes? Visit http://hotpot.uvic.ca/
What to do next?: Download Hot Potatoes program and install it into your computer. Follow step by step when installing the software.
After installation, what do I do? You can choose the questions that you wish to use, and start typing the questions, and save them in ONE folder. Then you need to export this output file format into html format. Finally, you can upload the html files into your server or LMS.
- Create a specific folder for Hot Potatoes; name the folder using your 1st name.
- Save all your Hot Potatoes files, graphics files, photos, audio clips, video clips, and animation files that you want to use in this courseware in this specific folder. Do not separate those files from that folder; you don’t need to create a sub-folder in that folder.
- Go over the tutorial on how to use Hot Potatoes if you are not sure how to go about developing the interactive lessons.
Watch these video on how to use Hot Potatoes.
Some of interactive lessons produced by local teachers are accessible at http://maele.net/?cat=16 (WEBLL Lessons) http://maele.net/?cat=17 (BALL Lessons). Click each link in each site and look for “exercises.”