Proficiency Session

PROFICIENCY SESSION Select:  S. Starting speed 5 WPM F. Final maximum speed 8 WPM C. Character speed 18 WPM U. Use Fixed length groups D. Duration 3 Minutes W. Weighting Text G. Group length 1 AR * SK + BT = Select options, press ENTER to start, or ESC to return to main menu

Figure 6. Proficiency Session Menu

The Proficiency session sends character groups at selected speeds. This type of practice simulates actual text transmissions.

The (S)tart key sets the starting average speed of sending, the (F)inish key the final maximum speed, and the (C)haracter key the character speed. The character speed can't be set to a value less than the start or final speeds. When the character speed is set greater than the average sending speed, the timing between characters is adjusted, as needed, to maintain the desired average speed. The current average text speed, and elapsed time are constantly displayed during the session.

The (U)se key selects from four different modes:

The student can have fixed or random length code groups of random characters transmitted. The (G)roup length key selects the number of characters in each group in the first case, and the (W)eighting key from four possible character weightings - RANDOM, TEXT, STUDENT'S, AND HISTORY.

A third (U)se mode sends short English words. As a student advances, learning whole words at high speed can develop the ability to copy code as if it were a spoken language, recognizing words from the pattern of characters. One word students first learn to recognize this way is "THE". To develop this skill practice at high characters speeds. The words randomly selected by MA are in the file WORDS, separated by spaces (or any number of delimiters less than space). The file can be edited using the DOS editor. (maximum 2000 words).

For the above (U)se modes, the (D)uration key selects the length of the session and can be set from 1 to 9 minutes. If the start and final speeds are different, the session duration is divided into equal periods (the number of periods is Final-Start+1). The average code speed increases by 1 WPM after each period.

The last (U)se mode sends simulated QSO code tests from the Morse Academy files. When in this mode press ENTER to display the list of files. The cursor keys can be used to select the file to be loaded by positioning the reverse video block over the file name and pressing ENTER to select it. Starting the session with the ENTER key will cause the file's text to be sent. If one of Morse Academy's generated test is selected, a ten question fill-in-the-blank test and key can be printed out from the (G)enerate test session. (See the Generation session information for more details).

Code transmission begins when the ENTER key is pressed. It ends with the transmission of the Prosign AR (End of Transmission).

The student can copy the text on paper and compare the results displayed at the end of the session, or input directly on the keyboard and have the computer display both texts at the end of the session.

If the student inputs copy on the keyboard (rather than writing it on paper), at the end of transmission MA gives an opportunity to correct the text before comparing it to the compter generated text. This is what a student could do during an actual examination. The text input during transmission is displayed on the screen, and a prompt invites the student to edit it.

The active editing keys are the same used with the keyboard program: BACKSPACE, the cursor control keys UP ARROW, DOWN ARROW, RIGHT ARROW, LEFT ARROW, HOME, END, PAGE UP, and PAGE DOWN. The DELETE key functions to remove a character. The INSERT key toggles between insert and overlay modes. The insert state is shown in the upper right hand corner of the screen during editing. Editing is ended by pressing the ENTER key causing a comparison of the student's input text (as corrected) against the computer generated text.

Morse Academy compares the student's copy with the computer generated text, and shows differences in reverse video. Missing characters in the student's copy are shown as a "". The texts are displayed on pairs of lines with the student's copy below the computer's. The compared text can be printed (use the F10 key) with blank lines inserted after each pair to allow easier manual comparison. Screen reverse video (the differences) is shown by printing a character "-" underneath each line pair.

The Proficiency session can be stopped at any time by pushing the ESC key. Parameters can then be changed and the session restarted or ESC pushed a second time to return to the main menu.

By Joe Speroni