Receiving Game

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

Figure 4. Receiving Game Menu

The Receiving Game is an interactive game that allows a student to practice code by listening to a random group of 1 to 9 characters, typing the characters on the keyboard, and having the computer check if he or she is correct. If correct, a short high pitch tone is emitted. If wrong, a long low frequency tone sounds, the correct answer is displayed in the center of the screen with an indicator showing the character that caused the error and the incorrect student input displayed below it. This feedback allows students to learn characters thru repetition and correction.

The number of different characters used during the game is determined by the Learning menu. For the first Receiving Game, use the Learning menu to select just a few characters, say three. Then enter the Receiving Game, and select the (S)tarting speed, (F)inal maximum speed, (C)haracter speed, (D)uration of game, (W)eighting, and (G)roup size as desired before starting a game.

The (S)tarting speed key selects the initial average speed of the text sent. For every twenty correct responses the average sending speed is increased by one WPM, up to the (F)inal maximum speed.

The (C)haracter speed key selects the character speed. Morse Academy is designed to send characters relatively fast. The default character speed of 18 WPM is a good choice for students aiming for a code speed of 13 WPM. This may seem fast, but learning individual characters at this rate with pauses between them makes it easier to progress. At faster average sending rates the speed of characters remains the same but pauses between them shorten.

The (D)uration key sets the length of the session from 1 to 9 minutes.

The (U)se key selects sending of either fixed length random character groups, or short English words frequently used in CW QSO's. For new students random character groups is the recommended mode. Later, practice learning words at high speeds will give the student the ability to hear a word like a single character. [See (P)roficiency session for a explanation of the WORDS file].

The (W)eight key selects different frequency patterns of sending of characters. This allows the student to control the frequency of repetition of characters to stress those requiring more emphasis.

Random: Random weight (each character having the same frequency). Text: Text weighting with the vowels occurring more frequently. History: Characters missed in last Receiving Game are sent more frequently. Student's: Student selected weighting.

Use the main menu (W)eighting session to display these selections graphically and to create a student's desired weighting.

The (G) size is the number of characters sent by the game in sequence without spaces between them. The size can be set for from 1 to 9 characters.

Values of 5 and 18 WPM, and 1 character groups are good choices for beginning students.

Start the game with the ENTER key and it will randomly generate the letters A, E, R, N, T, or the Prosign AR (If you have started with Lesson number 1). Continue to play the game until you're comfortable with these characters. With only a few characters, the character's sound and their position on the keyboard are quickly learned. The number of characters can be increased by adding a few each day. In just a few weeks the student will know all the characters and their positions on the keyboard.

A total of right and wrong answers is constantly updated on the screen and the score and time remaining shown as a bar graphs. The session ends when the duration expires, but it can be ended early by depressing ESC. The program signals completion by sending the Prosign SK (End of Final Transmission).

At the end of the game, the characters sent during the session are displayed on the screen, in order of the worst result. Each character is displayed with the number of incorrect responses, and the number of times the character was correctly copied. For example "F <4,11>" shows the student missed the letter F 4 times and copied it correctly 11 times. This allows the student to review the session and find which characters need more work.

The results of a Receiving Game can be used to re-sequence the characters in the Learning menu. Use the (R)esequence key to select this option. If this option is selected and the Learning menu is displayed after a full game is played, the characters will be displayed in order by the worst character, giving the student a history of the characters causing the most trouble.

Another important function of the Receiving Game is its remembering weightings corresponding to the characters missed during the game. The Weighting option in all menus can be used to select the HISTORY weighting. Selecting HISTORY weighting will allow the student to repeat troublesome characters requiring practice.

NOTE: Resequencing and historical weighting occur only if the receiving game goes to completion, i.e. the ESC key is NOT used to terminate early.

After the student is comfortable with single letters, but early in his training, the group size should be set to 2 (and later 3 and higher), so memory (copying behind the text) can start to be developed. This can not be over emphasized. Skills in copying depend very much on getting confidence in copying longer sequences.

Mix sessions between the Receiving Game and Proficiency testing to develop the ability to write characters as well as input them on the keyboard. When the Receiving Game becomes too easy try switching to the Endurance Trials to get practice in copying long character sequences without an error. Students can adjust the mix of sessions to match free time and the pace of learning. You should make an effort to spend at least 30 minutes every other day practicing. With only a little effort Morse code skills will come easily.

By Joe Speroni