Blessings to you, the readers of this page, in Jesus Christ our Lord. May He guide you and protect you always.
Keywords: Study Hall Computer Assisted Instruction CAI Course Authoring Software Free Freeware Public Domain Includes Source Code Educational Technology Write Quizzes Tests Drills Link To Internet Resources Interactive Fiction Download Study Hall From This Page
STUDY HALL is a system for developing and running Computer-Assisted
Instruction. It is the least expensive, least complicated, most
widely-usable way for you to create and use Computer-Assisted
Instruction. STUDY HALL is in the Public Domain, so it is totally free,
and there are no licensing fees or copyright legalities to worry about.
You only need to learn thirteen control characters to write tutorials.
And STUDY HALL should run on any Windows or DOS-compatible system in the
world, even minimal ones. STUDY HALL is intended not only for
professional educators and course developers, but also for students and
hobbyists, such as myself. Even writers of fiction can use STUDY HALL,
to create interactive text adventures, where the development of the plot
depends on the reader's responses to situations in the story. SOURCE
CODE is included, so you can make whatever changes in the program you
I wrote Study Hall - CAI using
Microsoft QuickBasic 4.5
period 1989 - 1994. At that time, its usefulness was limited because
it is a text-only program, with no built-in capability to run its
own photos, graphics, and other non-text files. So it was
widely ignored, and I put it away and forgot about it until just
Now, however, we have the Internet and we have Internet Explorer built in to the Windows operating system. And Study Hall contains a very powerful "doscommand" function which can invoke Internet Explorer (or other outside software) to run almost any photo, graphics, music, video, etc. file you could desire. So Study Hall is now much more useful than it was during 1989 - 1994. Same program: much more useful now! And, of course, because it is written for the Microsoft DOS operating system, it runs perfectly well under the Microsoft Windows operating system. Just click on it, and it runs!
That's why I am re-releasing it now. Free. Public Domain.
From the Press Release . . .
Free Course-Authoring Software Seeks Wide Acceptance Among Teachers And StudentsAlexandria, VA - June 28, 2006
STUDY HALL - Computer-Assisted Instruction version 4.0 has been released and is now available for immediate download at http://www.loveallpeople.org/studyhall-cai.html . This course-authoring software package is totally free of charge and has been placed in the Public Domain.
"This is a system for developing and running educational lessons and courses," says its author, Rev. Bill McGinnis, Director of LoveAllPeople.org. "It is a zero-cost, uncomplicated, widely-usable way for teachers and students to create and use Computer-Assisted Instruction."
"There are no licensing fees or copyright legalities to worry about," says McGinnis. "You only need to learn thirteen control characters to write tutorials. And STUDY HALL runs on any Windows or DOS-compatible computer in the world, even minimal ones."
Source code is included, so computer experts can make whatever changes in the program they may desire.
The big advantage of STUDY HALL is speed and simplicity of development, according to McGinnis. "You don't need to worry about dozens of detailed instructions for one simple study file. Once you get the hang of it, you can write study files almost as fast as you can type the words."
"STUDY HALL includes a very powerful DOSCOMMAND function which allows you to open and run almost any file you can obtain or link to, with control provided from within the Study Hall system. Using this DOSCOMMAND function, STUDY HALL launches your Internet Explorer browser to run any file(s) you can find - graphics, audio, film clip, MIDI, multimedia, whatsoever. The browser runs in separate window(s). This feature allows you to use even the most complicated multimedia files, without sacrificing the simplicity of STUDY HALL itself," says McGinnis.
The entire Study Hall system is contained within one downloadable file located at http://www.loveallpeople.org/study40.zip . This zipfile includes demonstrations, complete instructions, and a small course entitled "The Twenty-One Greatest Ideas In Human Relationships," written by Rev. Bill McGinnis, the Study Hall author.
The website http://www.loveallpeople.org/studyhall-cai.html is a part of http://www.LoveAllPeople.org, which is a small private think tank located in Alexandria, VA. Its mission is to maximize the happiness and well-being of all people.
STUDY HALL - Computer-Assisted Instruction
Version 4.0 - July, 2006
Download Study Hall Here - Includes Source CodeThe complete Study Hall - CAI release file can be downloaded at both of these locations:http://www.loveallpeople.org/study40.zipNOTE: This works best if you "save" the file into a directory of your choice, and then unzip it. If you merely "open" it at the download prompt, it may not work as intended.
If you would like to see the source code before you download the release file,
you can see it HERE!
The Microsoft QuickBasic 4.5 compilerInformation and download =>NOTE: It is NOT necessary to have the QuickBasic 4.5 compiler in order to use Study Hall - CAI and to write your own courses. The compiler is only useful if you want to modify the source code to make your own version of the Study Hall - CAI program, which you are allowed to do because everything here is in the Public Domain.
You can write your own lessons and courses with any text editor or word processor which can produce plain text files. And you can link directly to the Internet to supplement the materials which you yourself prepare. Study Hall can also be used to write Interactive Fiction, where the reader interacts with the story and modifies the plot.
Study Hall uses a very simple system of thirteen control characters, contained within the text, to control the flow of information to the student. These thirteen control characters are:
Three "screen definition control characters" - for READ screens, for DRILL screens, and for QUIZ screens.
Ten "branch control characters" - GO TO, LOAD, QUIT, EXIT, IF SCORE IS GREATER THAN, IF SCORE IS LESS THAN, IF ANSWER IS, IF ANSWER IS NOT; the Q-link control character, which allows you to link multiple Quiz pages to form longer quizes and tests; and the DOSCOMMAND control character, which allows you to call up supplementary material as desired, including material from the Internet, running in separate Window(s), at the same time a lesson is in progress.
Each study file is organized, by you the author, into "screens" of information. Each screen may contain as many as 20 lines of educational content. Each line may contain as many as 80 characters. A study file may contain as many as 1,200 lines of text and as many as 200 different screens. A course may contain multiple study files, the number being limited only by available mass storage.
There are three types of screens in Study Hall: read screens, drill screens, and quiz screens.
In a read screen, the text is displayed on the monitor, and the student simply reads it. In a drill screen, Study Hall presents drills for the student, based on matched pairs of information provided by the author. In a quiz screen, questions are presented, one-by-one, and the answers given by the student are compared to the correct answers provided by the author.
At the end of each screen, the program needs to know where to go next. So provision has been made to control branching automatically, in a manner determined by the author of the study file. Automatic branching may send control to four different destinations: 1) another screen; 2) another study file; 3) the study menu; 4)the main menu of Study Hall.
Branching may be unconditional, or conditional, based on the current score (of a drill or quiz) or on the most recent answer (to a question). The student may always manually over-ride the automatic branching of Study Hall by choosing to return to the main menu or to the study menu.
In addition, the DOSCOMMAND control character allows you to call up supplementary material as desired, running in separate Window(s), at the same time the lesson is in progress.
First, make sure that all the files you need are available on the same directory including STUDY.EXE (the program file), and AUTH.BMS (a helper file), plus any study files you want. The study files should also be on the same directory because when Study Hall prompts you to select a study file to use, it lists the study files on the current directory.
Then navigate to that directory and click on STUDY.EXE, to launch STUDY HALL. Or you can use the Command Prompt within Windows, then enter STUDY to run the STUDY.EXE file. This will load Study Hall and start to run it. Soon, there will be a title screen, and then you go to the Main Menu. Or, you can enter STUDY/xxx or STUDY/xxx/yyy, where xxx is the name of a study file and yyy is the name or number of a screen within study file xxx. In these cases, Study Hall will start to run, will bypass the main menu, will load the study file specified, and will start at the screen specified, if any. If no screen is specified, Study Hall will load the study file, then prompt the user to begin running it.
Main Menu 1. STUDY! a. Introduction To STUDY HALL b. Instructions c. Load A Study File Into STUDY HALL d. Shell To DOS e. Change Colors On Screen x. Exit (Select by letter or number)Before you can start to study anything, you need to load a study file into Study Hall. If you choose menu selection 1 before a study file is loaded, you will be prompted to load a study file from among the study files listed on the current directory. Then you will continue to the Study Menu. Or you can use selection c to load a study file, then continue to the STUDY! Menu, which looks like this . . .
Study Menu 1. START STUDYING AT THE BEGINNING OF THE STUDY FILE 2. START STUDYING AT A PARTICULAR SCREEN 3. RESUME STUDYING AT SCREEN LAST STUDIED 4. LOAD A DIFFERENT STUDY FILE a. Display A Numerical Listing Of Screens b. Display A Particular Screen c. Display The Screen Last Studied d. Browse Through The Screens Sequentially e. Shell To DOS m. Go To Main Menu (Select by letter or number)Selections 1 through 3 put you into the study mode, and program control is surrendered to the screen specified. Selection 4 lets you change study files.
Selection "a" gives you a summary view of all the screens in the current study file. It permits you to relate the name of any screen to its number. (Screens may be specified in Study Hall either by their name or their number. Their number is determined by their physical sequence in the study file, with the first screen being #1, the second being #2, etc.)
Selections "b" through "d" permit you to view the screens, as they are written, including control characters, without surrendering program control to the screens you are viewing.
Selection "e" lets you temporarily leave Study Hall to go to DOS, (Command Prompt) perhaps to copy some files, or call up a directory, or run a supplemental program, or go to the Internet. Then when you are finished with that, you exit the command prompt and return to the study menu. (There is also a Shell To DOS on the main menu.)
Selection m gets you out of the study menu and back to the main menu.
Drill Screen Menu 1. Display The Drill Screen You Are Now On 2. Display Or Change Drill Screen Controls 3. Begin The Drill 4. Skip This Drill And Go On To Next Screen m. Go To Main Menu s. Go To Study Menu (Select by letter or number)If you select 2, you will be given the chance to modify the various drill screen controls which control the timer, the order of presentation, the scorekeeper, the degree of inclusion, and the left-side/right-side priority of stimulus and response. These controls permit the student to conduct the drill in the manner he prefers.
Your task now is to write the actual screens, using the Study Hall control characters to control the interactive flow of information to the student.
Each screen has three parts: 1) the screen definition control character, 2) the body of the screen, and 3) the branch control character(s).
The screen definition control character defines the beginning of a screen, gives a name to that screen, and identifies which type of screen it is . . . Read, Drill, or Quiz. The screen definition control character is located at the top of each screen.
The body of the screen contains the educational content of the screen: text, in the case of a read screen; drill pairs, in the case of a drill screen; and questions & answers, in the case of a quiz screen. The body of the screen occupies the middle part of the screen.
The branch control characters determine where the program goes after the current screen is finished. Control can be sent, by the author, to another screen, to another study file, back to main menu, or to the operating system of the computer. Branch control characters are located at the bottom of the screen, below the body of the screen.
When Study Hall has completed the body of a screen (the educational content), it then looks to the bottom of that screen for a branch control character it can execute. If it cannot execute the first branch control character, it then tries to execute the second one, etc. As soon as Study Hall finds a branch control character it can execute, it does so, and program control then passes to the specified destination. The maximum number of branch control characters per screen is 9.
a. The READ type: Syntax is << bbb-R >>. . . where bbb is the body of the name of the screen and -R or -D or -Q is the suffix, denoting the type of screen.
b. The DRILL type: Syntax is << bbb-D >>
c. The QUIZ type: Syntax is << bbb-Q >>
A screen definition control character must begin with << and end with >>. A screen definition control character must begin in the first column in its line, at the very left. Study Hall looks at each line to see if it contains a screen definition control character. If Study Hall does not find << in the leftmost position, it concludes that this line does not define the beginning of a new screen. Study Hall then goes to look at the next lines.
The screen definition control character must fit on one line. It cannot run over onto a second line. It may be a maximum of 80 characters long (the maximum length of a line, in Study Hall).
This is how Study Hall parses a screen definition control character into the name of screen and type of screen . . .
Screen Definition Control Character Name Of screen Type << intro-D>> intro-D drill << first quiz - Q >> firstquiz-Q quiz << study me first - R >> studymefirst-R read << go here first-Q>> goherefirst-Q quiz << begin-D>> begin-D drillPlease note that spaces are always squeezed out within a screen definition control character, except that the two characters in << and the >> must have no space between them, so as to be recognized when Study Hall scans the line. Capitalization (case) is disregarded.
The last line of a screen is considered to be the line immediately before the first line of the next screen. So if screen number 3 begins at line 24, then the last line of screen number 2 would be line 23. (The maximum is 20 lines of educational content per screen.)
If you want to include other kinds of graphics, or sound or slides or video in your lessons, you can prepare these items separately, by other means, and use Study Hall to refer to them, just like you would do in person, in the classroom. For example, this might appear on a read screen . . .
"Please turn on the VCR and play tape number four."Or, you can issue a command from within your study file, using the "doscommand" control character (more on this later.) With doscommand, you can command the operating system to automatically run an outside program, then return to the next Study Hall screen. If you want to do it, you can develop the most sophisticated graphics or sound or animation imaginable in an outside program. Then you can control the operation of this program from within your study file.
THE DOSCOMMAND CONTROL CHARACTER ALSO LETS YOU LAUNCH YOUR INTERNET EXPLORER AND LINK TO ANYTHING YOU CAN FIND ON THE INTERNET! So you can send your students out to the Internet to read about a subject, and then you can use STUDY HALL to emphasize certain parts of the subject and provide drills and quizzes.
A drill pair may not be longer than 80 characters, and it may not occupy more than one line in the study file. More than one drill pair may be placed on the same line, if they all will fit completely on that line. A drill pair may not carry over from one line to the next. Different drill pairs on the same line must be separated by at least four spaces. The maximum number of drill pairs possible in any one screen is 50.
Here are examples of drill pairs, linking historical events and their years:
Battle of Hastings/1066 Columbus discovers America/1492 U. S. Constitution written/1787 Civil War begins/1861 World War II ends/1945 JFK elected president/1960The possible uses for drill pairs is almost infinite: States and their capitals; departments and their managers; countries and their capitals; countries and their leaders; inventions and their inventors; mathematical equations and their names; substances and their chemical formulas; events and their dates; paintings and their artists; battles and their generals; words and their definitions; names of bones and their locations in the body; baseball players and their batting averages; books and their authors; and so on.
Study Hall disregards capitalization and spaces in answer lines, so "U. S. Government" is the same as "U.S. Government is the same as "U.S.Government" is the same as "u. s. gov ernment." Study Hall also disregards periods at the right end of an answer line, so that "b" is thesame as "b."Quiz screens are particularly useful for the following types of questions: multiple choice, true or false, fill in the blanks. They also work well with ordered lists and column matching. (See the study file named tutor for examples.) Quiz screens will not work with essay questions, unordered lists, or partial lists.
Quiz screens can be linked together, using the <*Q-link*> control character, so that the questions on several quiz screens are treated as part of the same quiz. (See the discussion of Branch Control Characters, below, for instructions on how to link quiz screens.) The maximum possible number of total lines for quiz screens linked together is 200.
Study Hall keeps score on quizes, continually providing the cumulative score, and permitting conditional branching based on the cumulative score. Study Hall also keeps track of the last answer given, and permits conditional branching based on the last answer given.
Here are some examples of questions on a quiz screen . . .
* * * * * Thank you for using Study Hall - Computer-Assisted Instruction.
Multiple Choice Questions
Q: 1. Who was the third president of the United States (please enter your selection by letter)?
(a) Abraham Lincoln (b) Thomas Jefferson (c) Bob Hope (d) John Quincy Adams (e) Andrew Jackson
True or False Questions
Q: Please answer the following questions, T or F (true or false).
1. According to the text, Christopher Columbus discovered America. (T or F)
2. In geometry, regarding triangles, the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two angles. (T or F)
3. "Iambic pentameter" is a term commonly used in the study of psychology. (T or F)
Fill In The Blanks QuestionsQ: Please fill in the blanks.
1. The Union general in the U. S. Civil War who later became President was _____________. (Last name only)
Q: 2. The President of the Confederacy in the U. S. Civil War was __________. (First and last names)
A: Jefferson Davis
Q: 3. The chairman of the convention which wrote the U. S. Constitution was ____________. (First and last names)
A: George Washington
Q: 4. Please complete the following slogan from the Revolutionary War period in U. S. history: " Give me liberty or ________." (three words)
A: give me death Remember that Study Hall compares the answer entered by the student with the correct answer provided by the author, following the A:, disregarding spaces, disregarding capitalization, and disregarding a terminal period (.). If the answers are the same, then the answer is considered to be correct; otherwise, incorrect.
Quiz screens can also be used by the author as a menu for the student, to permit the student to select what he wants to do next within the course. In these cases, the answer line takes this form: A: ?. This tells Study Hall that there is no correct answer, but the answer is a matter of choice. These answers are not computed as part of the score.
Here is an example . . .Q: Now that you have finished reading Chapter One, what would you like to do next (enter your selection by letter)?
a. Read it again.
b. Do the drill for chapter one.
c. Take the quiz for chapter one.
d. Take a break
BRANCH CONTROL CHARACTERSBranch control characters are located at the bottom of each screen, below the body of the screen. Branch control characters determine where program control goes after that screen is finished: to another screen, to another study file, to the main menu of Study Hall, or to the study menu.
There may be as many as nine branch control characters at the bottom of each screen. There is only one branch control character per line, and it must begin in the first position on its line, all the way to the left. If not in left-most position, the character will not be read by Study Hall.
Study Hall will start with the first branch control character, and try to execute it. If it cannot, it then tries to execute the second one, and so forth. As soon as a branch control character is executed, program control passes to its next destination. If no branch control character can be executed, Study Hall advises you to fix the study file and try again.
Study Hall generally disregards capitalization and spacing in branch control characters, except that the <* and *> must be together in order to be recognized when Study Hall scans the line.
These are the ten branch control characters used in Study Hall:
Unconditional Branch Control Characters - (SIX)
GO TO, LOAD, QUIT, EXIT, Q-LINK, and DOSCOMMAND
a. GO TO: Syntax is <* go to xxx *>
xxx is the name or number of any screen in the current study file.
Examples: <* go to first screen-R *> <* goto 3*>
This is the character you will be using most of the time, either by itself of as part of a conditional branch control character. This is the basic way you move from screen to screen.
If Study Hall sees a numeric digit in the leftmost position of a screen name, it will go to the screen of that number, rather than the screen of that name. It thinks <* go to 3rd quiz-Q*> means <* go to 3*>. So don't begin your screen names with a numeric digit.
b. LOAD: Syntax is <* load xxx *> or <* load xxx/yyy *>xxx is the name of a study file, in MS/DOS form.Examples: <* load history-1.txt*> <* load c:\study\history-1.txt *> <* load presidents.txt/firstscreen-3-R *> <* load cats.txt/4 *>
yyy is the name or number of a screen within study file xxx
This the way you use two or more study files together: the first one loads the second, and the second one loads the third. And you can jump into or out of a study file at any screen you want.
c. QUIT: Syntax is <* quit *>
QUIT returns control to the main menu of the Study Hall program. At the end of your course, the final instruction on the final screen would be <* quit *>, taking you back to the main menu of Study Hall.
d. EXIT: Syntax is <* exit *>
EXIT leaves Study Hall altogether and erases it from memory.
<* Q-link *>
<< screen-name-Q >>
<* Q-link *>
<< last-page-Q >>
Quiz screens may be linked together, so that the questions on more than one screen are included in one quiz. In order to accomplish this linking, use the <* Q-link*> control character at the bottom of any quiz screen to be linked with another quiz screen following it in the study file. The Q-link character must be directly abovethe screen definition control character for the following quiz screen, at the very leftmost position in the line.
When Study Hall encounters the <* Q-link *> control character, it treats the next quiz screen as if it were a continuation of the one before it.
Quiz screens may be Q-linked together until their total number of lines equals 200, the maximum number of lines possible in one quiz.
At the bottom of the last screen in the quiz, please use the other branch control characters to go to the next destination desired.
f. DOSCOMMAND: Syntax is <* doscommand xxx *>
xxx is any legal MS/DOS command. Study Hall preserves the spacing within each DOS command, so commands which require spaces between elements will work properly.Examples: <* doscommand dir *> <* doscommand qb/b/ah *> <* doscommand copy instr.doc prn*> <* doscommand format *>DOSCOMMAND creates a DOS shell, then executes the MS/DOS command you specified with the xxx. After executing the command, STUDY HALL then returns to the next screen in the study file.
This is an extremely powerful command, because you can summon all the power of the user's computer from within your study file. You can issue commands to run exec files (.exe), com files (.com), and batch files (.bat), as well as any other legal DOS command. This allows you to run other computer programs, as needed, from within the Study Hall environment, then return to Study Hall at the next screen.
Conditional Branch Control Characters - (Four)
IF SCORE IS GREATER THAN, IF SCORE IS LESS THAN,
IF ANSWER IS, IF ANSWER IS NOT
a. IF SCORE IS GREATER THAN:
Syntax is <* if score is greater than xxx then YYY *>
xxx is a specified integer percentage value of the current cumulative score, and YYY is one of the following commands: GO TO, LOAD, QUIT, EXIT, Or DOSCOMMAND. Examples:<* if score is greater than 99 then go to third screen -R *>Study Hall compares the student's current score to the score specified by the author. If the student's score is greater than the score specified, then the command is executed. If not, Study Hall looks to the next branch control character. Scoring begins anew with each new quiz.
<* if score is greater than 80 then quit *>
<* ifscoreisgreaterthan75thenload c:\study\hist-1.txt *>
<* if score is greater than 50 then goto 5 *>
<* if score is greater than 90 then doscommand congrats.bat *>
b. IF SCORE IS LESS THAN:
Syntax is <* if score is less than xxx then YYY *>
xxx is a specified integer percentage value of the current cumulative score, and YYY is one of the following commands: GO TO, LOAD, QUIT, EXIT, Or DOSCOMMAND. Examples:<* if score is less than 50 then go to review again-R *>Study Hall compares the student's current score to the score specified by the author. If the student's score is less than the score specified, then the command is executed. If not, Study Hall looks to the next branch control character. Scoring begins anew with each new quiz.
<* if score is less than 90 then load suplmnt.txt *>
<* if score islessthan 10 then quit *>
<* if score is less than 50 then doscommand c:\letters\notgood *>
c. IF ANSWER IS:
Syntax is <* if answer is xxx then YYY *>
xxx is a possible answer to the last question, and YYY is one of the following commands: GO TO, LOAD, QUIT, EXIT, Or DOSCOMMAND. Examples:<* if answer is d then goto second screen-R *>Study Hall compares the answer given by the student to the xxx answer provided by the author. If they are the same, then there is a match, and the command is executed. If not, Study Hall looks to the next branch control character. xxx is not necessarily the correct answer.
<* if answer is George Washington then go to 4 *>
<* if answer is T then quit *>
<* if answer is Alaska then load alaska.txt *>
d. IF ANSWER IS NOT:
Syntax is <* if answer is not xxx then YYY *>
xxx is a possible answer to the last question, and YYY is one of the following commands: GO TO, LOAD, QUIT, EXIT, Or DOSCOMMAND. Examples:<* if answer is not Civil War then go to 132 *>Study Hall compares the answer given by the student to the xxx answer provided by the author. If they are not the same, then the command is executed. xxx is not necessarily the correct answer.
<* if answer is not b then quit *>
<* if answer is not tibula then go to review bones-R *>
Good luck, and Happy Study Files!
Blessings to you. May God help us all.
Rev. Bill McGinnis, Director - LoveAllPeople.org
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