WHAT IS MALTED?
MALTED is an authoring computer tool designed to create multimedia and
interactive didactic units to be used by learners as a means to practise
their learning skills in technological environments. This tool has been
specifically developed for language teaching, although it may also be
used for other subjects included in the school curricula.
MALTED consists of three main components: the Developer Tool (DVE) , the Runtime System (RTS) and the XML Script Editor (RTE):
- The Developer Tool is a visual layout design tool for exercises and
units which generates in an automatic and transparent way the XML code
they are based on. It works on two levels. On the one hand, it includes
several templates to generate in an easy way most of the exercise types
frequently used in language teaching. It also manages the addition of
renewable and modifiable contents, as well as text, images, graphs, audio,
video and an application for voice recording through an external microphone.
On the other hand, it allows to organise activities based on logical sequencing,
following a didactic development plan. This way, we can create work units
featuring flexible navigation systems. Designers will also find an opportunity
to use their creativity freely, as well as the possibility to adopt and
apply various didactic approaches.
- The Runtime
System can be used to view and complete the exercises. Once the answers
have been checked, the corresponding score will be given. Aside from its
own viewer, this programme can also interact with the Net by using a supplementary
system (a Java applet, where Java is the general visual environment
used by the system) thanks to which contents can be presented on screen
through an ordinary web browser.
Script Editor is a mixed application comprising an XML script
processor and the system viewer to see the immediate results of the changes
just made. It is mainly intended for designers with programming skills.
In addition to
this, the system can be linked to two other complements: one called Learning Management System (LMS), which allows to register and follow
up the progress each learner has made within a particular unit; and another
one known as the Asset Base (AB), an external data base
where designers can search amongst a range of multimedia resources and
even some completed exercises, which provides a collaborative approach
to this environment and gives way to making a profitable use of common
The programme works with the Windows and Linux operating systems, and can be downloaded from http://malted.cnice.mec.es/ingles/download.htm.
MALTED is fully supported by CNICE (Ministry of Education),
where its original website is located: http://malted.cnice.mec.es/.
In greater detail, this institution:
- Provides online
technical support (http://malted.cnice.mec.es/ingles/documents.htm)
and manages the maintenance and progressive development of the system
along its different versions, which makes MALTED a tool
in permanent evolution in order to fulfil the demands of language teachers.
- Manages the
design and edition of selected didactic units, which currently cover a
vast portion of the official syllabus for the English language at Secondary
school level, and are readily available to all teachers (http://malted.cnice.mec.es/ingles/lessons.html).
- Lastly, it also
provides training to acquire expertise in the use of the system. Thanks
to the MALTED training courses (http://www.formacion.cnice.mec.es/formamos/c_malted.php),
which are divided into two levels, teachers in the first stage will learn
how to use interactive didactic units in their lessons, make minor modifications
to existing materials, and assess both the materials and their overall
teaching experience. In the advanced stage, they will also learn how to
design interactive didactic units and edit others to make them suit their
own learners. Furthermore, they will learn to exchange materials through
the specialised data base (AB).