McFib: Multiple-choice Fill-in-blank

This sentence and the ones that will appear below let you choose between two or three .

This lets each sentence serve as .

The mechanics of the Multiple-choice Fill-in-blank (McFib) are quite intuitive and easy to use, so it introduces very little cognitive load. The learner doesn't have to waste any extra brainpower to figure out what to do or how to do it.

At the same time, by segmenting the text this way, the load of the learning content – its inherent difficulty – might be reduced slightly... at least from the learner's perspective. This essentially limits the rate at which the learner has to take in new and/or difficult information.

By managing the intrinsic load rate and not wasting the learner's energy on extraneous load, we've increased the amount of attention and focus they can apply to the content itself – the load.

If you didn't know the three types of cognitive load before, you might have an idea now. If you're unsure, you can go back and re-read the sentences above until you get it... or see more detailed information about the Types of Cognitive Load on Wikipedia.

For each blank below, choose the best answer, i.e. the one that is most specific and central to the point of the sentence, and which requires the fewest additional assumptions and/or the smallest number of exceptions or qualifying conditions.

Isotopes of a single element all have nuclei with identical counts, but... differing numbers of . This means their will be different.

Since the isotopes of a single element have different numbers of neutrons per nucleus (and thus different atomic masses), their properties can differ drastically. Those having too few or too many neutrons (relative to whatever is stable for that element) are likely to be .

The type of radiation most likely to be emitted by an isotope is whatever would move it closest to in one step. For example, the most likely radioactive decay mode for a neutron-rich isotope is one that converts a neutron to a proton: .

The last few sentences with in-line choices had definite right and wrong answers. This had the effect of driving you down a linear sequential path... but did you notice that the choices for the first sentence or two were more ambiguous?

Choices... something new in his life. Up to this point, he'd let his path be determined by others, by circumstance. From high school, to Eastern Europe, to Afghanistan, back to Scarborough... it all just sort of happened. And now he was back home. Home home, with Mom, and Carlos, and Dad's old liquor cabinet. Nowhere to be and nothing to do.

Note: all hike-related portions of this story are very basic and lack details.

There's always a pub nearby in Scarborough, but only one was within walking distance. That's how he ended up at the Black Dog on a Thursday afternoon, soaking wet from a thunderstorm that blew through quickly on its way to Oshawa and points east. At least it was sunny now. He wasn't really sure he wanted a drink anymore, though.

It was too cold inside, soaked as he was, so he went to the patio instead. The waitress (Terri, according to her nametag) grinned at him as she scootched by to get back inside. "Hey, you might want this for the seats" she said as she handed him a bar towel... "I'll be back out in a minute... or do you know what you want?"

"Thanks. Pint of Keith's, please."

Something that sounded like "sure thing, honey" wafted out to him as the door swung shut behind her.

*heading out the back door, finding the trail, getting soaked by the passing thunderstorm*

*taking the route along the river, getting scraped up and covered with burs, reaching the bottom of the hill*

*taking the route along the ridge, nearly sliding to his death down the washout, reaching the bottom of the hill*

*crossing the street, reaching the the hill, going down to the bottom*

*encountering the family of skunks, deciding to go up the hill instead of continuing into Rouge Park*

*coming up the hill, passing by the old folks' home*

Nobody else was out here at the moment, but the late afternoon sun beaming in from the northwest felt good. This was also a good spot for watching the traffic on Island Road and any cars pulling into the parking lot.

Just then, a late '70s Parisienne pulled into the lot and parked right in front of the patio. He stood up to get a better look. She got out. Their eyes locked.

The patio was empty, so he had his pick of the tables. He chose one with an umbrella (just in case), facing the door.

The people he could see inside the bar area seemed happy. He wondered why his life hadn't turned out more like theirs.

Just then, she came out the door. Not Terri the waitress. Someone else entirely: hazel eyes, wavy dark hair, tan complexion, vaguely Asian/African features. She noticed him right away too. Recognition dawned...

Nearing the cross-walk, he paused for a moment and watched as old Mrs. MacLean shuffled by with an ancient Pekingese in tow. Good Lord, how is that old bat still alive... and the dog? It had to be the son of the son of Ming, the Unenergetic.

Shaking his head in wonder, he crossed the street and started into the Black Dog's parking lot. As he neared the entrance, a two-tone '78 Parisienne coupe pulled into the parking spot next to the door.

No way, he said to himself as she slid out of the car and turned to face him. She did a double-take and her eyes went impossibly wide.

"Ho-ly CRAP! When did you come home?!" they exclaimed simultaneously.

This was originally supposed to be the start of a learning scenario, but it became something else somehow. I guess that's what happens you start writing without a specific idea in mind. Anyway, the characters are complete fabrications. (The places are real, though.)

To be continued... maybe.

What would have happened if you'd chosen differently? Try Again!

All text and code by Billy Wilson ©2019.