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19th Cent. British Literature

Dickens, Austen and much more

  • Android, iPad, iPhone
  • Paid
  • age 16+
Download for Android Download for iOS

About 19th Cent. British Literature

Fact Mountain — 19th-Century British Literature is an app designed to broaden readers' knowledge about classic works of literature. It covers both the content and the background to the book in a series of clues that begin in the obscure and gradually move towards the precise.  How many clues will it take you to identify the book in question?

Teacher Review

This review is based on the Fact Mountain app that covers British Literature but there are also apps covering American Literature, art, U.S. Presidents, and U.S. Law.

Whether it is talented athletes excelling at sport, or well-read academics applying their knowledge, audiences love to see just what the gifted, talented, and hardworking can achieve.  For sports fans, there are the famous tournaments.  For those interested in academic accomplishment, there is Quizbowl (or University Challenge for those of us in the UK). The designers of the Fact Mountain apps must be keen fans of these quiz formats as the influence can be seen throughout the apps.

The questions, around which any quiz must be built, are more carefully crafted in these shows than they are in less cerebral contests.  If these quizzes did not give experts a chance to shine, they would be without purpose.  If too many questions go by without an answer, the quiz would stall.  This is why the questions in these shows are crafted in the way that they are.

In most of the questions, a series of facts gradually hones in on the answer.  First, obscure clues that will only mean something to a master of the subject are read out before giving way to more general clues.  By the end of a question, contestants can often hazard a guess.  This might be based on no more than naming the most famous book by an author, but it ensures that most questions are scoring ones while experts can interrupt earlier than non-experts.

The words spent here on describing the questions of these famous quiz formats were necessary for this review because their structure has inspired this app's question style.  It works well too.

This app steps through the clues that formulate a full question one at a time.  Together they would form quite a wordy question but separately they lead students to the answer or at least to a point where they can make a worthy guess.  They are very well written and show a thoughtful approach to each of the final answers that they drive towards.

One worry with quiz apps is to do with the limitations of technology.  Perhaps the day will come where players can say an answer out loud, but that time is not yet.  Multiple-choice quizzes give too much away and are too rewarding to random guesses.  Type-the-answer solutions are too picky.  A slight spelling mistake or missing an inconsequential word will be as incorrect to a computer as random key presses.  

This problem has been solved in Fact Mountain with a quite wonderful predictive text-style approach.  A player who knows the answer need only begin to type one of the keywords and a set of possible options will appear from which to select.  

For example, in the English Literature version of this app, typing 'FR' as a partial answer will bring up 'Frankenstein' and 'Far From the Madding Crowd', as both contain a word beginning with 'FR'.  Continuing to type will narrow down the options or the player can just tap the desired answer.  This works really well as it all but eradicates guesswork but adeptly navigates around the frustration of a computer's inflexibility.  

The app is not just about testing knowledge.  It provides a means by which the questions can be accessed in a framework that supports learning and revision.  There is a flashcard option that takes the form of general coverage of the included topics in bite-sized chunks.  These can be tweaked to match your own level and books that you wish to cover.  There is also a Study Works option where the clues for each topic can be read in sequence.  Many links appear throughout these that take you to reputable sites on the internet which expand on the topics.

The Fact Mountain app reviewed was easy to use.  Navigation through the different sections is self-explanatory and logical.  It is an app that needs a lot of reading and the text is a good size (relative to the device's screen) and sharply defined.

The structure chosen by this app for presenting its questions is unique among apps at the moment and offers a useful asset for students.  As with any learning resource, physical or digital, it will work best as part of a selection of learning aids that approach the different topics from different angles and with different perspectives.  This may be different in some of the other Fact Mountain apps as each subject will have a distinctive scope.

Students, teachers, and those with a general interest in the covered topics can all be served well by this app.  Teachers can use it as a talking prompt or revision aid.  Students can broaden their knowledge and revise topics.  General readers can use it to enhance their understanding of literature.  

Each app is available as a standalone purchase or all of them as a bundle - and you should certainly look at how you think they could fit into your learning and teaching requirements.

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App Details

Teacher Ratings

Devices

Android, iPad, iPhone

Skills

Academic Relevance

Safeguarding

In-App Purchases - No

In-App Advertising - No

Publisher

Foothills Education, LLC

Download 19th Cent. British Literature

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Screenshots for 19th Cent. British Literature

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Publisher's Description

Learn British literature and prepare for academic competitions!

The app's three modes are:

Mode 1: PLAY GAME
Use the autocomplete to select answers. Race against the timer to answer each clue. Correct answers let you climb the Fact Mountain of 1800's British literature! Clues get easier until answered.

Mode 2: STUDY WORKS:
Choose one of the 36 works and study its 30 clues from hardest to easiest. Many clues contain hyperlinks for deeper study that allow you to read the works for free!

Mode 3: USE FLASH CARDS
Select a flash card set, ranked from hardest (30) to easiest (1). Then play the game with only your set of flash cards. Correct answers let you climb the Fact Mountain of British literature!

To switch between modes, tap the X at the top right.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Newbies should use flash card set 1 until they win the game twice. Then go to flash card set 2, etc. Study the paintings as desired. After winning twice with flash card set 5, alternate between playing the game and using higher-level flash cards.

See the app's Help page for info on average, good and expert scores.

Also try our other Fact Mountain apps or visit www.factmountain.net !

Please review the app for us so we know what to improve for future editions.

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