The author and his colleagues, Takako Yoshimitsu and Axel Harting of Hiroshima University, have been developing an on-line German grammar exercise-generating system utilizing an exercise database for Japanese learners of German, called DGSG, (Deutsche Grammatikübungen selbst gestrickt!) The DGSG has two interfaces, one for teachers and one for learners.
From the teacher interface, instructors can register exercise items into the database. Each data item to be registered consists of: 1. A short dialog as the exercise body, with one gap for possible answer(s), 2. Answer(s) and /or multiple choices to be filled in the gap, 3. Grammatical categories as criteria for selecting the exercise, 4. One subject category for the main sentence in the exercise as a criterion for selecting them, 5. Japanese translations of the exercise body, 6. Explanations as feedback to the answer(s) to be given by learners, 7. General information to be showen after having done the exercise, and 8. Various information for a set of hint buttons available during the exercise.
From the learner interface, learners can select: 1. Desired grammatical categories from among 175 such categories, 2. One subject category for the main sentence in an exercise, and 3. Numbers of exercises to be made, and by means of these criteria, students can generate different sets of exercises suitable for their own learning purposes. The virtue of this exercise-generating system from the database is that it enables learners with various learning profiles to create their own custom-made exersises. The DGSG offers two types of learning modes. One is an exercise mode for learning, and the other is a test mode for assessing. In the exercise mode, learners can also get feedback to their answers and use various hint buttons, while in the test mode there are no such possibilities.
At the end of the project in early 2011, the database of DGSG will contain about 3,500 German grammar exercises in multiple choice forms and also in fill-in exercise forms. As of January 10, 2009, about 2,500 exercises have already been made. The DGSG still remains in a trial version. It will be open to the public from April 1, 2010 at the following URL:http://lang.hiroshima-u.ac.jp/dgsg/