HTML Double Solitaire


by Denis Angleton
and Jeffery Mandrake


Instructional Objective
Learners/Context
Rationale
Rules
Card Design
Deck Design
Design Process
References

Jeffery Mandrake, aka "Buffalo hunter," and Denis Angleton, aka "Water Buffalo," describe themselves as motorcycle ridin' , leather wearin' , volleyball playin' , jargon usin' , renaissance techno-nerds of the fifth order. They are co-founders of BuffaloSoft, a multimedia and Internet endeavor. In his spare time, Jeffery teaches science at Gompers Secondary school, and Denis works as an Authorware programmer at Jostens Learning.


Instructional Objective
The game is designed to promote a holistic view of html programming. Beginning learners often practice the parts that make up a html document, but many times, do not put together entire documents. The game will help students see how to construct entire documents. It will provide opportunities to try various ways of constructing html documents. It will also serve to aid retention of the structure of html.

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Learners/Context
The learners are students in the html workshop offered at SDSU in the Educational Technology department. However, anyone who is familiar with basic html and needs to refresh their memory about basic structure and tags will find this game useful.

Html Double Solitaire would be used by the students after some basic html syntax and document construction has been introduced. It is intended to be used as a class activity to increase memory retention. It can also be used outside of class to remind users of the basic structure of html.

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Rationale
Html is a programming language that has a hierarchy that is set in loose terms. Certain tags must be included. Within the body of the document, however, many different combinations of tags are acceptable. One requirement of the game is for learners to provide feedback to each other and to act as checkers for correct construction and syntax. A rummy game would provide this, but would only be a means for practicing small combinations of html structure. Solitaire would provide the wider view of how an entire document is constructed, but would not provide the benefits of more players. Double solitaire was selected because it provides practice in constructing entire documents, and the small groups of two to four learners can learn from each other, and check each other's work as well.

A card game is useful for learning basic html for several reasons. Learning the syntax of html is not the most exciting prospect. The game provides a competitive way to increase memory retention and practice the skills to creatively construct html documents. Involving more than one player will also help show students alternative ways to construct documents and make them look for incorrect statements to make sure that their opponents aren't pulling a fast one. Finally, a card game does not rely on access to a computer so practice can take place even if one is not available.

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Rules
Two to six people may play at the same time.

The Deal
A dealer is chosen and ten cards are dealt to each player, starting with the player on the dealer's left. The remaining cards are placed in a stack, face down. The players do not look at their cards and place them in a pile in front of them, turning the top card face up.

The Object of the Game
The object of the game is to play all of the cards in your pile. All players use the center piles to build documents. There may be up to four documents in the center area. When a document is closed, by playing a card, the cards are removed from the center area and a new document can be built in its place. Documents begin with a card. All documents must have:

Any other syntactically legal html statements are allowed.

The Play
The player on the dealer's left draws from the center pile as many cards as needed to make five cards, for example, if a player has two cards they draw three from the center pile. Players may play as many cards as they wish. If a player plays all five cards in their hand, they draw five more cards and continue playing. Wild cards must be named when they are played. To end a turn, a player discards one card, face up in front of them. There may be up to four discard piles and a player may use the top card in any of these discard piles while playing their hand. Play continues until one player has played the last card in their pile.
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Card Design
Cards are represented at 75% of their size.

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Deck Design
The desk has a total of 134 tag, 40 text (long text and short text), 20 picture, 10 link cards, and eight wild cards. Tag cards have the opening of the closing tags in the middle and on opposing outside edges. Picture cards have two opposing graphics with "picture" on the outside edges. Link cards have a url and "link" on the outside edge. Short text has a part of a sentence with "short text" on the edges. Long text has a paragraph with "long text" on the two edges. All cards except long text can be turned over and still be read. Long text cards can be used for paragraphs and body structure. Short text is used for link text, titles, headers, and other things that require a short piece of text.

Type of card Number of cards
<html> 8
</html> 8
<head> 8
</head> 8
<title> 8
</title> 8
<a href= 10
</a> 10
<img src= 10
<b> 8
</b> 8
<br> 8
<ol> 8
</ol> 8
<ul> 8
</ul> 8
Picture 20
long text 20
short text 20
link 10
wild 8

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Design Process
After deciding on the content, the first step was to find the best card game to fit the content. The two basic requirements were to focus on the construction of an entire html document, and to have more than one learner so the students could learn from each other. Even though the rules are a little more complicated than regular solitaire, double solitaire was decided upon because it met these two requirements. The next step was to decide upon the types and numbers of cards in the deck. Basic tags were selected so that the game did not become too complicated. The decision to include wild cards arose from a test playing of double solitaire in which the game was held up because no one had a particular card.

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References
Morris, M. (1995). HTML for Fun and Profit. Mountain View, CA: SunSoft Press.

Lemay, L. (1995). Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML in a Week. Indianapolis, IN: Sams Publishing.

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Last updated by Denis Angleton and Jeffery Mandrake on September 28, 1995.

Return to the Card Game Table of Contents.

Educational Technology 670, Fall 1995.