This page describes how to enter texts into the ER-Central Library.
1. Create an Author Account (after reviewing the terms and conditions) and login
2. Go to the Text Creation Editor
3. Enter your text and its data
4. Submit the text for publication
Once a text has been submitted, ER-Central’s administrators will review the text to get it ready for the system. This will include checking for typos, minor reformatting, checking nothing in the text is promoting commercial products or contains copyrighted materials and so on. If the system administrators find anything they’ll contact the author. When the text is ready to go, the Administrator will then publish the text. This makes it live for all users on the site. Authors can review their texts in their own My Texts area once logged in. Authors can delete texts if they wish or add new ones from here.
Let’s now go through each step one by one.
From the top of any page select Register as a Teacher (it also allows you to donate texts as an author because as many teachers will also be authors).
Enter your information in the Registration page and enter your information. ER-Central will NEVER give your information to anyone. Ever. Remember your password and security answer so you can recover your password later if you forget it. You can edit these settings in Settings once you are logged in.
Then you need to decide if you want to bulk upload students (as you are registering as a teacher/Author you don’t need to do this now. So click the right one as show.
Click Sign up. You’ll be notified if the required fields are left blank.
2. Create a text
Login under your Author Account and select Donate Texts from your menu and select Text Creation Editor.
Don’t be intimidated. It’s actually quite straightforward. TCE analyses the vocabulary in your text to help you assign an accurate level to it. The rationale for ER-Central’s levels is here. TCE analyses the text and will show you all the words out of level (i.e words are a higher level than the one you selected – here level 10 and above) by assigning colors to them. We’ll come back to this later. Let’s now look at TCE.
There are different areas for different reasons. The two left panels are for vocabulary analysis and entering metadata such as genre, blurb and attribution and has an option for Comprehension Questions. The right panel is where you input the text, title and select a template design and an image. If you click a blue vertical bar, the panels will slide to the left and be hidden. Click them again to see them.
Setting a target level
First, you set a target level for your text from the metadata area by selecting Level.
The Text Area
Here you choose a suitable Title (max 75 characters). Please enter it in title format i.e the first letter of each main word should be capitalised. E.g. The Prince of Thieves, John’s Bad Day etc. You enter your text here and your text will be analysed. It’s best though to set a target level first by selecting Level from the pop-down menu.
In the Content area either type or paste in your text. It’s best you paste in from a .txt file if possible. If you paste in from Microsoft Word, the xml code embedded in the Word document sometimes plays havoc with the system and words appear strangely, truncated or cut off, sometime words run together or don’t break lines well. We’ve tried to prevent problems but sometimes strange things happen. This will happen if you try to paste in text from a website as well. If you have problems, here are two solutions.
a) put your text in Word and then click the remove formatting button.
b) save your work as a plain text file. Tell Word to do ‘Save As…’ from its File menu and save as a text (.txt) file. Like this:
Then copy / paste your text into the Content area. Once your text is in the Content area the system will do its magic.
Red words are those completely out of the 20 levels – these are typically very rare words or proper nouns. This text has none. Words coloured black with red underlines are words in the system but at a higher level than the target level. Words in black are either at the target level or an earlier level. Words in pink are probably proper nouns and will be ignored in the text. You can tell TCE to ignore certain words (e.g proper nouns) by selecting them and clicking Ignore this word. These words will then become green.
You can edit the text on the fly and TCE will recalculate if Analyser button is set to ON. You can switch if OFF if you like to stop it recalculating every time you edit the text. You should try to aim for at least 95%-98% of the vocabulary to be in level. You can see these figures above the formatting tools area. You do not need to strictly follow TCE’s suggestions of course, but can use your own judgement as to what you feel is readable at that level.
If you click Save at any time it will save your work.
The Template area
In this area you select You can tell TCE to ignore certain words (e.g proper nouns) by selecting them and clicking Ignore this word. These words will then become green. which brings up the template designs which help you select where you want the image to appear on the first page – left portrait, left landscape, across the page, or with only a color band. Most people choose left portrait.
Adding an Image
After you have selected a genre for your text from the metadata panel, you have the option of adding an image either from the ones ER-Central has chosen or your own. If you do not add an image the system will by default use the system image. The Editors may add an image for you. If you don’t like it let us know. To add an image click Select an Image and a dialog box opens. Here you decide to a) Choose an image from the ER-Central gallery (above) or b) Upload your own (below).
Let’s upload an image from your own computer. Click Choose File and a dialog box opens for you to select the image you want to use.
Basically any format is fine – jpg, gif, png are all fine. (Some don’t work very well though. If that’s the case try a screenshot of the picture and upload that – Cmd+shift+4 for Mac OSX then click and drag the area you want and it appears on your desktop. Do this for Windows.) Don’t worry about the pixel size or file size as soon we’ll crop the image. Please try to select non-copyrighted or creative commons images. Here is a link to some websites that offer creative commons and royalty free images. Add the url of any image you find into the attribution area, please.
After cropping you’ll get something like this.
Now click Insert Image
The Image now appears in the text window. You can also see text area.
The words underlined in red as shown above are out of level words. A list of these can be found in the left panel. These are words you might consider editing out of your text by replacing words or deleting them. You may decide not to change anything of course, but then it’s best to set a higher intended level.
You can now enter a blurb and an attribution (max 200 characters for both). The attribution area says where the text came from, or is the place where you can add a link to your own website, or add a link to an image you are using. If you wish to embed a clickable link, you need to type in the following text <a href=”url“>Link text</a> where “url” is the link you want users to go to and Link Text is the text you want them to see. For example, <a href=”http://er-central.com/”>Visit ER-Central</a> will display Visit ER-Central. If you only type in http://er-central.com/ it will display as text, not as a link.
You have the option of entering comprehension questions. If you do this, you need to enter a minimum of three questions (the system needs 3 to do its math) so if you do not wish to enter any don’t. If you enter one, the system will ask you to do two more so either do two more, or delete the one you did. Select the correct radio button to signify which is the correct answer.
Tips for writing comprehension questions
- Try not to make the comprehension questions too easy. One question might be easy, another could be answered if they actually read the text and the third might challenge them a little. ER-Central would like students to feel the texts are easy (so they read a lot) so hitting them with 3 tough questions might demotivate some learners.
- Try to keep the vocabulary in the questions about the same or easier than the text itself
- Avoid too many questions the students can easily get from the text e.g. dates or can work out without having read the text at all (e.g. was the summer hot? is likely to generate yes answers)
- Try to focus on comprehension of the text rather than details.
- Don’t make the questions a memory test, focus on comprehension.
We cannot know in advance how students will react to the questions, so ER-Central will monitor the success rate of each question. If we find one question is too easy (99% of students get it right) or too tough (10%) then we reserve the right to modify the questions as necessary.
The final VERY IMPORTANT step
Please read this bit carefully. Once you have entered your information, you should now select what level you think the text the system will register your text at. In the metadata area you see two pull down menus for levels. Level is your TARGET level – i.e the level you wanted the text to be. Intended Level is the level you will tell the system to accept. The reason we need two levels is that your target level may not be the same as the level you intend the text to be. Maybe you wanted the text to be level 9 but actually it will be level 7 on the system.
Once you are happy, click Submit. Remember though that once you submit the text for publication you cannot go back and alter it as it is in review. So please try to finish your text before selecting submit
One clicking submit you are required to accept ER-Central’s terms for submitting texts. Basically these terms are what you’d expect. The full terms and conditions are here.
There will be a nag reminder if you don’t complete some required fields e.g. title, genre, blurb. The system needs these so we ask that you fill them in. It will look something like this.
My Text area
Once logged in, the Author’s My Texts Panel allows you to see all your texts, their status and some additional statistics. This is available from your Create Texts menu. You can delete the text by selecting the checkbox on the left and clicking the trash can icon.
Once a text has been published, it cannot be altered by the Author. This is because altering the text will affect the data collected for each user. If you REALLY need to make changes email the Administrators and we’ll see what we can do.
Please note though that deleting a text only removes it from view from all users but does not remove it from the system. This is because some users will have already read your text and their data is dependent on the system still being able to access the text. For example, if a user had read 50 texts but your text is deleted from the system, then the system will register 49 texts which will not be accurate. Thus the text should stay on the system. Authors agree to this as part of their terms and conditions.
If you wish you can see your text in the Library.
Thanks for inputting your texts, the students will thank you… as does ER-Central.