1 by Rik Leedale, Chris Singleton and Kevin Thomas Welcome to the Memory Booster Guide for Teachers, Parents and Professionals First Edition - Revised This document is divided into the following five main sections. Click on the links below to go to the section that you wish to read. Tip remember to use the back button to return to where you previously left. CONTENTS Installing and running Memory Booster Quick Guide to Using Memory Booster Memory Booster in detail Getting the most from your memory and Memory Booster Note for U.S. users: Primary school = Elementary school. Secondary school = Senior / High school Memory Booster Guide for Teachers, Parents and Professionals GTPP 1_06 Page 1 of 31
2 Memory Booster Guide for Teachers, Parents and Professionals First Edition Copyright Lucid Innovations Limited 2004 All rights reserved. Except for the quotation of brief passages in reviews or criticism, or the copying of short extracts for bona fide training or demonstrations, or where expressly provided for in this Guide, no part of this document may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of Lucid Innovations Limited. Memory Booster is the exclusive World Copyright of Lucid Innovations Limited. Any attempts to copy, modify, adapt, translate or create derivative works based on this Software or otherwise to infringe copyright of Lucid Innovations Limited will be pursued to the utmost in the Courts of Law. Licensed for sale and reproduction to Lucid Research Ltd, 3 Spencer Street, BEVERLEY, East Yorkshire, HU17 9EL, UK Memory Booster Guide for Teachers, Parents and Professionals GTPP 1_06 Page 2 of 31
3 CONTENTS CONTENTS 3 INTRODUCING MEMORY BOOSTER 5 INSTALLING AND RUNNING MEMORY BOOSTER 6 TO INSTALL MEMORY BOOSTER 6 TO RUN MEMORY BOOSTER 6 QUICK GUIDE TO USING MEMORY BOOSTER 7 REGISTER PLAYER DETAILS 7 KEEP OR CHANGE THE START-UP SETTINGS 7 READ THIS GUIDE 8 START THE MISSION 8 Progressing using the standard or default settings 8 Level 1 of Memory Booster 8 Level 2 10 Level 3 10 The levels get harder up to level 6 10 Completing a mission 11 MEMORY BOOSTER IN DETAIL 12 FIRST, SOME DEFINITIONS 12 Who is Pooter? 12 Who is Fiona? 12 Training Room 12 Waiting Room 12 What is a task? 13 What is a task object? 13 What is a level? 13 What is a sublevel? 13 CHANGING THE PROGRAM SETTINGS 14 THE SETTINGS PAGE 14 1) Mission Types 14 2) Tasks per sublevel 16 3) Timeout period 16 4) Delay Time 16 WAITING ROOM 17 What is in the Waiting Room? 17 SCORES AND REWARDS IN MEMORY BOOSTER 19 Scoring 20 Cartoons 21 Certificates 21 HOW TO DELETE PLAYERS OR EXIT FROM MEMORY BOOSTER 22 Deleting players with their results 22 How to exit from Memory Booster 22 GETTING THE MOST FROM YOUR MEMORY AND MEMORY BOOSTER 23 HOW DOES MEMORY WORK? 23 What is memory? 23 Why do we forget some things? 23 Why do some people have better memory than other people? 24 How can memory be improved? 24 Memory Booster Guide for Teachers, Parents and Professionals GTPP 1_06 Page 3 of 31
4 USING MEMORY BOOSTER AT SCHOOL, HOME AND IN THE COMMUNITY 25 How does Memory Booster work? 25 Why is Memory Booster especially useful in the primary school? 25 About the strategies in Memory Booster 26 Some suggestions for classroom organisation when using Memory Booster 26 Adapting Memory Booster to individual learning needs 27 Checking the child s progress 28 Using Memory Booster with children who have special educational needs 29 Children with dyslexia 30 Additional hints on using Memory Booster at home 30 Further advice and information 31 To get the most from the Memory Booster program we strongly recommend that you read this guide and regularly check the Memory Booster website ( for updated information and advice. Memory Booster Guide for Teachers, Parents and Professionals GTPP 1_06 Page 4 of 31
5 Introducing Memory Booster In today s increasingly complex world there are so many situations and occasions when children need to remember things information, instructions, learning things for tests and exams, lists of things to do during the day. Memory Booster is a NEW and exciting approach to helping children improve their memory skills, requiring very little teacher, parental or professional guidance. Memory Booster is an adventure game set in Pooter s castle. Pooter the Master Computer has lost his memory and needs help from the child to recover it. By playing memory games children not only help Pooter to get back to his old self again but score points and also earn the chance to watch Pooter s favourite cartoons! During the mission the player is guided on the use of different memory strategies, with useful examples, by Pooter s friendly helper Fiona. The program presents children with enjoyable tasks which require them to use their memory to the full. Children are taught different memory strategies throughout the game and when practised regularly they can help children gain valuable skills and techniques to help them remember things better throughout their lives. At any time during the mission the child can go to the Waiting Room, where scores can be viewed, the Memory Strategies can be seen again or a personalised certificate with the player s name and scores can be printed out! Scores are saved automatically and the mission can be resumed at a later time. Memory Booster Guide for Teachers, Parents and Professionals GTPP 1_06 Page 5 of 31
6 Installing and running Memory Booster To install Memory Booster Please note that autorun has not been enabled which means that Memory Booster does not install automatically when you put the CD in the drive. This is because the game requires the CD in the drive each time you run it and if autorun was enabled then the software would attempt to install every time you inserted the CD (run the game). You install Memory Booster onto your computer s hard drive by running the file called setup on the CD (its full file name is setup.exe). You can so this by one of the following two methods: 1) Open Windows Explorer and double-click on the file called setup (or setup.exe) on the CD. 2) Alternatively, click on the Start button (Figure 1), select the Run option and type D:\setup (Figure 2) where D is the letter that represents your CD or DVD drive that the CD is in. Figure 1 Run option Figure 2 Execute setup.exe Once you click on OK simply follow the on-screen instructions as Memory Booster is installed onto your computer. After Memory Booster has been installed you should see an icon on the computer desktop similar to the one in Figure 3. To run Memory Booster To run Memory Booster double click on the Memory Booster icon. You can also run Memory Booster by selecting Start and then Programs and choose the Memory Booster from the program list. Figure 3 Memory Booster icon Memory Booster Guide for Teachers, Parents and Professionals GTPP 1_06 Page 6 of 31
7 Quick Guide to Using Memory Booster Although you can use Memory Booster straight away and without altering any of the program settings (or appreciating the purpose of these settings), we do recommend that you have a go with the program yourself so that you can gain a good understanding of how it works. In addition to this we also recommend that you experiment and familiarise yourself with the setting options so that you can then make suitable refinements and adjustments in order to maximise the benefits to all individuals no matter what their learning styles or abilities are. Register player details The first time you start Memory Booster you will see a screen similar to the one in Figure 4. Figure 4 Start or restart mission Figure 5 Enter the player s name Select the yellow button to start a new mission. The red button will be disabled on the first occasion and will only become available once you have started a mission. You are then required to enter the player s name (Figure 5) followed by their age (not shown here). After confirming that these two details are correct you will see the screen shown in Figure 6. Keep or change the start-up settings At this point you have the opportunity to alter the settings for each new mission. You do this by clicking on the Settings button which takes you to the Settings Page (shown in Figure 18). From there you can alter the game difficulty and the way tasks are presented to the player. Please note that two of the settings, namely the mission type and the tasks per sublevel, can only be altered at this point in a game. Whereas the remaining settings can be altered at any other time. Figure 6 Settings button on start-up Memory Booster has been designed to be effective for all players using the standard or default settings. However, some individual players may obtain even Memory Booster Guide for Teachers, Parents and Professionals GTPP 1_06 Page 7 of 31
8 more benefit when the settings have been adjusted to suit their particular learning style or need. The default Mission is set to type A (see 1) Mission Types) and the default number of tasks per sublevel is set to 1 (see 2) Tasks per sublevel). See the section Changing the program settings for details about what the settings do. Read this guide By clicking on the Guide button you will open this document that you are now reading. Start the mission Select the blue button marked Play at the foot of the screen (Figure 6) to start the mission. After seeing the introductory story showing Pooter s castle, the player is taken to the dungeon and is introduced to Pooter (Figure 7), who isn t feeling well! Figure 7 Pooter in the dungeon Figure 8 Fiona After seeing Pooter for the first time, the player is then introduced to Fiona (Figure 8) who explains how they can help Pooter. There are three parts to helping Pooter and thereby completing a mission. 1) help to improve Pooter s memory by obtaining some memory chips for him; 2) help to improve Pooter s appearance by obtaining a graphics card; and 3) cure Pooter of a virus by obtaining some anti-virus software. The player achieves each of these goals by completing the memory tasks that the Memory Booster software delivers. But before the memory tasks begin, Fiona explains the first of four key memory strategies that are used in Memory Booster (see section About the strategies in Memory Booster). Progressing using the standard or default settings The following descriptions of completing each level and thereby the whole mission will assume that the standard or default settings will be used. For more advanced use of Memory Booster you can see the sections Memory Booster in detail and Getting the most from your memory and Memory Booster. Level 1 of Memory Booster Each mission starts at level 1 (What is a level?) where the player is required to remember one object (the target object). The player is shown the memory task screen (a bank of computer monitors as illustrated in Figure 9) and a voice says the name of an object that the player must remember, for example a red chair. After a delay (the duration of which can be altered see 4) Delay Time) at least two pictures are shown on any of the randomly selected monitors (Figure 10). The player should then click on the target object, a red chair in this case. Memory Booster Guide for Teachers, Parents and Professionals GTPP 1_06 Page 8 of 31
9 Figure 9 Basic memory task screen Figure 10 Task items If the player chooses correctly, a green bulb lights up, a score is added and the next memory task is presented. To complete level 1 all twelve green bulbs must be lit. (NB - Each bulb represents a different sublevel and you can find out about sublevels in section What is a sublevel?. Also, the number of goes or tasks per sublevel can be varied from 1 to 3 see 2) Tasks per sublevel. Setting this to 2 (or 3) rather than the default of 1, means that the player has to make 2 (or 3) correct responses before each green bulb is lit. In this way the player gets more practice at a given difficulty before moving on to harder items but they will obviously have to do more tasks to complete a level.) As the player progresses the number of distractor objects shown increases (a distractor object is a non-target object i.e. the object that the player shouldn t choose). Distractor objects can be quite different from, or very similar to, the target object. The more similar the distractor object is to the target object the harder the memory task is. These factors make the memory tasks progressively harder as the player moves up through each level. After all the twelve green lights are lit Figure 11 The Secret Room and memory box the player receives a bonus score, and when on Mission type setting A and C the player is taken to the Secret Room (Figure 11) where a box of memory chips will be found to help Pooter improve his memory. (Mission type B is harder and if the player is performing at a high enough level of accuracy they will not be taken to Pooter s room this early on in the mission (see Mission Type B). Afterwards, the player goes back to the dungeon where a delighted Pooter gives the player two golden coins which allow the player to select and watch two funny cartoons of their choice (Figure 12). Pooter then asks the player to start the second part of the mission. Namely, to help him obtain a new graphics booster card that will allow him to look more handsome! Fiona reappears and presents the second memory strategy (Figure 13). Memory Booster Guide for Teachers, Parents and Professionals GTPP 1_06 Page 9 of 31
10 Figure 12 Select a cartoon to watch Figure 13 Fiona and the second memory strategy Level 2 The player will continue at level 2 where they are required to remember two objects. Again, as the green bulbs get lit the number of picture variations and other distractor pictures also increase, making each task a little harder. At the end of level two Pooter gets his much-needed graphics upgrade, and gives the player another 3 golden coins which can be used to watch 3 more cartoons. The player does not have to use up the coins immediately but can save them to spend on viewing cartoons later. The third and last part of the mission will now commence. Pooter proceeds to catch a nasty virus and needs the player to help with this. Fiona shows the player the third memory strategy, and for Mission types A or C the third and final level 3 is commenced. Level 3 On level 3 the player is required to remember three objects each time. After level three has been successfully completed a delighted Pooter presents the player with four gold coins which allow another four cartoons to be viewed. The levels get harder up to level 6 As the player goes through the mission they will be given progressively harder memory tasks. Figure 14 shows an example of a task at level 2 where the player has been asked to remember and identify a red and white bus and a a blue balloon. You can see that the distractor objects make the task harder because some are especially confusable with the target objects two blue balloons being highly confusable with a blue balloon and the white bus being highly confusable with the red and white bus. Memory Booster can be made easier or harder. One of the simplest ways to alter the difficulty is to alter the Mission type but there are other ways (see the section Changing the program settings). Mission type C means that the player has to only make twelve responses, irrespective of accuracy, in order to complete a level and complete the mission. Mission type C is a special facility designed to allow the child with greater learning needs to complete the mission successfully. Mission type B is a more automated and adaptive version that allows players to progress to the highest possible levels. This setting can deliver the hardest memory tasks of all. However, the difficulty of the tasks presented be adjusted to suit how each player is performing and the program will take them to levels that are appropriate to their ability. Mission type B can allow players to go right up to level 6 but it is expected that very few people indeed will actually go this far; without cheating! Memory Booster Guide for Teachers, Parents and Professionals GTPP 1_06 Page 10 of 31
11 Level 6 Level 6 means that the player is required to remember six objects. The most difficult task at this level occurs when the player is asked to select the six target objects from amongst fourteen confusable distractor objects (twenty objects in total) filling a 5x4 monitor bank, as shown in Figure 15. Figure 14 A 3x3 monitor bank with 5 objects Figure 15 A 5x4 monitor bank task screen Completing a mission Having completed the mission the player can go back to the Waiting Room to see and print out a certificate showing their achievement! Please note that you do not have to wait until a mission has been completed in order to see progress reports or the certificate. Rather, reports and the certificate can be viewed and printed at any stage in the mission. The player s certificate shows their scores and levels achieved, and can be printed out in normal parchment (scroll) style or an ink saver style. Figure 16 An example certificate In order to gain the most from using Memory Booster we recommend that you also read the Memory Booster in detail and Getting the most from your memory and Memory Booster. Memory Booster Guide for Teachers, Parents and Professionals GTPP 1_06 Page 11 of 31
12 Memory Booster in detail First, some definitions Who is Pooter? Pooter is a lovable character who is a computer and features the voice of Brian Blessed. (Pooter can be seen in Figure 7.) He introduces the game to the player and although he is always friendly he believes that he is the most powerful computer in the universe and that he knows everything. However, upon first meeting him we see that in fact he is not so all knowing and does make some obvious mistakes. Pooter now needs the player s help in order to make him good once again. Pooter requires the player to get three items that will upgrade Pooter to his former grand self. Who is Fiona? Fiona is the young woman in the program, and is there to help the player complete the tasks that will in turn help Pooter. (Fiona can be seen in Figure 8.) She demonstrates the different memory strategies and techniques encouraged by Memory Booster. She will appear just after the player has helped Pooter to obtain one of his upgrades and just before the start of the next level. If the player is doing a mission which only has three levels (ie on Mission Types A or C) the fourth memory strategy will not be automatically introduced during the mission. However, the player can still watch the fourth memory strategy by going to the Training Room and selecting Strategy 4 (Figure 17). For Mission Type B Fiona introduces strategies at different points depending on how well the player is doing (see 1) Mission Types). Training Room The Training Room allows the player to replay any of the strategies that Fiona has introduced or play others not yet introduced. There are four strategies and these can be replayed as helpful reminders at any time. Go to the Training Room by selecting the Strategies button from the Waiting Room, and then selecting any of the four Strategy buttons (figure 15). Figure 17 Strategy 4 Waiting Room In the Waiting Room the player or administrator can access other aspects of the program. The Waiting Room is explained in more detail in the section Waiting Room. Memory Booster Guide for Teachers, Parents and Professionals GTPP 1_06 Page 12 of 31
13 What is a task? The tasks are the memory tasks themselves and these form the core opportunities for the players to practice, exercise and develop their memory skills, strategies and techniques. At level 1, a task could be as simple as being asked to remember and find, say, a cow (the target or target object). On the task screen (Figure 9), the nine blank computer screens gradually fade in and a picture of a cow appears (the target object) along with other pictures (the distractor objects). The task is for the player to click on the cow and when they have made their choice (response), this single task has been completed. At level 2, the player is asked to remember and find 2 objects. After the delay time the objects (the target objects and the distractor objects) appear in the monitors on the task screen and the player has to select both of the target objects (in any order). This is also a single task. In a similar way a single task can be described at levels 3, 4, 5 and 6. The default setting of 1 for tasks per sublevel (see 2) Tasks per sublevel) means that for missions A or B the player is required to correctly answer 12 tasks in order to complete each level. (On mission Type B setting the player only has to make 12 responses, whether correct or incorrect, in order to complete a level.) However, the number of tasks per sublevel can be altered from 1 to 2 or 3. And when set to 3 it means that the player will be required to make 36 correct responses in order to complete a level i.e. 3 correct responses per sublevel. What is a task object? An object in this context is the thing, or object, that the program is asking the player to remember and identify. During each task the player will be required to identify the object, or picture, that they were asked to remember. They will have to identify this target object from other non-target or distractor objects that will also be shown. At level 1 the player will be asked to remember and identify one target object. At level 2 the player is required to remember and identify two target objects and so on up to level 6 where the player is asked to remember and identify six target objects. What is a level? Each level directly represents the number of objects the player is required to remember. So in level 1 the player is required to remember and select one object from amongst the distractor objects. For level 2 the player is required to remember and select two objects from amongst the distractor objects, and so on up to level 6 where the player is required to remember six target objects. What is a sublevel? There are 12 sublevels to each level (except for level 6 where there are just 10). The number of memory tasks required to be accurately completed at each sublevel can be set from 1 to 3 the default is set to 1 memory task per sublevel. Sublevels start easier but get progressively harder as the player is presented with more variations of the targets and more distractor items. For example, if the target item is a blue ball, different coloured balls (or more than Memory Booster Guide for Teachers, Parents and Professionals GTPP 1_06 Page 13 of 31
14 one blue ball) may be shown in adjacent slots. The number of other unrelated distractor items also increases. Changing the program settings You can set the way Memory Booster operates either before a mission starts or during a mission. Please note that some settings can only be altered before a mission is commenced. The settings can be used to make the mission either easier (for those who are finding it a little too hard) or harder (for those who need more of a challenge). Memory Booster is very flexible and changes are be made by way of the Settings Page (Figure 18) which allow you to adapt the mission for a particular player s needs. Figure 18 Settings Page on start up To configure the settings prior to starting a mission simply go to the Settings Page just after you have entered the name and age of the new player (see Figure 6). If you do this at this stage you will be able to alter the Mission type, the tasks per sublevel, the Timeout period and the Delay time (see below). If you wish to alter the settings after you have commenced a mission you will only be able to alter the Timeout period and the Delay time. You can do this by visiting Settings Page by way of the Waiting Room (see Waiting Room). The Settings Page There are four parameters that can be altered on the Settings Page and these are described in detail below: 1) Mission Types Once you set a mission type (choose a mission to play) for each player you cannot change it during that mission. But if, after completing a mission, the child wants to attempt a new mission they can do so and the new mission can be of a different type. If you wish a player to try a different mission type before they complete a current mission then you can register their name and age again so that a new mission can be set for them. (There are spaces for up to 28 missions in Memory Booster). Missions can be overwritten when all spaces are filled. A mission is completed when the player has helped Pooter obtain all three things that he requests, namely some Memory Chips, a Graphics Booster Card and Antivirus software. Players start or continue as many missions as they wish. Mission Type A This is the standard (default) setting which will determine a player s mission unless it is changed before beginning the mission; that is just after entering or registering the child s name and age. Memory Booster Guide for Teachers, Parents and Professionals GTPP 1_06 Page 14 of 31
15 Only the first three game levels can be played on Mission Type A and after each level the player will visit Pooter, who offers his thanks and the opportunity to view some of his funny cartoons. The fourth memory strategy will not be introduced to the player during the mission as this normally happens beyond level 3. However the fourth strategy can still be learned by going to the Training Room and selecting it there. Mission Type B This is the hardest setting which may suit an ambitious child or one with a very good memory (or good memory skills) or one who has found his or her first mission relatively easy and wants a greater challenge. The aim for the Mission Type B setting is to provide a more automated and adaptive way to stretch players of a wide ability range. This setting adjusts the difficulty level automatically depending on how well the player is actually doing during the mission itself. Here it is possible for a player to reach level six where he or she is required to remember and identify six images. Not only will the player be allowed to progress further to harder levels, but the actual delay time automatically increases as he or she demonstrates a high level of accuracy (meaning the player has to hold the information longer in their short term and working memory in addition to being required to remember a greater amount of information). If the player is performing at a high level (in this context meaning at least 75% of all attempts at a given level are correct) then he or she will have to complete two adjacent levels before seeing the Pooter reward. If the player reaches the end of a level with less than 75% accuracy then he or she will meet Pooter immediately and before going to the next level. After seeing Pooter the player then has the opportunity to play the cartoons if he/she wishes. The complete mission will end when the player has helped Pooter to obtain his three items: (i) the memory chips; (ii) the graphics card; and (iii) the antivirus software. How many levels the player gets presented varies depending on how accurate they have been. Players who are finding the tasks more difficult (making more errors) will see Pooter at an earlier and easier stage, whereas those more able players (making less errors) will be taken to harder levels before they receive the rewards. In this way it is expected that players of varying abilities will have equal opportunities to receive the same rewards and also to be able to complete their own mission. Therefore the number of levels required in order to complete Mission Type B will vary from a minimum of 3 to a maximum of 6 depending on how accurately they are completing their mission. A further feature of Mission Type B is that the Delay time (i.e. the duration between when the player has heard all of the names and the time when they can respond) varies according to the performance of the player. Initially, the default setting for this is 5 seconds, but if the player is doing well, the delay time will automatically increase making the task a little harder (the player has to keep them in their short-term memory for a longer period of time). On the other hand, if the player is not doing so well, the delay time will decrease making the task a little easier. In this way Memory Booster aims to give the player just the right amount of challenge to encourage their learning. Although most of the settings in Mission Type B are automatically set it is possible to vary the amount of practice required at each sublevel. You can do this by determining the number of tasks per sublevel (see 2) Tasks per sublevel). Memory Booster Guide for Teachers, Parents and Professionals GTPP 1_06 Page 15 of 31
16 Mission Type C This setting is intended for use where it is felt that a player should be rewarded even where their accuracy levels may be very low. Attempting Mission Type C means that a player will get to see and play the same rewards so long as they have made 12 attempts at remembering items irrespective of their accuracy. Mission Type C is the easiest Mission to complete. Essentially it is similar to Mission Type A but does not depend on accuracy in order to receive the rewards. Even when a player gets items wrong, he or she still progresses up to the next sublevel and will see Pooter and his cartoons when the level has been completed. The system is not rewarding mistakes since no positive feedback is given to incorrect responses. Rather this setting allows the player to make enough progress so that they can play the same cartoons and help Pooter in the same way as other more able players. This setting could be used for children who would otherwise find Memory Booster hard and need extra encouragement, for example children with special educational needs or disabilites. On Mission Type C you can also vary the difficulty by altering the delay time (see 4) Delay Time). You cannot alter the number of tasks per sublevel. 2) Tasks per sublevel This setting only applies to Mission Types A and B. Its default value is 1 though it can be changed to 2 or 3. It simply determines how many tasks the player must get correct before each of the twelve lights at the foot of the screen goes green indicating that this sublevel has been successfully completed. Once all the lights within a given level are green a bonus score is calculated and the child either sees Pooter or goes to the start of the next level. In a nutshell, if tasks per sublevel has been changed to 3, the player will be required to make 36 correct responses before they can complete this particular level. One way to think of this setting is that it could be regarded as a way to set the amount of practice that each player is required to do before they are allowed to move on to harder levels. Note that the number of tasks per sublevel can only be altered before starting a mission; once a mission has commenced this feature is not available on the settings screen and therefore cannot be altered. 3) Timeout period This is the time allowed for a player to attempt each task. It is the number of seconds elapsing between the pictures being shown on the task screen and the task being recorded as an incorrect or null response because the child didn t click on the pictures in allocated time. The timeout period has three settings (Longer, Medium and Shorter) but these are all typically around half a minute at level 1. However, as the levels increase then the timeout period shortens, so at level 3 the timeout periods are 16, 13 and 11.5 seconds respectively. The default setting is the Longer one, but this can be altered to the Medium or Shorter settings if required. 4) Delay Time This represents the time elapsing between the child hearing the names of all the pictures that must be remembered, and the pictures coming into full view so they can be selected. This delay forces children to hold words in memory and so Memory Booster Guide for Teachers, Parents and Professionals GTPP 1_06 Page 16 of 31
17 encourages them to use the valuable memory strategies taught by Memory Booster throughout the mission. The default delay time is 5 seconds, but the teacher, parent or professional can alter this from 1 second (minimum) to 15 seconds (maximum) at any point in the game. In Missions A and C, this delay time remains constant through the game (unless manually altered). However, in Mission Type B, the computer will automatically alter the Delay time to maintain a high level of challenge for the child (see section Mission Type B). For further advice on using the settings to adapt Memory Booster for children s individual learning needs see section Adapting Memory Booster to individual learning needs. Waiting Room What is in the Waiting Room? This room (Figure 20) has a menu board Figure 19 Portrait button from which different features of the program can be reached. You can reach the Waiting Room from various parts of the program wherever the button showing the portrait of the Laird of the Castle is shown. Figure 20 Pooter s Waiting Room If a player has either started or finished a mission, he or she can go to the waiting room by starting Memory Booster, selecting the large red button marked Carry on with last mission (Figure 4 page 7), choosing their name from the list and selecting OK (Figure 21). At this point the portrait button will be available to take the user to the Waiting Room (Figure 22). It is worth noting that names shown in red on the list (figure 19) represent players who have finished their mission and those in blue are players who haven t yet. Figure 21 Select name Figure 22 Finished mission Memory Booster Guide for Teachers, Parents and Professionals GTPP 1_06 Page 17 of 31
18 You can also get to the waiting room whilst playing the memory tasks. After the pictures appear on the bank of monitors (Figure 10) the portrait button will appear at the bottom right of the screen. The Waiting Room options Scores This button will take you to the scores page (Figure 23). After each level has been completed or when the player leaves Memory Booster by clicking on the End button in the Waiting Room, the player s current session is saved onto the hard drive (no scores, data or information is saved to the CD). The session records the date, scores and other details about the mission. The bars on the Scores page show the scores achieved for a particular session. Figure 23 Points scored results page A player may have up to 20 sessions, which should give everyone enough opportunities to practice their skills and complete a mission. Different sessions do not have to be done on different days. Levels This takes you to the Levels achieved page (Figure 24). This shows how far through the mission a player has got without reference to their scores. A player on a Type A or C mission will only need to aim for the end of level 3, whereas a player on a Type B mission has the possibility of going as far as level 6. Figure 24 Level achieved results page Settings From the Settings Page (The Settings Page), the Mission Type, tasks per sublevel, Timeout Period and Delay Time can be set at the start of a new mission (Figure 6). However, once the mission has been started only the Timeout Period and Delay Time options are available for modification. These can be accessed from the waiting room at any time during a mission. If you wish to change the mission type or the number of tasks per sublevel you must do this before the mission starts (see section Changing the program settings). Memory Booster Guide for Teachers, Parents and Professionals GTPP 1_06 Page 18 of 31
19 Strategies Figure 25 Select strategy screen Here you can watch the four short movie clips where Fiona explains, with examples, the four Memory Strategies used in Memory Booster. These strategies are also introduced one by one before the start of each game level. See Figure 25. Cartoons Figure 26 Select cartoon screen If a player has one or more gold coins still in the bank they can be used outside of the normal flow of the game to view Pooter s cartoons. The cartoons vary in length but most last for just over a minute. Certificate This button takes you to the page where a preview of the Certificate can be seen. (Figure 27). The player can select which character signs the certificate (Pooter, Fiona or Phibby the frog). You can enlarge the view of the certificate to see it in more detail by altering the zoom setting. If you uncheck the Parchment tick box the certificate will be printed on plain white paper (without the image of parchment scroll). Figure 27 Print certificate screen By pressing the Copy button you can easily copy and paste (use Ctrl+V or your application s menus) to paste the certificate to a different application such as a word processor, spreadsheet or a graphics program. Guide That is exactly what you are reading now! You can access this guide from several different places within Memory Booster. Scores and rewards in Memory Booster Memory Booster has four main incentives to play: the pleasure in helping Pooter and seeing him improve; earning coins and playing the cartoons; seeing the Memory Booster Guide for Teachers, Parents and Professionals GTPP 1_06 Page 19 of 31
20 accumulation of points and scores; and a certificate of achievement signed by a character of their choice. You can view and print out the certificate at any point in the program. Memory Booster has been designed to provide positive encouragement wherever possible, to children of all abilities and this includes receiving an encouraging report and certificate. Scoring There are two types of scoring systems in Memory Booster. One is to see the actual points scored and the other is to see to what level the player has achieved. Scores Points are awarded in the following ways: 1. Upon successful completion of a task (remember there are between 12 and 36 correct task responses per level) 100 points are awarded. 2. Following three correct responses in a row, a mini bonus system will be activated. This awards between 50 and 300 points for each consecutive correct response including the original three that triggered the mini bonus. This mini bonus will only be added to the score at the point of a task being answered wrongly. 3. A mega bonus is added to the main score at the end of each level. On the default setting the mega bonus would be 600 points at level 1, 1200 at level 2, 1800 at level 3, 2400 at level 4, 3000 at level 5 and 3600 at level 6. Mega bonuses are based on 50 points per correct task. So the possible number of mega bonus points will be greater where the number of tasks per sublevel (see 2) Tasks per sublevel) is set higher meaning that you have to get more items correct before you can progress through the level. A player completing a mission of Type A or C may achieve a final score of close to 15,000. An advanced player (Mission Type B) reaching the end of level 6 (no mean feat!) can expect a score closer to 150,000. Levels Memory Booster has a maximum of 6 levels, each with 12 sublevels apart from level 6 which has only 10. The number of pictures that the player is required to identify relates directly to the level that they are playing. So, if the player is at level 1 then Memory Booster will be asking them to identify one picture from a bank of distractor items. If the player is at level 2 they will be required to identify 2 pictures. This may sound easy at first but the task difficulty is not just a function of how many pictures the player is required to identify. Various other aspects within the program mean that the load on memory can actually be very demanding. As the sublevels within each level increase, more and more distractors are placed near the target item(s). For example, the target may be a small green frog; however there may also be a large green frog, a small brown frog and a small green frog sitting on a stone! There may also be other nonrelated distractors such as fruit, cars, flags and other things, some of which may also be green like the frog. The highest sublevel of Level 6, for example has 6 target items and 14 variation items, both related and different, and is at this point is placing a very high demand on memory. One way to succeed at this level is to develop and utilise an effective memory strategy and that is the whole point of Memory Booster! In order to progress you will have to practice and develop your own memory techniques, mnemonics or other memory aids. Memory Booster Guide for Teachers, Parents and Professionals GTPP 1_06 Page 20 of 31
21 Whatever strategies the player utilises will benefit them in many other aspects of their life, including their education. Cartoons Although the memory tasks in Memory Booster are much more interesting and pleasing than conventional memory exercises, one of the most enjoyable parts for most players is watching Pooter s cartoons! Players have earned the privilege of being able to play a cartoon and there is a wide range to choose from. Each cartoon is designed to be humorous and different cartoons will appeal to different players. During missions of Type A or C the player meets Pooter at the end of each level and Pooter gives the player some gold coins which can either be hoarded or used immediately to watch the cartoons. At the completion of level 1 Pooter offers 2 coins, after level 2 he offers 3 coins and the final 4 coins are provided after level 3 (which means mission accomplished). There are nine coins and nine different cartoons but if the player likes a particular cartoon he or she can watch it more than once. See Figure 26. In mission Type B (hard) the player may need to complete 2 levels instead of one before seeing Pooter and earning some gold coins. It all depends on how good they are! The better the player is the harder they have to work in order to get the coins. If a player has completed a mission but as yet hasn t spent their coins they can still come back to play the cartoons. They should go to Pooter s Waiting Room and from there to Pooter s cartoon room. Certificates A Memory Booster certificate can be viewed and printed out if your computer has a printer attached and working. It is normal to complete a mission before the certificate is printed but this is not necessary and judgement should be used to maximise encouragement for each player. The printed certificate will look best if printed out in full colour with the Parchment option selected (a tick shown in the box). If you wish save ink you can deselect the Parchment option. You may also wish to print in grey scale rather than colour (depending on your printer s options). See Figure 28. Figure 28 An example certificate Memory Booster Guide for Teachers, Parents and Professionals GTPP 1_06 Page 21 of 31
22 How to delete players or exit from Memory Booster Deleting players with their results Memory Booster allows up to 28 players to register their names and undertake missions. For security reasons it is not possible to delete names within Memory Booster until all 28 name slots have been filled. When this has occurred a new player will not be able to Start a new mission by way of the big yellow button (figure 4) without first rubbing out someone else s name. In this situation the new player will be taken to a screen where he or she can choose someone else s name to be rubbed out and replaced with their own name. Parental or teacher supervision may be advisable in this event. For the benefit of parents and teachers, a special utility program designed to delete players and their results can be found on the computer s hard drive, having been installed along with the Memory Booster software. This utility has the file name MBAdmin.exe and is normally found in the folder path: C:\Program Files\LucidResearch\MemoryBooster\ If you do wish to delete the names of one or more players from Memory Booster then please run this useful utility program - it is very easy to use, though choose with care those players you wish to erase as the process is irreversible! How to exit from Memory Booster Only one player may play Memory Booster at a time. To allow someone else to play, the first player must exit the program by either clicking on the yellow exit buttons found either at the top right of the screen in Pooter s Waiting Room (figure 20) or near the bottom left on the main game screen (example, figure 10). Upon exiting, the player s results will be safely saved into Memory Booster s results database file (for the technically minded, the database has the file name KIDSRECORDS.DAT). For the second player to begin playing they should launch Memory Booster again by double-clicking on its desktop icon. Memory Booster Guide for Teachers, Parents and Professionals GTPP 1_06 Page 22 of 31
23 Getting the most from your memory and Memory Booster How does memory work? What is memory? Memory is a complex activity of the brain that allows us to store information and retrieve it again when we need it. Humans have two distinct memory systems: 1) A system that keeps a record of our personal life experiences: this is usually called autobiographical memory. 2) A system that holds knowledge about the world: this is usually called semantic memory; unlike autobiographical memory we often have to make a conscious effort to store information in semantic memory. Because these two memory systems work in slightly different ways, it is possible for one system to work better than the other. For example, a child might have a good autobiographical memory and remember in detail everything about a holiday, but a poor semantic memory so they easily forget things that need to be learned in school. Both memory systems can store information from all our senses vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch but in semantic memory visual and auditory-verbal modes of information usually predominate, unless another mode is particularly important for some reason (e.g. a perfume maker would probably have a very well-developed semantic memory for odours). Why do we forget some things? Very few people appreciate that human memory is a system which is designed to forget information as well as to remember information. Generally, we only retain the information we need for as long as we need it, then it is forgotten. Why is this? The answer is quite simple. The human brain is constantly bombarded with huge amounts of information, and even though the information storage capacity of the human brain is very large, if we stored every single item of information that ever reached our senses from the moment we were born, our memory would probably be totally overloaded before we started school. The fact is: we simply do not need to retain most of the information we receive each day. We only need to retain some of that information and can safely forget the rest. The trick is to make sure that the information we do need is stored properly in memory ready for the time when we require it again. We can hold a certain amount of information in memory for a short time provided we work hard to keep it there (e.g. by thinking about it or rehearsing it to ourselves). This process is called short-term memory (or sometimes working memory because we use this when working on any task, such as listening to a conversation, reading or doing mental arithmetic). But unless we also make an active effort to store that information in long-term memory in a semantic (i.e. meaningful) form, it will normally be forgotten very rapidly. Once in long-term memory information is reasonably permanent. However, if we don t use that information we are likely to find it difficult to access when we need it, and if the information is not stored very efficiently in long-term memory, it will also be difficult to access. So when we say we have forgotten some item of information what we really mean is either: Memory Booster Guide for Teachers, Parents and Professionals GTPP 1_06 Page 23 of 31
24 (a) the information was never properly stored in long-term memory in the first place, or: (b) the information has been stored in long-term memory but we can not find it because it has not been stored in an efficient way and/or because we haven t used that information for ages. This is why most adults find they have forgotten many of the things they learned in school (e.g. French verbs). The evidence that this information has not totally been forgotten is that if they try to relearn the information after a while it begins to come back to them. In the end they find the task of relearning that information easier than if they had never learned it in the first place. So the moral is: the more we use certain information, the easier and quicker we can retrieve it from memory when we need it. It is instructive to compare memory with storing things in our home. We all have encountered the situation of not being able to find something that we know full well has been put away in the home somewhere. The problem is that it is not where you expect to find it and there are so many places that things might be hidden in the average home. After wasting time fruitlessly searching you may conclude that it is easier to go out and buy another rather than to continue searching! The longer ago you put that thing away, the more likely it is that you won t find it unless it has been stored in a sensible place. Why do some people have better memory than other people? People vary in the efficiency of their long-term memory. Some people have a good long-term memory and some a poor long-term memory. Like other cognitive skills, this is probably determined partly by heredity. But research has shown that most of the difference between people with good and poor memory can be attributed to the methods or strategies they use to learn that information in the first place. By developing appropriate memory strategies we automatically store information in a more organised and efficient way that makes it easier for us to locate when we need it. Despite individual differences in memory, research indicates that for most people memory can be improved significantly by appropriate training. This does not mean that we can enlarge the storage capacity of our memory; what it means is that we can make our memory more efficient, so that it is more likely to absorb new information and hold that information in a way that makes it easy for us to find it again immediately we need it. How can memory be improved? In order to make an individual s memory more effective we need to ensure four key things: Practice the more often we do something, the more likely we are to remember it. Memory strategies these are ways of processing information more efficiently that will help you remember it better. Organisation this ensures that information is stored in a more meaningful and well-organised way and which is easier for the brain to recall when needed. Understanding if we understand information it is easier for us to remember that information; also if we understand how memory works, it is easier to make it work efficiently for us personally. Memory Booster Guide for Teachers, Parents and Professionals GTPP 1_06 Page 24 of 31
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