CoBRA, or “Corpus-Based Reading Assistant,” provides contextual information about words in English or Dutch to help French speakers learn either language.
When CoBRA is enabled on a text, clicking on a word opens an informative panel about the word, including:
- Syntactical category
- GenderInflected forms
- Contextual translation
- Similar usage examples
The panel also provides a “Save” button that allows users to create a personal dictionary.
The CoBRA system connects to a default language database through an API connection. This enables the tool to access databases hosted in other servers, and possibly for other languages made available by contributors.
However, it also means that access to the API which make CoBRA work requires an “API key.” In order to get the CoBRA plugin up and running in Moodle, the key as well as the signing of a written agreement with the University of Unamur (the owner of CoBRA’s property rights) is required. Accessing the CoBRA functionality is free and sample texts in English and Dutch are freely licensed upon request of a “demo key.” Other texts and dictionaries accessible through CoBRA might be subject to copyright restrictions and possibly licensing fees or paid keys. The University of Unamur provides the technology without fees, but is not responsible for the content or uses given to the tool.
The current version of the CoBRA plugin is compatible with Moodle 3.5, and already with 3.6.
CoBRA was developed for the University of Unamur in Brussels, Belgium, by Jean-Roch Meurisse and Laurence Dumortier.
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