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Archive for February, 2011

Shared Quizzes and Importing Questions

Our popular Online Quiz Maker system is used by thousands of people, and many of them share their quizzes so you can use the questions they have created in your quizzes.

To do so, first create a quiz, then click the EDIT button to edit the quiz.

Once inside the quiz, click the QUESTIONS tab, then click the IMPORT button:

2-28-2011-11-16-55-am.png

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Online Quiz Maker for Schools Now Available

Our popular Online Quiz Maker system is now available as a special-priced and teacher-targeted version, called Online Quiz Maker for Schools.

So what’s new? (more…)

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PowerPoint Optimization Tips

helpful_tips_image.jpgAs much as we would like you to use our E-learning software exclusively, there is no denying that PowerPoint is extremely popular (hey – even we use it).

I come across a lot of projects that require integration of PowerPoint presentations into into Online E-learning courses.

It is especially important for online delivery to keep the size of the PowerPoint shows small (in file-size, not length). However, I notice some common things people put into their shows that add to the file size significantly.

If you are looking to trim off file-size from your PowerPoint shows, here are some tips to help you (some of these apply to PowerPoint 2003 exclusively since that’s still the most widely used version):

1. design for a smaller window size/delivery. For example, sometimes, a 600 x 400 delivery is adequate and will save quite a bit of file size from an 800 x 600 delivery. (more…)

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How To Add Quiz Questions Into PowerPoint

Even though we offer PowerPoint Quiz Maker to enable you to easily insert quiz questions into PowerPoint, you may be interested in ‘toughing it out’ with PowerPoint and doing it manually.

PowerPoint is a very popular tool in the E-Learning community. Many of you are probably already familiar with at least the basics of using PowerPoint. Therefore, I am going to discuss how you can create quiz questions inside your PowerPoint presentations (and perhaps persuade you to use a tool such as PowerPoint Quiz Maker to make things easier).

To begin, of course, open up PowerPoint.

For each question you would like to add to your presentation:

  1. Create three blank slides (click the ‘New Slide’ button).
  2. On the first slide, type in your question and choices.
  3. On the second slide, type in what you want to show the user if they pick the wrong choice.
  4. On the third slide, type in what you want to show the user if they pick the correct choice.
  5. Link the correct choice (on the first slide) to the third slide (which shows the response when correct) by using the Menu option Slideshow > Action Buttons > Custom. Create a box around the choice (click and drag). In the dialog that appears, pick the Hyperlink To option, and from the menu, pick Slide. Pick the third slide from the outline (the slide that you set up in step #4 above). Select the newly created box, click the right-mouse-button while on top of it, and choose the Format AutoShape option, and from there, change the color to No Fill (then click OK).
  6. Link each incorrect choice (on the first slide) to the second slide (which shows the response when incorrect) by using the Menu option Slideshow > Action Buttons > Custom. Create a box around the choice (click and drag). In the dialog that appears, pick the Hyperlink To option, and choose Next Slide from the menu. Select the newly created box, click the right-mouse-button while on top of it, and choose the Format AutoShape option, and from there, change the color to No Fill (then click OK).
  7. If you want the user to be able to go back to the question if they answered wrong:
    link the second slide (the one that shows if user answered incorrectly) back to the question by using the Menu option Slideshow > Action Buttons > Custom. Create a box around the entire slide (click and drag). In the dialog that appears, pick the Hyperlink To option, and choose Previous Slide from the menu. Select the newly created box, click the right-mouse-button while on top of it, and choose the Format AutoShape option, and from there, change the color to No Fill (then click OK).
  8. If you want the user to be taken to the next question (or next section of your presentation):
    link the second slide (the one that shows if user answered incorrectly) to the slide after the third slide (which represents either the next question, or, the next section after your question) by using the Menu option Slideshow > Action Buttons > Custom. Create a box around the entire slide (click and drag). In the dialog that appears, pick the Hyperlink To option, and from the menu, pick Slide. Pick the slide that comes after the third slide from the outline (the third slide being the one that you set up in step #4 above). Select the newly created box, click the right-mouse-button while on top of it, and choose the Format AutoShape option, and from there, change the color to No Fill (then click OK).

So, as you can see, it’s possible to create quiz questions inside of PowerPoint, although it’s certainly not fast or easy.

Might I persuade you to have a look at our PowerPoint Quiz Maker product? It makes adding quiz questions to PowerPoint a snap.

If you want more on PowerPoint, read my PowerPoint Tips article here.

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SCORM Explained

If you work for a corporation, or have been researching the e-learning software tool marketplace, you have probably come across the term “SCORM”. Wondering what it all means? Bear with me as I will try to explain without becoming too long-winded.

What is SCORM?
In a nutshell, SCORM is a package ‘format’ that e-learning content can be ‘wrapped’ into. Once wrapped into this format, theoretically, any online content management system that can ‘talk to’ a SCORM component will run the component in the way the author originally intended. In summary, SCORM is an attempt to create a standard communication system between online content systems, and authored content.

Do I Need SCORM?
Good question. If you want to be able to use authoring tools from any vendor, and a content management system from a different vendor, or, you want be be able to purchase pre-authored content to use along side or instead of your own content, then you will most likely need to use SCORM. If you have found a vendor that offers you all the features you need in a single e-learning system (both authoring and delivery), then SCORM becomes less important. In my view, the larger company you are, the more likely it is you need SCORM, and the smaller company you are, the less likely.

Is SCORM Expensive?
Yes, SCORM systems can be very expensive (especially the online LMS systems). This is perhaps one of the most disappointing things regarding SCORM. Because SCORM is complex, it requires expensive support and programming staffs to maintain. This cost is passed on to the end user (you). You will often find (although it is becoming less common) Online E-Learning Systems that do not offer SCORM as a standard feature, and they will tend to be significantly less expensive than ones that do (for example, our Weblearning LMS – a very feature-rich product, comes in several versions – some which accept SCORM modules, and some which do not – and the ones that do not accept SCORM are less expensive).

Is SCORM Easy?
For simple authoring and deployment, it can be fairly straightforward, but more advanced tasks get increasingly complex. Still, authoring tools are getting better and better, but I still personally feel that most online E-Learning systems are too complex (which is why our Weblearning LMS is purposely designed to value ease-of-use over feature-bloat).

Does SCORM Work?
For the most part, SCORM is a success. There are many content management systems that can use SCORM components, and many authoring tools that can be used to author SCORM content (Our SCORM Quiz Maker is one such product – it enables you to create SCORM Quizzes that work your your LMS). Like any other technology, there are some issues, but you are unlikely to experience any of them unless your e-learning needs are very elaborate.

What Does Atrixware Offer for SCORM?
Our Weblearning LMS has editions that accept SCORM (as I write this, the Weblearning Enterprise GOLD Edition is SCORM compatible). We also offer less-expensive Weblearning Editions without SCORM for those that don’t need it.

Also, we offer a quiz maker tool for SCORM is SCORM Quiz Maker - which enables you to create SCORM Quizzes (quizzes that will work on your LMS/online system). It’s unique feature compared to other similar products is that it produces mobile-friendly quizzes (for example, quizzes will work on the iPad and iPhone), because it does not output to flash, but instead outputs to HTML5.


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Online Quiz Maker for Schools

Our popular Online Quiz Maker system will soon be available in another capacity – the “Online Quiz Maker for Schools” system.

While our core business is professional and enterprise systems (like our Weblearning E-Learning System), we have always had lower-cost options for schools and teachers (since 1997), such as our PowerPoint Quiz Maker and Easy Quiz Maker products (and some others in the past as well).

Our featured low-cost option as of late has been the Online Quiz Maker system – a 100% online system for creating and delivering quizzes online. It was designed to work everywhere (any computer or mobile device), so it works on PC’s, Mac’s, iPads & iPhones, Android phones & tablets, etc. It is also frequently used (or so we are told) as a way to quickly make shuffled printed quizzes.

sample1.png

We have been getting quite a bit of requests from teachers to get systems for their schools, so over the past several months, we have put together (and are finalizing it now) a system geared for use in a school or school district.

Here is our goal list for this system (beyond what is already offered in the system). Any additional suggestions or comments are welcome:

  1. A basic implementation for 10 teachers should be under $500/year in order to fit into tight school budgets.
  2. System should be exclusive to the school (only teachers from that school/district can use it).
  3. System should get exclusive sub-domains (like frsd.deerfield.ma.quiz-maker.net).
  4. Teachers should be able to group themselves into departments (Science, Math, etc.).
  5. Teachers should be able to share content (quizzes/quiz questions) amongst other teachers, and be able to find content relevant to them by viewing content from other teachers in their department (Science, Math, etc.).
  6. Teachers should be able to import students from another teacher (since teachers often share students in the same hall/group/team).

We are readying this for March 2011, so if you have any suggestions, please submit them to Melina Fox at melinda@atrixware.com.

Online Quiz Maker is a budget-friendly, easy-to-use Online Quiz Maker system. To get a FREE account,  go to the Online Quiz Maker Sign-up Form. You may also be interested in the Online Quiz Maker for Schools system.

If you want to try the system, go to http://online.quiz-maker.net/ and sign-up for a free account.

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Online Quiz Maker – Quiz Types Explained

Online Quiz Maker is our most popular consumer product to date. If you are already using it, you already know how easy it is to use (that is our #1 goal with this system — ease of use trumps everything else).

Based on feedback we have been getting, there is still some confusion over the different kinds of quizzes you can make, so in this short article, I will attempt to describe them more thoroughly.

Let me start off with what a Quiz is (as it is defined in Online Quiz Maker):

Quiz:
An electronic item or database that holds questions, settings, user access, and scores. From this ‘quiz’ item, you can create ‘public’, ‘private’, and ‘printed’ quizzes (see below).

Public Quiz:
A public quiz is an online quiz that anyone can take – no user authentication is necessary. This means that anyone that knows the URL or link to the quiz can take it and submit to get their score. Public quizzes can be configured to email you (the quiz admin) the score results and summary as well.

Private Quiz:
A private quiz is an online quiz that can only be accessed and taken by someone that you (as the quiz admin) have enrolled into the quiz. Upon accessing the quiz, each user will be required to enter in their user name and password before accessing the quiz. Private quizzes can be configured to email you (the quiz admin), or the user, or both, the score results and summary. Also, results for private quizzes are stored inside your quiz admin account for viewing, evaluation and exporting to excel. In addition, a private quiz can be configured in such a way so it can only be taken once per user (or an unlimited # times).

Printed Quiz:
A printed quiz is simply a quiz that is optimized for a printer. It includes nicely formatted text and images ready-to-print, and also includes the answer key. If you have the ‘shuffle questions’ option set on the quiz, you can quickly reshuffle the questions on the printed quiz by clicking just one button.

For more information on Atrixware Online Quiz Maker, or to sign up for a FREE Account, visit http://online.quiz-maker.net/.

Online Quiz Maker is a budget-friendly, easy-to-use Online Quiz Maker system. To get a FREE account,  go to the Online Quiz Maker Sign-up Form. You may also be interested in the Online Quiz Maker for Schools system.

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4 Places to Get Free Images for Your #Elearning Slides

I have been getting a lot of inquiries of late on using images, copyright issues to follow, etc.

There are of course various sites that offer images you can purchase for use with your online elearning content. For those on a budget, there are several places you can go online to get free images.

I am including the 4 we have used.

http://www.sxc.hu/
This is the one we use most often. It has a decent selection of images, and while it won’t give you the wide array of choices you have on pay-per-image sites, more times than not you will find a good image to use.

http://www.iconfinder.com/
We use this site quite a bit. Although it limits you to 128×128 images (which are actually ‘icons’), there are so many here, you will find yourself coming back here over and over again (we do).

Other Honorable Mentions

http://www.freepixels.com/ - used this site a few times when sxc.hu didn’t have what we needed. Worth a look
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/
  - can’t mention images without this one. Lots of clipart here.

The Weblearning E-Learning System is a powerful, budget-friendly, easy-to-use Online E-Learning System for authoring, managing, and tracking online learning presentations and tests. To try it FREE,  go to the Weblearning E-Learning System Sign-up Form.

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Offer Instant Feedback for Your Questions

New in Weblearning 9.6 is the ability to include certain question types (currently multiple-option, true/false and yes/no) inside your authored presentations.

When you include questions inside presentations however, the operate a bit differently than they do inside of a quiz.

First, when a user first encounters a question inside a learning presentation, the navigation buttons will be disabled – thereby forcing them to choose an answer to the question.

Next, the user will receive feedback when they choose an answer:

  • if they choose wrong choice, the will get feedback telling them so, and then have the opportunity to choose another selection
  • if the choose the correct answer, they will get feedback telling them so, and then the navigation button(s) will be re-enabled so they can navigate to the next question or slide

2-6-2010-12-32-50-pm.png

By default, the ‘instant feedback’ displayed to the user is a generic ‘you were correct, you were incorrect’ kind of message. However, you can author into each question a specific feedback for each choice if you choose by doing the following:

  1. edit (or add) a new question (that works inside learning presentations)
  2. click the OPTIONAL tab
  3. scroll down to the IMMEDIATE FEEDBACK RESPONSES section to apply responses

2-6-2010-12-46-37-pm.png

The Weblearning E-Learning System is a powerful, budget-friendly, easy-to-use Online E-Learning System for authoring, managing, and tracking online learning presentations and tests. To try it FREE,  go to the Weblearning E-Learning System Sign-up Form.

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Print Quizzes using Weblearning E-Learning System

It may not happen often, but occasionally you may have a need to print off a quiz (or even a presentation) for a user, or perhaps even for prototyping purposes.

Weblearning 9.6 introduces a new feature to do just that – enable you to easily print off a quiz.

Keep in mind that Weblearning is not designed specifically to create printed quizzes, so you wont have the plethora of options as you do for configuring the quizzes for online delivery.

To access the print function, click on the LEARNING MODULES tab, and then list the learning modules in the LIST ALL tab, and click the EDIT button next to the learning module you would like to print:

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This will open the learning module up in edit mode. From here, click the SLIDES tab, and then finally, click the PRINT button to print off the learning module:

3-24-2010-4-10-18-pm.png

Quizzes will print out nice almost every time. Presentations will print out nicely for the most part, but if you have sophisticated layouts the output may not be 100% perfect.

The Weblearning E-Learning System is a powerful, budget-friendly, easy-to-use Online E-Learning System for authoring, managing, and tracking online learning presentations and tests. To try it FREE,  go to the Weblearning E-Learning System Sign-up Form.

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How to Build Online Learning Presentations

Your Weblearning System (as of version 9.6) enables you to create three kinds of learning modules: Graded Quizzes, Practice Quizzes, and Learning Presentations.

Learning Presentations (the subject of this article) can contain both slides (you know – like PowerPoint) as well as quiz questions (just like quizzes can), but where a quiz is designed more for evaluation and scoring, a learning presentation is designed more for training and verification that the learner understands the concepts you are training them on.

So, when you create a learning presentation, you use the same drag-and-drop interface as you do on quizzes, where you can either drag-and-drop individual slides or questions into the ‘to-use’ column, and/or create ‘rule blocks’ that pick some questions randomly from a category (click PLAY on the video to see it in action).

So let’s take a small (7-slide) example of a typical learning presentation you may want to create.

From a slide-design perspective, it might look something like this:Slide 1 > IntroductionSlide 2 > Talk about item ASlide 3 > Talk about item B (part 1)Slide 4 > Talk about item B (part 2)Slide 5 > Ask Question about Item ASlide 6 > Ask Question about Item BSlide 7 > Completion Slide

First, you probably know the exact slides you want to use for the non-question slides, so, when you author those slides, you might put them into a category named “presentation 101″ for example.

If you know the exact questions you want to use as well, you can also drop those questions into the same “presentation 101″ category as well. If you want the two questions to be randomly picked questions instead, you will want to drop them into a different category (lets say ‘presentation 101 questions’).

Now, for scenario 1, where you know the exact questions and slides you want to use, you can achieve the desired result in two ways:

The First Way

1. Sequence your questions and slides inside the category from the question bank tab

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2. (during publish phase) Use the Wizard Block button to insert ALL slides SEQUENTIALLY from the “Presentation 101” category:

3-25-2010-1-37-55-pm.png

This will result in a wizard block placeholder being placed in the ‘items to use’ column for your presentation:

3-25-2010-1-41-15-pm.png

The Second Way

The other way to do this is as follows:

1. (during publish phase) Pick ‘presentation 101‘ from the ‘pick slides from a category‘ drop-down box:

3-25-2010-1-43-37-pm.png

2. Drag and drop each slide and question from the left to the right column,and order them the way you would like them to appear to your users:

3-25-2010-1-46-27-pm.png

Now, if you would like the questions to be randomly chosen (remember, we placed them in the ‘presentation 101 questions’ category), follow these steps:

1. (during publish phase) Pick ‘presentation 101‘ from the ‘pick slides from a category‘ drop-down box (just like above).

2. Drag and drop each slide from the left to the right column,and order them the way you would like them to appear to your users (again, just like described above):

3-25-2010-1-52-23-pm.png

3. Now click the Wizard Block button and insert 2 random questions from the presentation 101 questions category:

3-25-2010-1-53-56-pm.png

This will place a wizard block placeholder into the to-use column at the bottom — you will want to drag it up in between the item b slide – part 2 and the conclusion slide:

3-25-2010-1-56-27-pm.png

The Weblearning E-Learning System is a powerful, budget-friendly, easy-to-use Online E-Learning System for authoring, managing, and tracking online learning presentations and tests. To try it FREE,  go to the Weblearning E-Learning System Sign-up Form.

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