Thursday, 5 July 2012

Create #mobile #quizzes free & paid options for #mlearning

A couple of days ago someone asked me ‘how can I create quizzes and conduct them through mobile phones? ‘ . The question was sent to me through my ask box! I never had a question received through that ask-box so I am excited! So I gladly dedicate a blogpost to the answer.  If you have any questions, feel free to use the same ask-me box on the right side of my blog, if possible I pour the answer into a blogpost.

There are a couple of ways to set up or conduct quizzes that are delivered to mobile phones. There are also a lot of different mobile phones out there, so it is no surprise that you need to get a couple of facts cleared out before you can even start to build your quizzes and share them with learners.

Facts you need to know before building mobile quizzes:
  • What type of mobile devices does your target audience use? (basic cellphones with internet capacity, smartphones, 3G enabled tablets…), you need to cater to the most basic mobile phone used by your audience (e.g. no multimedia if your audiences is mostly using basic cellphones)
  • How are these phones connected to the internet? Through a Wi-Fi (this does not cost anything for the user)? Through a mobile internet data plan (that can be costly and would mean you need to keep the mobile content small in size (small download size, less cost).
  • Will the mobile quizzes be embedded in a learning platform? (if so, you need to make sure that if you use mobile authoring tools that are SCORM-compatible  Why? Because you would want an automated link between the mobile quizzes and the grading book of the LMS you are using). An example of a mobile quiz option for Moodle is Mobile Study
For mobile authoring tools, look at the end of this blogpost, for a free and easy mobile quiz tutorial just read the following section. 

Intermediate (internet capable) cellphones => html
I
f your target audience uses simple internet-enabled cellphones, search for mobile html quiz options. One great option is combining a set of Google elements. Even if you are not that techy, you will be able to make a mobile quiz. All you need is a Google account, Google drive (for forms and spreadsheets) and setting up a mobile enabled blog (Posterous, Blogger, Wordpress). After that, try this:

Phase 1: setting up the mobile quiz using a mobile accessible blog and Google drive (Google forms)
  • If you have not got a Google account, register and sign in.
  • Open up a blog that is allows html coding (you need to consider a mobile enabled blog: Blogger, Posterous, WordPress… otherwise your quizzes will not be mobile :-D
  • Open a Google forms document (a Google form can be created when you open Google docs, and Google docs is now part of Google Drive ) and build your quiz
  • Once your quiz is finished, copy the html code form the Google form
  • Past the html code inside of your blogpost
  • Send the link of that blogpost to your learners
Phase 2: getting the grades of the mobile quizzes automatically listed
As learners are taking the Google form based quiz, their quiz results will automatically fill a Google spreadsheet (spreadsheets are created starting from Google docs which is now Google drive ). Now the thing we want to do is automatically grade their results. This is done by adding Flubaroo (http://www.flubaroo.com/ a script written by Dave Abouav ).
  • First go to the spreadsheet that has the results, click on the tab ‘tools’, select ‘script gallery’, search for Flubaroo and click on the install button.
  • Now look at the Flubaroo instructional video that Dave Abouav provides to see how you need to finetune Flubaroo to do the grading for you (select which questions needed to be used for grading, which need to be skipped (e.g. general information questions), and where Flubaroo can find the correct answers for each question).
  • Now take into account that if you added visuals, you will have used multiple forms, as such you will need to install Flubaroo for multiple spreadsheets. If you did not include visuals, you only need to use one form, and as such you will only have one spreadsheet to install Flubaroo on.
  • The grades are put into a different spreadsheet by Flubaroo (these spreadsheets are also mobile accessible).
A video tutorial of the above mentioned steps can be seen in the video here, which gives an overview of how to build a quiz, up to adding the Flubaroo script to your spreadsheet for automated grading. 


Phase 3: you also want visuals in your mobile quizIf you want to add visuals to your forms, make a form for each question. Why? It will allow you to add visuals before or after the actual question you put in your blogpost.
  • You first follow the steps as mentioned above, but you copy/paste the embed code of each form inside the blogpost,
  • After that you go to your blogpost and add any visuals (movies/pictures) you want to add. In doing this do keep in mind the type of phones that your target audience has and which type of connectivity, you do not want heavy size movies to be downloaded on non-multimedia phones or phones that only use paid data traffic (the bigger the file, the more they would have to pay).
A video tutorial of the above can be found here.


Now simply access the blog with your mobile device and - if the blog is mobile enabled - you will have mobile quizzes for free, AND which will be graded automatically. Cool!

Using commercial mobile authoring tools to build your quizzes
If your target audience uses smartphones, search for mobile quizzes with more advanced options (html5 is quickly becoming the standard so look for those companies that offer html5 authoring tools, e.g. mLearning studio from RapidIntake  (US based) or the wonderful GoMoLearning (UK based). Both these companies offer mobile solutions that are both delivering stand-alone mobile apps (native apps which you can open and learn from whether you are connected to 3G/wifi/internet or not, and that offer online options as well). Their mobile courses/apps… are also multiple platform accessible, so you do not need to build one app for Android, another for iPhone and so on.

If you are a bit savvy with html5, you can even build your own mobile quizzes, simply learn html5 via the free tutorial offered by W3C ( ) and add some javascript (also free tutorial:) and I gladly add the Top 10 Mobile Web Development Javascript Frameworks as listed by Jacob Gube (), founder of SixRevisions.com