Introduction to creation of multiple-choice quizzes and questionnaires in QuizComposer

If you have not read the introduction to creation of quizzes, please at least read the first paragraphs. You will get an idea about the purpose of the QuizComposer system and be introduced to a couple of concepts such as author, participant and server. It may also be worthwile reading about multiple-choice quizzes since, in fact, the only difference between questionnaires and multiple-choice quizzes are, that the answerers of questionnaire are anonymous to the author/organizer of the questionnaire survey/test.

The last part of this text is mainly a copy of the last part of the introduction to quizzes with the word quiz replaced by the word questionnaire.

To create a questionnaire for others to answer you must have been registered as an administrator of the specific quiz or questionnaire server you wish to use. Anyone can, however create a trial questionnaire via this definition form.

Your questionnaire is created as an HTML-page that is placed on the server so that any user of the Internet with a browser, such as Mozilla, and with access to the server and to your questionnaire (more about this below) can open the questionnaire and answer the questions. This is done by typing in answers in text-boxes or clicking on answer options that may be presented with the questions. At any point the answerer can submit the questionnaire by ticking a checkbox and clicking a button.

You have full control of the response to be returned to the answerer. You can define an arbitrary number of sums of points to be computed by specifying named (or unnamed) points to be associated with click buttons in questions. The names are used for grouping points together. You can decide wether the sums of points are to be presented to the answerer and also what comments to include in the presentation.

The questionnaire author (you) can have the answers presented at any time. However the presentation never includes any identification of the answerer and it is always in random order. Thus you can never identify an answerer unless the answerer identifies her- or himself in an answer of a question.

Questions are stated in HTML (HyperText Markup Language) with all the possibilities this offers for chosing fonts and colors in text, including figures, using "Cascaded Style Sheets" and programming in JavaScript. But you need know nothing about HTML in order to formulate questionnaires in pure text form. If you want to include figures you can see how this is done in the examples (of quizzes). You can define a private logo for every single questionnaire or all your questionnaires.

Questions can be phrased in any language which can be typed in on your keyboard. Unless your questionnaire is in english you should specify the texts to be presented to the answerer in any response from the server. For entry fields for such texts see below the submit button. Notice the possibility of reusing the texts in other questionnaires. The system is prepared for use by authors speaking another language than english (or danish). Please fell free to contact the developers if you wish to have an implementation of QuizComposer for another language.

At any time a questionnaire belongs to one of four possible types corresponding to its use.

While you are developing and testing the questionnaire it may be "private" so that only you can view it. (If the definition is for a new questionnaire and you are asked to reopen the definition go back and click one of the buttons specifying the use type).

Actually, there is another rule for "privatizing" a questionnaire (or quiz), namely by giving it a name that starts with a digit, e.g. 1. Such a questionnaire wil not appear in any list to be presented to potential answerers (so avoid inadvertently naming a questionnaire with a number).

Another possible use of a questionnaire is for self-test, meaning that the answerer can test his or her knowledge, attitude, condition etc, since every click button can have an associated number of points (or score) which are summed and presented to the answerer together with a table for interpreting the results, maybe. A self-test questionnaire is accessible to anyone having access to the server on which it is created. No answer of a self-test questionnaire is registered.

The use type "open with registration of answers" differs from a self-test quiz only in that answers are registered. At any time the answers can be inspected by the questionnaire author.

The use type "closed survey" differs from "open with registration of answers" in that the questionnaire is accessible only for persons stating a password specified by the questionnaire author (or the server administrator if the answerer is a participant in a course). The answers are registered and can be inspected at any time by the questionnaire author. Please notice that the answers are presented in random order and "anonymized" so that the questionnaire author cannot idenditify an answer with any particular answerer unless the answerer has identified him- or herself in an entry field.

A questionnaire is answered mainly by clicking one or more buttons in each question, but you may also define questions to be answered with arbitrary text. To create questionnaire you need only know very little more than that a button is defined with either a {%} or a [%] inserted in question texts. Use {%} if only one button must be clicked in the question, [%] if more than one button can be clicked. The former are called radio buttons, the latter are called checkbox buttons. The % can be replaced with a lower case latin letter for easier reading. You can associate with each button a score to be summed up - optionally - and displayed in result presentations. You can specify summation within groups of buttons by associating group names with the scores.

A question with no buttons must be answered with optional text.

As previously mentioned questionnaires are very similar to mutiple-choice quizzes.

Text containing special characters
Skip to next subject unless you are interested in using special characters or tables in your questionnaire.

HTML allows the indication of special symbols from mathematics, econony and music, for example, to be specified via codes using the format &???; where ??? is a character (or symbol) name such as "copy" in ©. Characters and symbols that cannot be specified via a name can be specified using the format &#???; where ??? is a sequence of digits or the format &#x???; where ??? is a sequence of hexadecimal digits (0-9 and a-f or A-F). You can read more about this subject at Unicode and see examples of character names at this page, for example.

Various ways of formatting the text can be specified via socalled HTML tags. One example is the raising and lowering of text using <sub> together with </sub> and <sup> together with </sup> as in abc123. Raising and lowering to any level can be specified but notice that the text becomes smaller and smaller.

Tables are specified using the HTML tags <table>, <tr>, <td>, </td>, </tr>, </table>, for example
lion chimpanzee
tiger gibbon
leopard mandrill

You can place your buttons in tables.

If you want your questionnaire to contain things other than what can be specified directly in HTML, e.g. mathematical text (containing multi-level formulas) you have two options. One of them is to create a figure containing the text in one of the formats commonly acknowledged by the browsers in use, e.g. the GIF format. Such a figure can be created using a software program for drawing and graphics. or you can simply draw it by hand and on paper and scan it to a file. The file can then be transferred to the server using this form.

Definition of a questionnaire
To create a questionnaire, choose a form from this list corresponding directly to the number of questions you want included in your questionnaire or choose the first definition form. When you submit a definition with, say 9 or 10 questions, the next time the definition is presented it will have entry fields for 20 questions.

In the definition form you must specify a name for your questionnaire. The rest of the fields are optional but try to define a question with buttons in the first question phrase field and the field containing the points to be attached to the buttons of the field, if any. Next to the first fields are examples that you can copy or paste if you want. By each field you will find a link in the form of a #-character that takes you to a further explanation about this particular field. The first time you create a questionnaire, start out with only one or two questions. It will make your start-up easier and you might like to work with the options further down. You can add to your questionnaire later on.

Click the button about two thirds down the form to submit it. The definition will be saved on the server and your questionnaire will be created and displayed on the screen for you to answer immediately, if you wish, and thereby check your definition. Your answers are registered if the questionnaire is of the type "open with registration of answers". Thus, using this form you can immediately view the formats used when presenting registered answers. It is important that you note the location of your questionnaire if you are a "non-course" author and the questionnaire is to be accessible to anyone with access to the server. This is the case with self-test questionnaires, for example. See the "Location:"-field above the questionnaire.

Saved definition forms.
The latest version of your questionnaires (and quizzes) are always accessible to authors via this form.

There are two methods for sharing a questionnaire definition with others. Firstly, there is a form for creating a text file containing all the data in the entry fields of a questionnaire definition. You can send the text file by e-mail or other means to another author. The text file can be editted with a simple editor (do not use a document processor). You can also, of course, edit the data directly in the form. You might, for example, alter the sequence of questions by altering their numbers. The new version of the questionnaire is created with the same form.

If you wish to send any images or other attached files with a questionnaire definition, you must create a package with these items using this form. You can gather any number of questionnaires and quizzes, for example all questionnaires and quizzes for a course, together with their associated files in a single pack. Packs are thus useful for archiving.

Click this guide if you wish to kow more about creating a questionnaire. You might like to take a look at the guide to give yourself a general overview of the possibilities.