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Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 6:25 pm   Post subject: An easy way to output data

I have six sections of 30 students. That's a lot of e-mail. My school is tied into a LMS with the county system but I am not sure with a school system of 170,000 students and 20,000 employees I'm going to get much help. iSprings cloud costs money and as a teacher I don't have any to spare.

However, there is an easy way to report out data so that it can be accessed by Excel.I did it before when I designed my own interactive quizzes using Powerpoint and its Visual Basic code editor.

When I designed the quiz I specified the file to use for the data. Then I set up a text file with that name and placed it in an accessible folder on the share drive, for instance s:\my_school\my_teacher_id\quiz_results\AP_Physics_Kinematics_quiz.txt

When the student finished the quiz, the program looked to see if the file was closed, if so, it opened it, appended the file with a string, and closed the file.

Lets say I had 5 questions worth 20 points and allowed partially correct answers. I want the last name, first name, section letter, and points for each question. If I use a colon as a delimiter, the string would look something like this
Doe:John:A:20:20:0:14:20

I can open AP_Physics_Kinematics_quiz.txt as a delimited text file and have all the data end up in the correct columns. Then I am ready to analyse the data with all the tools Excel has to offer, which usually is much better than viewing the data with LMS tools.

The teacher doesn't have to know java scripting, or anything about XML files. Just create a text file, store it in an accessible place, tell Quizmaker the name and location of the file , and know how to use a spreadsheet.

It really would be a easy implementation. I will post some replies to address some issues with this approach.


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Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 6:38 pm   Post subject: Re: An easy way to output data

A follow-up to my original post.

In the interactive quizzes I designed with PPT, all the students answered all the questions. With Quizmaker, it is possible for students to answer a limited subset of all the questions and also in random order.

That's OK. The output string order would be sequential from using the question number. Also questions not asked would get a score of "NA". For instance, let's say the quiz had 7 questions in total but only 5 used in random order. The output string might look like this:
Doe:John:A:20:NA:0:16:20:NA:20


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Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 6:49 pm   Post subject: Re: An easy way to output data

Another follow-up to my original post.

There may be security concerns, but when I implemented this at my school they were addressed.

I had my IT professional create a folder that could only be opened by an administrator or myself. The only way a student modified the file was through the quiz, so they had no idea where the file was located or what its name was.

There is a really, really small chance the program opens the file and for some reason does not close it. That might prevent additional data to be added, but the file could still be open as "Read Only" and resaved so no data already there is lost. Again, this would be very rare.


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Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:16 pm   Post subject: Re: An easy way to output data

Thank you for your very prompt post!

Yes, this way is a good solution for users who is tied with PowerPoint presentations and quizzes!
I believe this information is definitely in good demand of many our customers who want also save quiz results locally.

At the same time, we can also develop a custom feature to save results locally (.CSV file) which can be opened in Excel.


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Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 2:14 am   Post subject: Re: An easy way to output data

Hello Vladimir,

Did your response indicate this would be considered as a new feature for Quizmaker sometime in the future?

I hope so. Using the e-mail technique really is of very little use except to record grades and even that is tedious. If I want to know what question was the most missed I would have one heck of a time trying to extract that data.

Or, are you suggesting we pay extra for a customization of a quiz to do this? I hope not.

Being able to quickly analyze the data is very important to teachers. Some will have access to a LMS that can be set up to use Quizmaker results but most will not. Very few will be willing to spring for $179/month to use iSpring Learn. Very few will have the skills to set up Moodle to receive results. So iSpring needs to provide a simple. no cost way to get the results in a usable form to the teacher. If I can do it with 11 lines of Visual Basic code like below, I'm sure the programmers at iSpring can.

Sub Finish_and_Exit_Quiz()

FinalTextString = FinalTextString + "|" + String_Quiz_Total_Score + "|" + Test_Date_String + "|" + CStr(Test_Time_Start) + "|" + CStr(Test_Time_End)
strFileName = ActivePresentation.Slides(Teacher_Resource_Slide).Shapes("TextBoxResultsFileName").TextFrame.TextRange.Text
IFNum = FreeFile
Open strFileName For Append As IFNum
Print #IFNum, FinalTextString
Close IFNum
Do While SlideShowWindows.Count > 0
SlideShowWindows(1).View.Exit
Loop

End Sub


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Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 5:52 pm   Post subject: Re: An easy way to output data

Thank you for your reply!

The script which allows you to save quiz results locally is not a part of the program and will not be implemented since it is a side feature.

Yes, this script is not a free option and requires extra fee.
The installation process also requires some technical skills, however, we can provide an instruction on how this can be set up.


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Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:51 pm   Post subject: Re: An easy way to output data

Hi Vladimir,

It is disappointing to hear this feature will not be implemented. I assure you this is not a side issue, but very important to many of your users. A quick, simple, free way of being able to get the scores and data for students is central.

My hope was to give many short quizzes every week. I guess I'll just have the students self-report on a piece of paper I pass around and try to keep them honest by saying I will randomly check a few e-mails. Still, I will miss a very important function of knowing what questions gave them difficulty. So much for the wonders of technology.

I'm trying to wrap my mind around why this feature would not make it into the next revision of Quizmaker. I figure either the implementation would be harder than I think or iSpring is afraid it will undercut their own LMS offering.

As to the second point, the feature I described would encompass much less data than available through a LMS. All that is requested is some identifier like a name and the point values achieved for each question. LMS users would still have the advantage of digging much deeper into the data. So, I don't think it would undercut your business at all. In fact, you would have a unique feature that could attract more business.

On the first point, let me suggest an even easier implementation. Instead of sending the data to a local file, include the data as a summary at the end of the e-mail. For instance for a quiz where 10 out of 12 pooled questions are answered in random order the text line in the e-mail would look like this:

Summary:Doe:John:10:NA:6:0:10:10:8:NA:10:10:0:10

The teacher could then use a free, easy to use e-mail parser to get the data to a spreadsheet. Not a very elegant solution, but it should be very easy to implement and doesn't impinge on your LMS business.

I really like Quizmaster. I really do. But not having an easy, quick, and free method for getting the most basic data into a usable format is a serious shortcoming. You know somebody's going to do it somewhere along the line, why not be the leader and do it first?


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