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Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:05 am   Post subject: Been testing the quizmaker, how it compares to "competition"

Ok, to be honest, I've only tested the program for about a couple of hours. However, I have hundreds of hours of experience using 2 "competitor" programs, which I won't mention here until I get confirmation from Ispring that it is ok to do so.
Anyway, before I continue, I'd like to say that the reason I'm writing this is because I'm very unhappy with 1 of the programs that I currently use (let's call it A), and fairly happy with the other (let's call it W), but I want more!.
I've given up on "A" altogether. They're incredibly "money hungry" (the registration I paid was the most expensive I've ever had to pay for any software) and a new version hasn't been released for years, and rather than making things easier for customers, when you want the software to add a new feature, instead -if you'rery lucky!- they´ll show you a work around which is incredibly complex and from a practical purpose, completely useless!.
Now, although W continues to be developed, I think the programmers are a bit slow releasing new features... that's why I tested the program... (and who knows, maybe I'll use both in the future)

Also, the tests that I make are produced in html, uploaded to my website, and people can take them there. I like to have "more control" of everything...

Ok, so here I go.

I have to say that my initial reaction was: Hang on, this looks a lot like "W!!". :)
But then of course, on closer look, there are a few differences...

Where is "I" (Ispring quizmaker!) doing better?

- Multiple choice test questions. (the competition only lets you add questions of this type with just 1 list of answers!)
- Word bank questions. (much better than "w")
- The program seems to do things a bit quicker. (not a huge difference though, and admitedly the test that I made contained very few images and very few questions).
- Email reports. I like the simplicity of the system used by "I". "W" has more optiosn in this regard, but I still prefer the simplicity of "I".
- Image compression quality, "I" is a big winner here: Currently, "W" converts everything to .jpg, which is a little annoying. "I" lets you choose (well done, "I"! :) )
- Support. I think Ispring's support is better than "W". Even this forum is a good demonstration of that.

Generally speaking, "I" offers a slightly larger variety of options when it comes to different types of test questions.

Where is "I" doing worse?

- Tests cannot be "Password secured". you can with "W".
- Tests cannot be protected with user ID + password. (I´m not talking about ispring on-line system here, which I'm sure does let you do that, I'm talking about the html tests that you make and then upload to your own website).
You can with "W". (How exactly does this work? say you work in a school. You create a list of user names + passwords and users can only take the test if they know those details. Passwords are different for each user, etc. this gives excellent flexibility. The person who takes the test is automatically identified).
- Templates (player customization): "W" is way ahead here. You get to choose amongst a pretty large variety of templates for your test, making changes is really easy. You can even choose round borders, etc.
The final test looks compact and professional. (my first tests with "I" have not been up to the same level, but I admit that this is perhaps due to my ignorance).
- Price. At present, "I" costs aproximately 80$ more than "W" (but a lot less than "A"). ("I" has increased the price by no less than 25% since the last time I checked...)

Where do they ALL fail?

- Test reports and feedback.
Gentlemen, why is it that you find it so hard to add a feature to the program that lets you send a different message to the user depending on his result??
Haven't you been to college? did your teachers say the same thing when you passed the test than when you got the highest possible mark??? At present, you can only congratulate a user for passing or present the user with a different message if he/she has failed.
What I'd like is something like:

If user gets 10%, he gets this message + the following action (perhaps send him to a different webpage).
If user gets 20%, .....
If user gets 30%, ....

You get the picture!

Please improve this "you have passed" / "you have failed" rubbish, the world is a little more complicated than that you know!! I can't just say "congratulations, you have passed" to a user who has scored 100% on one of my 20 questions really tough tests!! it's unfair!!

- More question types. There seems to be a lack of imagination here.
For example, one question type which would be really useful is the "mention these words", where a student is asked to write a short essay on a given topic and he has to mention at least 5, 10 or whatever words in order to pass.
Another one is the "Match these 2 items" but using images rather than words. At present, you can only use words to match "Paris" and "France".
Another one is Draw arrow questions. A user is asked to draw arrow in one particular direction. Similar to the hotspot currently available. etc. Very little is being done here.... it's like if they all copied each other and had the same question types, it's strange!

- Let users save their answers, preferably in .pdf format, with images as well. When sending results by email, include this file. This is the way to go Gentlemen.
Harder to code? of course. But some test makers have been doing it for a while...

- Make mobile phone versions of the test... (Android, perhaps Iphone also).

That's all I can think of right now...

Btw, Can Ispring display animated gifs on the tests? that'd be really good. Perhaps add a "play animated gif" button.

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Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:16 pm   Post subject: Re: Been testing the quizmaker, how it compares to "competition"

Hi Javier,

Thank you for your wonderful post! We appreciate your detailed feedback and comments for iSpring QuizMaker. Today we have discussed your ideas and suggestions within the product development team and added 4 new feature requests to our list.

By the way, commenting on protection and player customization options in QuizMaker, we are definitely working on them right now. They will be added to the upcoming 7th version.

Thank you one more time for your essential contribution to improve our software!

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