There is a new addition to the Free Cloud Apps page, it’s ProProfs Quiz Maker. Quiz Maker is a quick and easy way to build a quiz that is hosted on the cloud. No software needed, it is completely web-based. You can easily post a link to your quiz from a blog or web page. It also has the functionality to tweet a link or add to Facebook or MySpace. Proprofs was gracious enough to give me a complimentary account (full disclosure) to test drive it. Here is a link to a simple quiz I made to test some of the features and so you can see some of what it does – Take my Rhode Island History quiz.
Although you can embed the quiz in blogs and sites, it uses iFrames, which does not play nice with my WordPress blog, otherwise I would have done so here. I was told they are working on a new widget with additional customizations for embedding the quizzes, which is expected later this week. However, it is very easy to post a link to your quizzes (like above) or share via social media.
Here is what I like about Quiz Maker:
- It is extremely user-friendly.
- It is on the Cloud, so users have access anywhere, whether taking a quiz or building one.
- You can add images, video, and links to each question.
- You can add feedback.
- They offer a free version.
- You can track participation, including each user’s answers and quiz stats. I was impressed with how easy it was to view participants’ answers and overall quiz stats. I wish most learning management systems (LMS) made this same task so easy. FYI: Tracking is not included with the free account.
- According to a representative from ProProfs they are currently working on SCORM compatibility, so integration with an LMS is on the horizon.
What I wish it had:
- If you update/edit a quiz the stats are reset to zero. So, once you have a quiz made, make sure it is the absolute final version.
- More question types. They have multiple choice, fill in the blank and essays, but it would be great if they had some more interactive options like hot spots, drag and drop or matching, etc. Hopefully they will expand the question types in the future.
- I am splitting hairs, but I would like to see the fill in the blank allow the blank to be placed anywhere in the sentence. Unless I missed something, it appears the blank could only be placed at the end of a sentence.
- I would have liked to be able to also add graphics, video and links to the feedback.
Regarding the free version, you cannot add the creator’s name to the certificate and it is only an ad free trial for seven days, then ads will be posted. Also the tracking and stats features are not included in the free account after seven days. You can view the comparisons of pricing plans here, including what you do and don’t get with the free account. FYI: They do have a very reasonably priced plan for educational users.
All in all, if you are looking to create and share simple quizzes with the benefits of doing so on the Cloud, it is worth your time. I will emphasize the word “simple” because if you are looking for more interactive question types (e.g. hot spots, drag and drop, graded sims, etc.), you will probably need to utilize more robust e-learning authoring tools to do so.
If you are interested in taking Quiz Maker for a spin, here is the link again – ProProfs Quiz Maker.
Google Labs recently released their Public Data Explorer. You can create charts and visualizations with public data sets. I created the examples below from data provided by the World Bank. The amount of data provided by the World Bank is impressive.
In my opinion, the animated map and bubble views need some work, but it is a beta so I will cut Google some slack.
In addition to data from the World Bank, they have data from the California Department of Education, U.S. Census Bureau, Eurostat and more. Researchers and teachers alike may find Public Data Explorer very useful. So, give it a test drive. FYI: You can embed your charts into a webpage or blog (like the examples above), which are updated automatically so the data is current. I will also be adding this new tool to the Cloud Apps page .
On occasion, I have written about the “Cloud” and have expected to use cloud computing more and more. So, it is time to reflect on how much cloud computing I do. Here are the tools that I use while on the Cloud, in no particular order:
WordPress – my blog
Delicious – bookmarking and sharing my bookmarks
Twitter – sharing my incoherent thoughts on e-learning
LinkedIn – professional networking, participating in e-learning/ISD groups and keeping an updated professional profile
Google Docs – occasionally creating docs and spreadsheets
Gmail – easy, simple e-mail
Picasa Web Albums – store, view and share my photos
YouTube – everyone knows what this is for… my videos
Screenr – creating quick, easy screencasts that I can Tweet and/or embed in my blog
ChartGo – this one is new for me, but I like how easy it is to make charts that I can keep on the cloud or save on my hard drive (yes, I have a hard drive too)
I think I have established a bit of a residence on the Cloud. Are there cloud apps that you would recommend? I would love to here about them.
Google has announced they will release the Chrome Operating System in 2010. This OS is for netbooks and takes full advantage of the cloud. Thus, less of a need for a hard drive and a much quicker machine. In fact, they are currently boasting of a 7 second boot-up time. The success of a Chrome OS can mean a huge leap in cloud computing and hopefully more e-learning tools and apps on the cloud too.
Here is a video preview of Chrome OS.
Not sure what cloud computing is?