ProProfs Quizmaker & Real English Videos
How Students Learn English on Our Sites
In order to ensure that Real English videos are truly useful for learners, we have implemented "Interactive Lessons", i.e., collections of quizzes for our entire library of videos.
And in order to ensure that the learning experience is user-friendly for all levels of students, we break up each video into small parts for each quiz, in our case this means one, or sometimes 2 street interviews per quiz. In this way, students do not have to search or navigate back and forth to the relevant part of the video for the quiz at hand.
This quiz strategy works well, which brings us to an even more important question: which tool is best for making quizzes for our videos?
We put a lot of thought and research into this question, and installed trials of 6 different quiz programs before making our choice. Our requirements for a quiz maker included the following criteria:
1 - The program must provide us with quiz output which works on both mobile devices such as the iPhone and other iDevices, as well as Android phones & tablets AND computers. In other words, any quiz we create must work well on all devices.
2 - When we create quizzes for our own students at The Marzio School, we want to personalize the activity, i.e., to know which students took which quiz, in order to be able to help them in the future after looking at their mistakes. We also want to test our students from time to time using the quiz application.
3 - The quiz maker must be easy to use, without requiring the teachers to use HTML (only half our teachers are familiar with HTML basics). Along the same lines, the instructions for the students must appear in contexts directly related to the quiz they are taking.
4 - There must be some variety in the types of quizzes, including Multiple Choice, True or False, Fill in The Blanks, and Matching Exercises.
5 - Given the fact that our quizzes are based on our own videos, the possibility of embedding these videos into the quiz must be included as a built-in feature.
6 - The students must get "double feedback", i.e., feedback concerning why the correct answer is X and not Y, but also a score at the end showing all of the students' results.
We had been using the Hot Potatoes quiz maker for the past 10 years, because it fulfills our most important requirements except for #1, which is now the most important feature for us in 2012 - 2013. This old venerable "Hot Potatoes" program is now truly "old software", since it does not support mobile platforms, and its creators have no intention of making it mobile-compatible.
ProProfs failed in only one area - the last point in # 2: there are no matching exercises. This is a tiny fault compared to the fact that Hot Potatoes is useless for mobile devices.
ProProfs also includes features that will certainly be useful to our students, such as the fact that students can acess the quiz from their laptops using ProProfs "embedded link" feature. There are also options for working with the ProProfs-generated files off-line, a truly unique feature.
There is really no comparison between Hot Potatoes and ProProfs' relatively new entry into Web 2.0 interactivity. Just a few examples:
- Many teachers who don't have time to produce completely original content all the time will be happy to know that the Quiz Maker includes the largest library of pre-made questions on the Web (more than three million of them according to the information we find on the site) and also quiz templates (over 300,000).
- It automatically converts any documents uploaded by the teacher, including PDF & Word documents, into HTML5 so they can be loaded seamlessly across mobile devices.
- There is a "statistics dashboard" that allows teachers to generate reports for each quiz-taker, or for individual questions, or for groups of students, and includes the average time spent per question, and percentage of correct/incorrect answers, for example.
- Once a test or quiz is created, the teacher receives a specific URL where it resides online. An embed code ensures that the test or quiz can easily be placed on a school Web site for secure access.
- This quiz maker does exactly what it says it does. The interface is simple, and it is completely customizable.
- And it's free if you don't mind the ads and branding that accompany the quizzes you make. Otherwise, there are reasonably priced subscriptions to choose from.
All in all, ProProfs is probably the program which most educators will find most useful and complete. It's close to perfect for our particular needs, allowing us to serve both our world-wide audience with "anonymous quizzes", and also for the needs of our own students & teachers in our language school, allowing us to track all aspects of student performance with ease.