Monday, 21 September 2009

MCQs in SL

Shown in the video are various options for showing multiple choice questions (MCQs) in SL. The fundamental criteria was that the questions needed to be attached to an object in-world, and so there were 3 main options:
  1. Dialogs: MCQ presented through a series of dialogs. Only a certain amount of text can fit on a dialog button, and so longer options need an ABC-style system.
  2. HUD: Very similar to the dialogs, but allows for 'bigger buttons' to display options.
  3. Website: Displays a website using the in-built browser. In this case the website was made using software called Twine, but any html page would work (including javascript).

The dialog and HUD are roughly equivalent; with the HUD possibly just having the edge since its appearance can be customised, and it doesn't have the button size restrictions. The website option has many advantages, including support for images and larger passages of text, but requires a server somewhere to host the pages, and extra effort in authoring them.

In the video the Dialog questions load slightly faster because they are hard-coded, while the HUD is reading from a notecard. The notecard is the better option because it is easier to produce questions for. The system that I'm using requires lines to start with special characters, as shown below:

*Incorrect option
*Correct option<
*Incorrect option
+Positive feedback
-Negative feedback

I think that this is a fairly straight-forward, human-readable format, so putting together quizes shouldn't be too difficult.

I want to briefly mention Twine, which is a fantastic tool for creating branching scenarios. It was used in the website example to create a linear quiz, but it can be used in much more creative ways. Full details can be found here:

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