It may be a coincidence but recently multiple questions appeared s about using random question slides
- :Why is it impossible to control custom objects on slides in question pools like Show/hide for a custom feedback in Review mode?
- How can you create and use a timer for a quiz which has random questions,, and have actions done when a certain time has elapsed? Or show warnings when time has almost elapsed?
- How can I use remediation for random slides?
There are of course the usual questions like: can I use random question ir Pretest, as Knowledge Check slides (now also in Interactive video), or quiz slides on hotspots in a VR project? Can I have a new subset of random ausetions at a new attempt...
In this post I want to explain why some of those workflows are impossible. For some use cases I have a workaround, will mention it but not offer it for free.
Tips for Question pools
You are for sure aware of the fact that all quiz slides, whatever the type, are based on the quizzing master slide (4)s, and the results slide on another master slide. Whether you are working with a responsive or a non-responsive project, make sure to set up those master slides fully before creating the pools. That means; checking the object styles and edit them when necessary, check the sizes of the embedded objects. One example: if you expect to have long answers, make the answer area as big as possible, maybe by decreasing the height of the feedback messages and other objects. Do never delete an embedded object (they have no individual timeline). If you can uncheck some in the Quiz Preferences, that is fine. Do not forget to check the Default labels under Quiz Preferences. Please do never override object styles. This is eve more important for pools than for normal quiz slides. once I had to edit the master slides quite a lot in consultancy job because the developer has deleted embedded objects. Several pools were connected with the project. Updating the course after having edited the master slides took quite long, needed kot of coffee breaks.
I also prefer to use GIFT files (or the new CSV files) over editing all quiz slides individually. RE-importing a GIFT file is a lot less work than having to edit each individual quiz slide. It is even more important if you need the course in multiple languages.
You probably want all learners to have the same possible total score? In that case you'll need to give the same max score to each question in the pool. Or use multiple question pools, each with a different score. I feel a T/F question is not 'deserving' the same score as a complicated MCQ question. Keep the easier questions with a lower score in one pool, the more complicated in another pool.
Examples with (eventually) workarounds
1. New subset of random questions for new attempt in same session
As I understand the workflow with random questions generated from question pools on runtime: each random question placeholder will be replaced by one question from the associated pool based on a random number. That random number will then be excluded for the next random question. At the end all the random question have been generated and are treated like normal quiz slides, based on the setup in Quiz Preferences. They become static, the generating process will not be repeated when a new attempt on Quiz level is started. To confirm my suspicion I added a custom object to the pool questions, that object only appears when you insert new random questions, not on existing questions: there is no dynamic link between the pool and the inserted questions.
Workaround: you need to close the session, and restart the course. If you are transmitting to a LMS with bookmarking (Resume data), the number of attempts will be taken into account.
2. Random questions for Pretest/Knowledge Check slides
There is no possibility to use question pools for these slides, at this moment (log a feature request please)
Workaround: use normal random quiz slides for them. For Pretest slides you'll not be able to store the data in the Pretest quizzing variables. If you have real quiz slides in the course, you have to be careful. You can convert the imported random slide in a Survey question (could be used of KC slides), or you can uncheck the option 'Reporting'. In both cases the score and percentage on the results slide will be correct, but some quizzing systerm variables will still take into account all questions as you coudl read in my blog about Quizzing System variables.
3. Random questions in VR projects
You cannot use random questions on hotspots in a VR project.
Workaround: insert 360 slides i a normal cptx project. Insert random question slides in that project. Use a Guided status for the hotpsots which show content. The last hotspot can be used to navigate to the random question slides. Beware: when inserting 360 slides in a normal cptx-project the opion to have Overlay Question slides attached to hotspots disappears. More info in this article.
4. Random questions in Interactive Video
Overlay Knowledge Check slides are supported for Interactive Video. But like normal KC slides, they cannot be random.
Workaround: Use norma random slides which cannot be used as overlay slides. However, you can use bookmarks to navigate to the slides, then navigate back to the video. I will post a blog about this workflow in the near future.
5. Controlling custom objects in random slides
You can add custom objects to pool questions or even to the master slides, but be careful: for HTML output the stacking order will always be respected (I had a workaround for SWF output). That means that the embedded Quizzing objects will always be on top of the custom objects. Embedded objects do not have an individual timeline, not on the quizzing master slide nor on the quiz slide. You should never delete those embedded objects, Some can be unchecked in the Quiz Properties panel (examples: Clear button, Back button, Feedback messages), others not (Question title, Question, Submit button...).
You can have an Advanced/Shared action on a pool question for the On Enter event (quiz slides never have an On Exit event). A user wanted to use that action to make a custom object visible only in Review mode, using the quizzing system variable cpInReviewMode. That is a workflow which works perfectly on normal quiz slides. The variable is available for pool questions as well, but.... you cannot reference custom objects on the quiz slide. The added custom objects will never appear in the dropdown list for Show, Hide, Disable, Enable.... The user thought this to be a bug, but I don't agree and will try to explain my intuition.
When you add a random quiz slide to a project, as I mentioned it will be generated from the associated question pool. I suspect this to be a copy/paste act.: based on a random number a copy of a pool question is placed in the Captivate project. You probably have experienced in the past the effect of copy/paste to labels? Since every object needs a unique name, the names of the objects on the inserted random question will have a name 'similar' to the name in the original pool question but not the same name. The advanced action should have been self-edited to reflect that name change. That seems not to be possible, hence the fact that custom objects do not appear in dropdown lists for pool questions. Same happens when you copy/paste a normal slide which has Advanced attached to the slide events: in most cases those actions will be broken. It is one of the reasons I always recommend to use Shared actions whenever possible, especially for slide event actions. It is a lot easier to repair the action in that case. However, for random questions that is not possible, you cannot attach a Shared action to a random question, you have to rely on the actions in the pool questions.
Workaround: I do have a workaround which works perfectly, but I will not offer that one for free.
6. Using Timer for random slides.
Captivate has a TImer and Hourglass interaction with similar features. You can also time using system variables and advanced/shared actions or JS.
To use them for random slides, you need to insert the interaction before the first random slide on a normal slide which can be very short. However those interactions are not working very 'exactly', hence I always combine them with system variables. No details about my workflow.
7. Remediation workflow
A user asked if remediation would work for random slides, and there my answer is No. It looks very logical to me why this is an impossible workflow using question pools and random questions. Remediation means you have to link to a content slide from the quiz slide on Failure. The content slide needs to have the special command 'Return to Quiz' on a custom Next button. That action will only work when the learner gets to that content slide from a quiz slide, in other situations the Next button will proceed to the Next slide.
Why is this not possible with random questions? A question pool can be used in many files, how ca you exactly define the name or the slide number of the content slide to link to? You need an absolute navigation link to that content slide, which is totally impossible.
Workaround: do not use a pool, but insert all the questions (with link tot the content slides) in the course. Navigate to a question based on a random generated number (with JS). Make sure that you don't reuse the same random number twice, nor that the non-selected questions can be visited. Turn on Branch Aware in the Quiz Preferences to have a correct value for the quizzing variables on the score slide. A lot of work!