CSS in Question Writer HTML5 Screencast

Question Writer supports CSS in a number of ways –

1. All the themes are CSS based
2. Additional CSS instructions under Appearance Settings of Quiz Properties
3. Supplementary CSS files under the resources element

Here’s a quick screencast detailing the different ways CSS can be used in Question Writer HTML5.

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Math Equations – MathML, LaTeX, ASCIIMathML Support

Question Writer HTML5 now supports math equations through the Mathjax library. Use MathML, LaTeX or ASCIIMathML in a Math element and it will be displayed using Mathjax.


Here’s a sample math quiz to see it in action in your browser. You can download the sample math quiz source.


To add equations to a quiz, add the Math element, then enter your equation in MathML or LaTeX format. You can add the Math element as question body content, or within options for questions. You can use equations in any type of questions, including matching, sequencing and custom question types.


The Mathjax library can be bundled with your quiz or loaded from the web. Usually you’ll want to load it from the web – this will keep the size of the quiz down, and make it faster for the viewer. However, when authoring your quiz, it’ll be faster for previews to leave this option switched off. If the end user of the quiz won’t have internet access, you’ll want to bundle the library with your quiz.

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Quiz App

Quiz apps are easy to make with Question Writer HTML5.

Here’s two I made earlier for you to try out on your iPad or Android tablet right now – search inside the App Store or Google Play for
1. 9/11 Memorial Quiz iOS | Android
2. The Flexuality Test (17+) iOS | Android

How do I make a quiz app?

It’s really easy, you just choose the ‘Export to Phone Gap’ option from the Publish menu. This creates a single zip file containing everything necessary.

Make a quiz app

It’s easy to make a quiz app!

Upload the zip file to Phonegap Build, and it will create the files you need for the different platforms, including the .ipa for iOS and the .apk for Android (and 4 other platforms too). You’ll need to create signing certificates when you are ready to deploy your apps – Phonegap has Android and iOS guides to help.

You can use all your own logos and splash screens for your quiz app – they’re located in the Metadata part of the quiz properties. This is where you can add the name, description, version and other details for your quiz app.

Using Question Writer HTML5 to create quiz apps is one of the fastest ways to create an engaging app and publish it. You don’t need any developer skills and you can use all the advanced functionality including multiple scores, reports, custom javascript, plugin questions, branching, feedback.

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iBooks Quiz

You can use Question Writer HTML5 to create quiz widgets for iBooks Author. You can add the iBooks quiz like any other widget, and collect results and view reports on Question Writer Tracker.

iBooks does have some limited quiz features, but if you’re looking for something more capable – Question Writer is the most powerful quiz tool available and works seamlessly with iBooks. If you want to create a quiz with your own custom scoring, options, question types, feedback, audio and video – this is the solution.

If you want to try it out in iBooks, here’s a sample iBooks Quiz Widget I made earlier.

Export as iBooks Quiz Widget

Export as iBooks Quiz Widget

To create your own from your quiz, choose the ‘Export as iBooks Widget’ option in the Publish menu.

Technical tips for creating an iBooks Quiz

1. Select the ‘Maximize quiz in browser’ option in Web settings to ensure the iBooks quiz is displayed at the correct size.
2. Use a theme with a scrollable pane, rather than a scrollable page – as iBooks quiz widgets cannot scroll the page.

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Hot Spot Question

Hot Spot Questions can now be created with Question Writer HTML5. They are created as plugin question types. Here’s an example hot spot question.

Hot Spot Question Picture

Try hot spot question by clicking on the picture

You’ll find the source for this question in the Samples directory beside the Italy quiz. You can use any image, and update the size of the indicator and location of the correct answer area. Happy hot spotting!

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Black Box Error When Previewing Audio or Video

Okay. Settle down. This is a little bit complicated.

When previewing content that includes audio or video – instead of audio or video, only a black box is displayed.

Black Box Audio Video Error

Like this . . .

Your system is using Internet Explorer 8 to preview the content. IE8 can’t display the content natively, so it uses a Flash fallback to display it. However, file security restrictions mean that the Flash cannot load local files, and a black box is shown.

Install Internet Explorer 9+ – Note: requires Windows Vista/Windows 7+

If you’re using Windows XP, you won’t be able to install IE9. There are two options –
1. Ignore it. The audio/video will show up fine when you view the content on the web including on IE8.
2. Change your Flash Global Security Settings. Add to ‘Always Trust Files In These Locations” – the Question Writer cache folder (similar to ‘C:\Documents and Settings\Your Name\Local Settings\Application Data\Question Writer Corporation\Question Writer HTML5\Cache’); Update: This doesn’t seem to work.
3. Use internet based files – rather than using local files, reference audio/video files that you have already placed on your webserver.

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Responses Shown In Email Report

There’s an upgrade in the e-mail reports for Question Writer HTML5. The report now contains responses for all question types rather than the ‘a’, ‘b’, ‘c’ indicators. Here’s an upgraded report.

Responses now in email report

Responses now shown in email report


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Question Writer HTML5 in Beta

Good Morning. I’ve got some big news items for you today.

1. The new Question Writer uses HTML5. Here’s a sample HTML5 quiz.


2. The Question Writer HTML5 Beta is available

You can install it alongside Question Writer 4, but HTML5 quizzes won’t open in QW4, so make backups before testing your quizzes.

The major new features are –

a) The quizzes are HTML5! They’ll work on iPads and other mobile devices.
b) It’s faster. No need to preview anymore.
c) Quiz Apps. Publish quizzes for the App Store, Android Market and other mobile stores (via Phonegap).
d) Use any HTML in your quiz. (Tables, SVG, MathML etc)
e) Use Javascript (for any custom functionality)

Stay tuned. Lots more details coming up over the coming days and weeks.

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Make a Video Quiz Part 2

I detailed two ways to include videos in your quizzes in a previous post. The first was to embed a YouTube video, the second was to embed the whole video inside the quiz. Today, I’ve got a third way for you.

This way allows your to upload your video to your website, but embed a player in the quiz. Here’s an example video quiz so that you can see what it looks like.

The advantage to this method is that you can keep your own video format, and don’t need to upload it to a site like YouTube, and your quiz loads quickly because it doesn’t have the bulk of embedded video.

Video Quiz Screen Shot

To use this method you need to include the videoplayer.swf as content within your question and then give it a parameter ‘video’ with your url. You can also give it a parameter ‘autoplay’ as false if you don’t want it to autoplay.

Here’s the source for the sample quiz above if you want to see how it all works in Question Writer. Drag and drop the question into your own quiz to use it.

Some technical notes.

1. You can use the latest and greatest codecs that the Flash Player can handle including h264 and the FLV file format. While QW creates Flash 8 quizzes, if the user has a more recent Flash player, it will load the new codecs without a problem. I recommend you use h264 for all your videos for best results.

2. Usually you won’t want to use browser resizing when using video files, the resizing can make the video look blurry.

3. You can use video of any dimensions, but make sure to enter the dimensions in the Flash content element in Question Writer.


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Facebook Quizzes – February Newsletter

In this Update:

1. Your Quiz as a Facebook App

2. Unlimited Usage on Question Writer Tracker

3. New Tutorials

4. Secure Quiz Access

5. Include YouTube Videos In Your Quiz

6. Multiple Score Tracking


1. Your Quiz as a Facebook App

Any quiz you upload to Question Writer Tracker can now be shared on Facebook. Log into Question Writer Tracker and grab the link from the Quiz Details page. Users can take the quiz in Facebook and share the quiz with friends. You can go one step further and turn the quiz into its own Facebook app. You can use your own logos, users can compare scores, you get Facebook statistics and appear in Facebook’s app search. Try out the State Capitals Quiz to see how it works.

2. Unlimited Usage on Question Writer Tracker

We scrapped the usage limitations on Question Writer Tracker! You can now have unlimited quizzes on Question Writer Tracker, unlimited quiz takers and unlimited reports. You also get unlimited use of the Question Writer software and unlimited e-mail and forum support.

3. New Tutorials

We’ve got a raft of new tutorials on the Question Writer Blog. Learn how to use some of the more advanced features of Question Writer like how to add audio, award partial credit for questions, make a sequencing question, publish your quiz on the internet, repeat a question until it is answered, ask for a user’s identify before beginning.

4. Secure Quiz Access

There’s a new service available on Question Writer Tracker – Secure Quiz Access. This makes your quizzes available over a secure internet connection (HTTPS rather than HTTP). This ensures that the quiz and the user’s responses can’t be intercepted while being transmitted. This service is available for only $10 a month and can be ordered here.

5. Include YouTube Videos In Your Quiz

One of the easiest ways to make your quiz engaging is to include videos. And one of the easiest ways to include videos is to link to a YouTube video. It will be displayed inside your quiz. Here’s the guide on how to do this.

6. Multiple Score Tracking

A powerful, but often overlooked feature of Question Writer is the ability to track multiple scores. This allows you to track multiple facets of a quiz takers performance, and multiple scores are often used in psychometric style quizzes like the Myers-Briggs test. Here’s a guide on how to get started.


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