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.

Posted in Quiz Software Updates | 6 Comments

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.


Posted in Quiz Software Updates | 1 Comment

How to Create a Survey

create-surveySurveys collect data on certain phenomena that can’t be observed directly. They are used extensively in research and teaching. Question Writer gives you the flexibility to create surveys instead of quizzes. The way to create surveys are similar to that of making quizzes using multiple choice, true or false, essay type or partial credit questions.  Here are the steps to create a survey.

Step 1Click “Quiz Details” then choose “No Question Feedback.”

Step 1: No FeedbackStep 2Click “Question Options” then untick the box for “Display Point Values For Questions.”

Step 2: Display PointsStep 3Click “Report Settings” then untick the boxes for the “Display Report Screen” so that results and scores are not shown at the end of the survey.

Step 3: Display ReportStep 4Go to “Other Labels” and type your custom message indicating the end of your survey.

Step 4: End of Quiz

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How to Ask for User Identification Before Starting a Quiz

user-identificationFor security, tracking or record-keeping purposes, collecting user identification is an important aspect of administering online tests. Universities are finding ways to curb cheating in exams, and logging securely into online exam environments is a helpful solution.

User identification is also useful not only in restricting access to material but also to distribute your quiz results for example to specific groups of people based on certain identifiers.

Here is how to set up this feature to a quiz.

Step 1Double-click the quiz icon. On the left panel of the quiz properties window, select “Introduction.” Scroll down and tick the boxes of identifiers you want to collect.

Step 1: Tick BoxesStep 2To edit the labels of identifiers, go to “Other Labels” and scroll down to edit the boxes highlighted in red.

Step 2: Labels

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How to Give Answers at the End of a Quiz

answers-to-questionsYou can have full control over the feedback mechanism of your quiz. Choose whether or not to show the correct answer at the end of every question or after the whole quiz is done.

For example, instant feedback after every question forces a test-taker to learn concepts or facts one by one. On the other hand, feedback at the end of an exam is more for the purpose of having an assessment tool and less emphasis on detailed learning.

Regardless of the chosen method of giving feedback, teachers find that going over recent exams to discuss answers help students learn and do better in future exams.

Here’s how to give all the answers at the end of a quiz.

Step 1Double-click the quiz icon. On the left panel of the quiz properties window, select “Quiz Details.” The feedback method has a drop-down menu where you can select “End of Quiz.”

Step 1: End of Quiz

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How to Add Video to a Quiz

Add Video

Sam Greenhalgh

Video clips make an otherwise boring quiz into a dynamic one. Kid and adult learners alike find that lessons with videos can make learning more fun and interesting. The same is true for quizzes and exams. Adding video will make them much more engaging. Video can also be used to “portray situations that test the learner’s ability to make critical judgements.

You can embed YouTube videos to your quiz using the correct parameters. Follow the steps below to add video.

Step 1Right-click on the question, then add “Content.”

Step 1: Add ContentStep 2Add “Position.”

Step 2: Add PositionStep 3Add “Flash.”

Step 3: Add FlashStep 4Double-click “Flash” and click the “Select File” button.

Step 4: Select FileStep 5Make sure to select and use the updated YouTube player. (Download)

Step 5: YouTube PlayerStep 6Back to the Flash properties window, scroll down and set the alignment of the video clip to the left, right or center of the page.

Step 6: AlignmentStep 7Set the parameters. Type “_link” under the name column. Type the correct link under the value column. Note that your video clip has a unique characters that must be typed after the the /v/.

The full link looks like

Step 7: Link

Download the source for a full working sample YouTube video quiz here.

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How to Print a Quiz

print quiz

Jamison Judd

E-learning is the “in” thing and your online quizzes are a big part of that. More and more schools are using online learning technology nowadays. The likelihood of a paperless classroom seems all the more real.

Yet, paper is not totally phased-out and you still feel the need to have hard copies of teaching material, including those questions and answers of exams. So you print a quiz and it’s easy enough to do just that.

Step 1Select “Publish” and a drop-down menu is shown. You can then select from different publish options. For example, you can choose publish for printing, publish questions in text format, or publish inside PDF, to create files in different formats                  in your computer before you print the quiz.

Step 1: Print Quiz

Posted in Make a Great Quiz, Test, Exam | 1 Comment