PowerQuizPoint Quiz Maker is a tool that allows the user to generate quizzes within PowerPoint, providing question and answer slides with a range of options.
The software features a variety of different design templates, a bank of example questions, and a simple interface that means that quizzes can be edited quickly and easily without requiring any familiarity with PowerPoint. In addition, the quiz will calculate a final score for the user, revealing this at the end of the quiz.
The software can be downloaded from the website (it costs $99), and there is a trial version available for free. Once installed, a toolbar appears within PowerPoint. From this toolbar, users can create entire quizzes – without doing any editing on the PowerPoint slide itself.
Usability is easy, as all functions are handled within the PowerQuizPoint menu, rather than on the slide itself. However, difficulties did arise when adding and removing questions within the quiz, as the changes interfered with the scoring system. This is particularly evident when different templates are used within one quiz. Users looking to make these changes may wish to edit the presentation as a whole, rather than to do so question by question.
There are a range of pre-designed quiz templates that can be used to create a quiz. Some templates are simply abstract designs, but there are some more creative ones, including one based on a popular television program, and one based on a teacher’s chalkboard (complete with animated writing chalk!). The designs themselves are well executed, and the animations are smooth. Unfortunately, there is no option to personalise these templates, which means that it is impossible to adapt a template for a specific purpose, for example to tailor colours to match a specific brand.
Some modifications can be made on the slides themselves; text and font formats can be changed, whilst the user can insert new shapes, images, sounds and even video and flash to the slide. This could be useful in a learning environment, for example if a teacher wished to explain an answer via the use of video.
Other functionalities from within the quiz are offered. For example, the presenter can enable or disable the option to retry a question if incorrect, or to skip backwards and forwards between questions as wished. The software also comes with a selection of questions in the ‘question bank’, which the user can select from to create a quiz, or add to himself once more questions have been created.
Saving the Quiz
The resulting file can be used within PowerPoint as a slideshow with no difficulties, or it can be saved and run as a Flash file. Converting the file is done via the ‘Publish Quiz’ button on the toolbar within PowerPoint. This process is not without its difficulties. The conversion, as with most PowerPoint to Flash conversions, is slow, but it also froze several times when it was attempted. The website FAQs indicate that this is a common problem, and provide some solutions.
Once a file has been successfully converted, it can be run outside of PowerPoint; sent to other users; or published on a website. This extra feature will prove very useful for those wanting to broadcast a quiz on a blog post, or for teachers and lecturers wishing to share the quiz with students over the internet.
PowerQuizPoint Maker is a useful automated solution for creating quizzes within PowerPoint, particularly with the added functionality of being able to calculate score.
The software is easy to use, and with a few clicks the user can have a fully-functioning quiz. Some improvements could be made, such as fixing the conversion difficulties, or perhaps giving the user the option to remove answer pages from the quiz. It is also worth checking the answers for some of the questions provided in the question bank – an answer about the use of Joules claimed that the term referred to the recording of heat, and not energy!
This software could be particularly useful for teachers and lecturers, or training presentations within a corporate setting. It clearly promotes interaction in an audience, and tests audience knowledge and understanding. Examples of use could be at the start of a presentation to ensure audience members are engaged, or at the end of a presentation to test material learnt. Asking audiences questions will get them involved and paying attention to presentation content, and encouraging them to think about what they are listening to means that they are more likely to absorb it into long-term memory.
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