07 October 2011

Practice Makes Expert: New Feature Ready for Testing!

We are implementing the next set of features for the PL/SQL Challenge and are now ready to invite you to try out the first major enhancement: Practice Makes Expert. Currently, you can take a quiz when it is first offered as part of a competition (daily quiz, weekly quiz, etc.). But we haven't given you any way to take the quiz if you missed its original appearance or if you want to take it again to see if your understanding of the feature has improved.

You can now do that with Practice Makes Expert. To try out the Quiz Practices feature, visit test.plsqlchallenge.com, log in using the same email and password you would use on the production site, and then click on "Practice Makes Expert" button in our "Help Us Test" section:

You will then be taken to a page that explains this feature and gives you an idea of the way it will be implemented on the site. We suggest you read through this page, but after that, you can just click on the Practice menu button to go directly to the Practice Makes Expert Home page, shown below:
You can take the practice quiz on the practice home page or from the Play a Quiz table, by clicking on the new Practice tab:

Rather than explain further about how it this feature works, I'd like to let the website "speak for itself." If you have trouble figuring out what to do, let us know so we can clean up the workflow and/or explanations.

Note: Practice Makes Expert is also the first of a set of upcoming members-only features. We plan to institute an annual membership fee for those who want to support the PL/SQL Challenge project and get even more out of the site. One of the benefits of membership is unlimited practices, and in particular the Autotune practice feature, which automatically sets up practices for you based on criteria you specify.

Other changes at test.plsqlchallenge.com:
  1. Menu Changes: We've moved the links to Feedback, FAQ and Blog off the menu and up to the top right corner as hyperlinks. This frees up space on our menu bar for things like Practice. 
  2. Submit Quiz Changes: on the current site, to submit quiz you have to fill out a very long page of fields and sometimes what you enter is lost due to a variety of issues. Now you can use a wizard to submit a quiz. You can enter and submit the minimal amount of information in just a minute or two. You can then continue on to other pages or come back later to finish up your quiz.
We very much want to know what you think of these new features and changes. Feel free to post your feedback here or by clicking on the Feedback link.

Many thanks in advance for your help!
Steven Feuerstein

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