31 May 2011

New feature: Open Question in New Window

With the questions and choices on a single long page, as you scroll down to evaluate your choices, you can lose sight of the question. For questions with lots of choices or choices with lots of code, players found themselves "bouncing" up and down on the page: read the choice, go back to the question, back down to the choice.

Not very user-friendly.

To address this problem we now offer a hyperlink to "Open Question in New Window" directly under the text of the question. Click on this link to open a new browser that contains both the question and choices. You can then scroll down through the choices on the "take the quiz" page, and still see the question text. You can, of course, also use this extra window to compare two different choices, more easily identifying the differences.

We hope this improves your quiz-taking experience.

Cheers, Steven Feuerstein

30 May 2011

SQL and APEX Quizzes: Authors and Reviewers Needed!

Now that PL/SQL Challenge Version 2 is in place, it is time to fulfill my promise of starting up weekly SQL and APEX quizzes! And to do this, we could use your help.

To hold weekly quizzes, we need quizzes and we need people to review those quizzes.

Apex Evangelists, led by APEX experts Dimitri Gielis and John Scott, will be taking the lead on the APEX quizzes, making sure that a new quiz is ready every week, responding to questions, and so forth. I am sure that they will come up with many fine quizzes, but (as with PL/SQL) each of you have your own experiences and expertise that you can share through quizzes that you write. In addition, Dimitri and John need some independent eyes to look over their (and others') quizzes, to ensure they are accurate and error-free.

I will manage the SQL quizzes, but I am no SQL expert and will be hard-pressed both to come up with top-notch quizzes and also make sure they are free of errors and ambiguities.

So here's how you can help:

Sign up to be a reviewer.

First, note that if you become a reviewer you can still take any quiz that you have not viewed as a part of the review process. It is no longer an "all or nothing" proposition, as was the case in PL/SQL Challenge 1.X.

First, update your profile so that it clearly describes your experience and accomplishments in the SQL and/or APEX technologies. If we cannot see from your profile that you are experienced with these technologies, we will not approve your proposal to become a reviewer.

Next, open the Feedback page, select "Volunteer as Reviewer" for the Feedback type. Then in the comments section provide a summary of why you want to become a reviewer and anything else that will help us make a decision on approving you.

We will then follow up with you regarding your offer to volunteer.

Write a quiz!

Write and submit proposals for quizzes. Simply press the "Submit Quiz" button on the menu, read the instructions, and then fill in all required fields.

There are many benefits to authoring a quiz, including high visibility when your quiz is played and receiving maximum possible score for that day.

Thanks in advance for your support and contributions. We will announce start dates for both of these quizzes soon.

Steven Feuerstein