Creating questions

At PEOI, to help students learn from questions they answer incorrectly, an explanation is provided by linking each question to the text on which it is based. The link is made possible with an anchor placed precisely in front of the concept in the text of chapters, sections, cases or other course pages. Links using anchors are essential in PEOI's learning process. There can be thousands of links in a course.

Creating questions is a three phase process because of the need to set up and keep track of links to concepts.

  1. First, the anchors are created and the concepts are extracted in "Summarize concepts" procedure. The "Summarize concepts" procedure also allows to restate each concept in a concise, precise and autonomous sentence, and to seed a review questions file.
  2. In the review concepts file, the concepts are hidden from students, but appear only to authors when viewed in "Create questions" procedure where authors can write questions for each of the concepts. This is the second phase which also allows to seed test questions data banks.
  3. The third phase takes place in "Edit questions" procedure where the test questions which were seed with "Create questions", are then completed, duplicated or discarded.

When questions are written for specific concepts or portions of chapter text, a link is established between each review question and the underlying text with the help of anchor tags. Anchor tags must comply with HTML requirements and be written as <A NAME="anchor#####"></A> where ##### is a unique name or number assigned by the writer. For links the syntax is similar: <A HREF="######">XYZ</A> where ##### is the url (or internet address) and XYZ is the name of the link in plain English. There is no need for authors to worry about placing most anchors because the "Summarize concepts" and "Create questions" procedures are designed to do that automatically, instantly and painlessly. All the author needs to do is identify the concepts in the text to which questions will pertain by placing markers in front of them. As explained in the guidelines to the procedure, review questions files as well as test questions files are created by the software based on the markers authors place in the text.

The HTML tags for paragraphs, links and anchors are probably the only tags authors ever need to worry about in PEOI's text files. All other HTML writing is done by PEOI's procedures automatically or by PEOI's editing staff. Authors familiar with HTML and/or with the use of HTML editors are welcome to configure their pages as they see fit, and paste them in the TEXTAREA of the "Edit HTML text" procedure. But, care must be used to avoid unwanted overhead (which often doubles or triples the size of a file). In particular, if a page is created with a Microsoft application, it is recommended to use HTML Filter 2.0 (which is a free download from Microsoft).


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