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The power of questionspixel.gif (807 bytes)

pixel.gif (807 bytes) Methods for obtaining input
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OUR FIVE TYPES OF QUESTION - selecting, supplying, ordering/ranking, matching and locating - can be implemented using a wide variety of input methods. Here are nine common methods:

Text links
A text link is the standard hypertext method. The text is typically underlined and/or differently coloured. The user answers the question by clicking on the link.

Image links
Images, typically in the form of buttons, are an obvious alternative to the above. Instead of the user clicking on text, they click on an image to make their selection.

Image maps
With this method the user answers a question by clicking on a particular part of an image. The image will contain a number of ‘hot spots’, each of which represents an alternative answer.

Radio buttons
Radio buttons allow the user to make a single selection from a range of options. To answer the question, the user simply clicks on the radio button corresponding to their chosen option.

Check boxes
A single check box allows the user to make a binary decision - either they tick the box or they don’t. Used in combination, they allow the user to make multiple selections from a list of options.

Drop down lists
A drop down list provides the user with a limited list of text options, from which they can typically make a single selection.

Text boxes
A text box allows a user to type in an answer.

Drag and drop
With this method, the user answers a question by dragging objects from one part of the screen to another. Depending on the type of question it will make a difference what objects they select and where they choose to position them.

Sliders
In this case, the user drags a slider to a chosen position, typically to represent a position on a scale.

Implementing these methods
Not all of these input methods are equally simple to implement in an online learning environment. Some require only basic HTML, some require the addition of some JavaScript into the HTML code and some require the services of a Java programmer. The following sections provide examples of the sorts of questions that can be achieved at each of these three levels.

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                                                     Fastrak Consulting Ltd, 1998. All rights reserved.                                Last revised 18/4/99