Posts tagged ‘app’

Finally… a name for our mobile learning app: Oppia Mobile

oppiaSince we’ve been working on our mobile learning app, we’ve not really had a good name for it, and have just been referring to it as ‘our mobile learning app’, and we really wanted to come up with a nice name for the platform. Selecting and finding a good name is pretty tough, especially  a short one that isn’t some convoluted acronym. We also didn’t want the name to be specific to a particular field (such as health), as although most of our current content is health related, we can also use the platform for other subject areas (such as the Open Education MOOC).

So… the name we have settled on is “Oppia Mobile”, for info ‘oppia’ means ‘to learn’ in Finnish, and as far as we can tell it doesn’t mean anything strange or bad in any other language – but please let us know if it does.

We’ve registered the domain, but currently this just redirects to the app download page in Google Play. I’ll get a proper site set up in the coming weeks. It feels good that we now have a name we can use to refer to the platform.


Adding gamification to quizzes and mobile learning

I’ve just begun to add some gamification into mQuiz and our mobile learning application. We’ve been thinking quite a lot about badging for the mobile learning modules and perhaps how we could apply this to quizzes too. However, for me, awarding badges for just completing a single quiz, seems to cheapen somehow the value of the badges. So I’ve decided to try out a dual approach of points and badges and see how that works. You gain points for creating/taking quizzes and for completing activities in the mobile learning app, but you only gain a badge for completing all the activities in a given module (or perhaps creating a certain number of quizzes).

So far I’ve only implemented the basic points scoring system (I’ve retrospectively added points to those who have previously been using mQuiz), and the scores only appear on the leaderboard on the homepage, but shouldn’t be too much work to get this more integrated (for example showing your score in the mobile app etc).

For those interested, the scoring currently works like this:

  • 100 – creating an account
  • 200 – creating a quiz
  • 20 – first time you attempt (someone else’s) quiz
  • ? – percentage score you got for a quiz on your first attempt. E.g. if you score 75% on your first attempt you get 75 points
  • 50 – bonus if you get 100% on your first attempt at a quiz
  • 10 – each subsequent attempt at a quiz (max. once per day per quiz)
  • 5 – someone attempting a quiz you created (max. once per day per quiz per user)
  • 10 – completing an activity in the mobile learning app (max. once per day per activity)

I’ve tried to encourage people to try and get as high a score as possible on their first attempt, although you are rewarded for trying the quiz repeatedly (on different days), and I also wanted to encourage people to create popular quizzes – hence the points when someone attempts a quiz you created.

I’m not sure I’ve got all the points quite right yet, so will see how this works and I may make some adjustments over time. I’m sure there are a few ways to cheat this (I’ve thought of a few already), especially with the API to create quizzes.

Next steps are to get the points, leaderboards etc displaying in the mobile app…

Updated mobile learning app – sneak preview…

Alongside updating mQuiz into Django, I’ve also been updating the Digital Campus mobile learning app. Rewriting mQuiz into Django has been going really well, it’s almost there now and hopefully I should be able to get this released live before Christmas. For the API side I’ve been using TastyPie, which has made it much simpler for creating the API for the mobile app.

The main changes to the mobile learning app include:

  • Better user interface and navigation: the old app was rather text heavy and you couldn’t jump directly into a particular activity. With the new app, when exporting the course/module from Moodle you can specify icons for each activity/section/module, or just use the default icons in the mobile app. I’m not sure I’ve got the default icons exactly right yet, but to me, the layout and navigation looks much better than before.
  • Downloading media files: I’ve been avoiding including media files within the download packages to keep the filesize down, but until now I’ve not had a good way for users to know where to get the media files from, or how to download onto their phone. All the media file info (including download link) is now included in the module package, so I’m now building into the app a media checker/manager, so users can see straightaway which video files are missing and can download them much more easily.

A few screenshots of the updated app:

mQuiz: Importing from Moodle quizzes & GIFT format

I’ve just put up a new version of the mQuiz website and mQuiz Android app.

The key update is that you can now import quizzes in the GIFT format (which Moodle also uses). So if you already have a Moodle quiz then you can export it in GIFT format and upload to run in mQuiz – I’ve uploaded the 4 quizzes from our Certificate in Online Education course to demonstrate. Alternatively you can write your own quiz in GIFT format directly.

This now allows to create quizzes with more interesting question types than only single-option multiple choice, such as multi-option multiple choice, numerical, essay, short answer and true/false.

Any feedback on this is much appreciated!
Update (5th Dec 2011)… I’ve just added the facility to display feedback…

mQuiz: lots of updates….

Over the last few days I’ve made quite a lot of updates to the mQuiz server and Android application

mQuiz server updates

  • Graphs and better info about quiz responses – note that if you created the quiz then any responses you submit will not count towards average scores etc.
  • A download queue, so you can share quizzes with a link…. e.g. clicking on this link will add the ‘European Capitals’ quiz to your download queue, and will be downloaded next time you start the client phone app. You can use this even if you haven’t yet installed the phone app. As soon as you install and log in to the client, the quiz will be scheduled for download.
  • Quizzes can now have download/submissions turned on/off. Allows a quiz to be under development, and not downloadable to any clients, also by turning submissions off you can stop people sending in more results.
  • The leaderboard on the homepage now works. You’ll only appear once you have submitted results from at least 3 different quizzes (sorry, quizzes you created don’t count!).
  • Homepage much improved (I think anyway!).

mQuiz Android updates

  • You now need to register/login when you first open the client app. You’ll need valid login details to download quizzes, submit responses etc.
  • The download scheduler is implemented – so the client will automatically download any quizzes you’ve selected on the server. The scheduler only runs when you have the mQuiz client open and you can set how often it will check for quizzes in the preferences (from the mQuiz main page click on the menu button and select ‘preferences’).
  • Manage quizzes: you can now remove installed quizzes as well as just download them. Note that this will remove all your scores too (though results already send to the server will be kept).
  • The download quiz page now won’t try to download quizzes that are already installed
  • After you complete a quiz you now have the option to share your results via twitter, email, text message, facebook etc.

There’s still quite a lot I’d like to do to tidy up the client code, and all the other features I’d like to add too! Any feedback on the above, or the app generally, much appreciated 🙂

mQuiz: running quizzes on your mobile

Once again, I’ve been getting a bit slack with posting to my blog, seem to have got a bit distracted with writing project proposals and other work. So here’s a quick update on something I’ve been developing over the last couple of weeks… a smartphone application to easily create, deliver and take short quizzes and assessment activities. Firstly, a quick demo:

There are many quiz apps on Android market, but none that I found will allow you to easily create your own quiz questions (not without programming a new Android app). True, there are ways to do this, for example, to create your quiz in Moodle, then access via one of the mobile Moodle apps. But I wanted something that you could run on your phone offline and didn’t have the overhead of setting up a Moodle installation.

I now have a prototype website (at – very surprised this domain name was easily and cheaply available!), where you can create your own (multiple-choice) quizzes. Anyone with an Android smartphone can install the client application and download any of the quizzes created and submit/share their results. To download the client app see: or search for ‘mquiz’ in the market.

I’m planning to make some nice graphs/charts etc on the site so you can track responses to quizzes better. For example to see how many people have been taking your quiz, the scores they are getting, even identify which questions most people get right/wrong.

It’s very much a work in progress, so things are likely to change rapidly – not all the pages on the website are written yet even. Some of the key functions I’d like to work on are:

  • Nicer analytics pages/graphs on the website
  • Client app for other mobile OSs – thinking about porting to PhoneGap to make it easier to develop for multiple mobile platforms.
  • More than just multiple choice – it would be good to support something like the GIFT format to make it easy for people to import existing quizzes
  • Better sharing of quizzes – so you could email/sms someone a link to a quiz for them to opt to have it downloaded to their phone next time they open the client app
  • Visibility/submission permissions – currently all quizzes created are publicly available and anyone can submit responses (even anonymously), would like to have the option to restrict quizzes to particular users/groups
  • … probably much more to add to this list!

The code for the phone client app and the server app is available on GitHub, see: for details.

Any feedback/suggestions much appreciated (as would any help with the development!)