In this article, we’re going to learn how to prepare activities for use in a future “live” (participative) session such as a class, lecture or presentation.
Why prepare questions?
So, you’ve already learned about using Xorro-Q for asking “Instant Questions” in session. The great thing about instant questions is that you can get your audience closely involved, without having prepared a set of questions ahead of time.
Often however, you’ll want to have a prepared set of questions, which you might want to deliver all at once in a “batch” (such as in a quiz or test or survey), or else you might want to be able to easily select a question from a list and ask it of the audience.
Let’s start by logging in to your Facilitator “QF” portal, at http://qf.xorro.com.
You’ll “land” at your Home page, which conveniently lists any actively running activities at the top and also summarises any recent activity. To create and edit activities, you need to go to the Activities tab (choose from the tabs along the upper right of the page).
Press the blue “Create Activity” button to get under way.
Setting Up the Activity
In completing the Activity Setup, you will need to give your new activity a name, and identify whether it is to be a Real-Time or a Self-Paced activity:
Real-Time activities anticipate that participants answer each question or batch of questions, in response to a Facilitator’s prompting. Implicitly, the Facilitator is active during the session. In Self-Paced activities, once the Facilitator has launched the activity and established the access rules, participants perform the entire activity at their own pace.
You can associate the new activity with a particular group (if you have any set up). You can also determine how the activity is to be accessed by participants: whether they must use an ID, or else can access by just creating an “alias name” (or nickname). If you decide to associate the activity with a group, then by default only participants who are members of that group will be able to access the activity; to do so they will need to use their ID to login.
If you have not yet set up groups, or participants, don’t worry: you can always make changes in future. For now just accept the default settings by pressing the “Create Activity” button at the lower right of the form….
You can now add questions to your activity. There is no limit to how many questions you can have in an activity. You can either import questions from your Q-Bank library, or you can create new questions.
Creating a question is as simple as pressing the “Create Question button, and completing the form which presents by selecting the type of question, entering a question body text, optionally selecting an image, determining a correct answer and score if there is one, and optionally creating feedback for participants.
Joining Questions into Batches
As you add questions to a Real-Time activity, these will be organised sequentially and will appear separated on the Activity edit form. When this activity is run, a Facilitator will be able to individually select and “launch” any of these questions to an audience at will.
Clicking the “join” icon separating any two questions on the activity edit form will “join” these two questions into a “batch”. A batch of questions in a Real-Time activity can be launched at once by the facilitator, and the participants can then progressively answer the entire batch of questions at their own pace. so that participants can step through the multiple questions in the batch at their own pace.
Once questions are joined in a batch, they can be “unjoined” by clicking the hairpin icon between them at the left margin of the questions.
This concept of a “batch” of questions is unique to Real-Time activities; in the case of Self-Paced activities, by definition all questions are accessed by participants at their own pace rather than individually made available by the Facilitator.
Running the Activity
Having prepared your questions, and organised them (if you wish) into batches, you are now ready to “run” your activity. Running an activity is very straightforward! You can choose:
- to run this activity immediately from the QF site, just click the blue “Run” button now on the left margin;
- to select and run this or another activity from the QF site, just select the activity from the activities list in the Activities tab, and press the blue “run” button
- you might prefer to launch the activity using the Q-Launcher, once you’re in class and ready to go….. In this case just select the activity after logging in to the Q-Launcher (note – Q-Launcher can only select and run “Real Time” activities).
You’ll be asked to re-check the Activity Setup form before finally launching the activity.
Remember that for your participants to access your (now running) activities, they just browse to your participant access url and select the activity which applies to them. If it’s a Real-Time activity, just get them to join the Live Session (it’s highlighted in blue on their landing page).