It’s Sunday. Amidst your studying for exams, the numerous homework assignments, and papers written, you have forgotten that you have an online quiz due that evening. But what do you do? You’re out in the middle of nowhere, with only your trusty phone or tablet. Never fear, desktop Carmen is here! But what as a student should you be aware of when taking your quiz on a mobile device? And what should professors be aware of when designing their quizzes?
What problems may I run into?
1) Understand that the Carmen user-interface is desktop-geared, and quizzes are not going to react exactly the same as if you were using a computer. The buttons are made for mouse clicks, and it’s difficult to navigate on a phone or tablet. Zooming in and out adds unnecessary time, and you often must double tap (tap, pause, tap) the save button (or any “button”,” e.g. next page button) to register the click. You then have to wait a second or two (watching the page loading indicator to know if its working).
2) Links often do not have the option to open in a new tab, and the tapped link will load up in your quiz window/tab. This means that to get back to your quiz you must either use the go-back button or re-login into the quiz. If you have a multiple page quiz, you will revert back to the first page of the quiz, and if you didn’t save all your answers you must fill them back in. Also, if you are allowed a single log-in attempt, you will have now lost your chance at your quiz.
3) Depending on the mobile device, when you click on a file rather than opening it up in a different tab it may download the file somewhere onto your device. Without closing the browser or risking losing your current quiz, you can not pull up the file on your mobile device and look at it.
4) If there are large images in the quiz, some mobile devices will try and center them and have them fill the screen. This of course is distracting, and can block the question the picture is attached to. As well, those with smaller screens may not see the whole picture.
5) Taking the quiz in landscape view vs portrait may prove easier, however when answering a question the keyboard takes up half the screen and does not leave much room to view the question.
1) Students: I would strongly discourage trying to take a quiz on a phone. Tablets seem to handle Carmen quizzes better than phones, however taking a Carmen quiz on a computer is your safest route.
2) Instructors: If you know that some of your student are going to be taking their quizzes on mobile platforms, balance the ease of the single-page quiz with the greater safety of a multi-page quiz. In a multi-page quiz, moving to the next page automatically saves all the question answers. As saving answers seems to be the biggest issue, whether due to question types, files, or internet access bugs, adding this safety buffer may help alleviate some of the answer saving frustrations.