As I pointed out in my last post, I was approached by a nurse leader needing to do some staff development for about 100 emergency room nurses. She wanted to do a flyer with a quiz and offer a gift card drawing for those submitting successful responses. The concern was that if she used a paper version it would create a large amount of work for her. I took on the project with the following specs:
Client: Nurse Leader/educator
General Description: Develop an online system for nurses to read given content (provided by the educator) and submit a quiz (developed by the educator) on a monthly basis.
Requirements: Must be easy enough for the nurse educator to update and manage on her own. Must automatically grade and provide feedback. Must be free or almost free. Must collect names and contact information with each user. No additional log in or memberships required.
End user: nurses who are familiar with technology and use it on a regular basis.
Deadline: Deploy within 2 weeks.
Seems pretty easy. This project is really two parts: 1) flyer with educational material which can be attached to any email. 2) a link to the quiz which the nurse can click or enter and visit to complete the quiz. The client will need access to the quiz development and quiz results section and appropriate training. The big issue may be FREE.
My immature brain says setup a LMS so she can deploy quizzes as often as she wants with back issues of the flyer. She can use MOODLE and provide the user with self-registration abilities… yada yada yada… this is not the best route.
Moodle requires server space and while you could set that up on a free hosting site, it will not always be free and is not dependable. Moodle also requires the user to enter a new system, create a user profile, and password stuff. The client will need to learn a new system and all this requires me the EdTech to be available for glitches and hangups at almost anytime.
Enter from stage left… Google Forms. I’ve used Google Forms for some time and love it. It is simple and easy to setup, manage, collect information, download info… it is FREE. Depending on what the client wants, it can be set to require a Google account for the end user or not. All in all, it works great. Downside, there is always a downside. Google does end services from time to time. Should this happen, we go back to the drawing board and do something different. Very little will be lost. The customization is also very limited. You can change the colors of the form or the header image but generally you are not able to change anything about the form.
Another great feature of Google Forms is that you can collect the data directly into a spreadsheet which Excel or Google Docs can use and manipulate. Copy the form to a new one and make the monthly changes and you are done. Copy URL for end user and plug into the email as a hyperlink or reduce to a tiny URL and that part is complete too. You can even turn off the form so no new items are collected. All in all it works great and FREE.
So, I developed a quick prototype for the client to review, sent her the link and presto, it worked. I created a simple quiz form for the client to use. Click here… Ok… it is only a prototype. The client is a short nurse and I pick on her so please don’t be offended by the answer choices. It is not my final product but it is proof of concept and she likes it. I’ll share another Google Form project later but give it a try.
Oh… as for prototyping your projects, we will discuss that further as well but for now consider this. My EdTech professor always told me, “What you heard is not what the client said and what they said is not what they meant.” Basically, if all that happens from a prototype is you are able to get on the same page with your client, you were successful… but that is for a later post.
While you may be able to build a big robust system, consider the needs of the client in the context of the abilities. If they will hire someone to manage a large system, go for it. If they want to maintain it in house, what you build may be what you have to maintain yourself.
Consider Google Forms for your quiz and survey needs. It is free and easy for the client to maintain.
Prototype in a free area before spending any money. It will save you a lot of headache in the long run.
Next week I’ll discuss using an online participant response system to increase student engagement. Again … for free!!!