Hints and detailed solutions add a lot to the user experience.
Hints can be added at the exercise level (all the questions of the exercise will display the same hint). Hints are displayed when the user touches the iTooch character. A hint can contain text (basic HTML text formatting possible, see example) and an image.
After the user has answered a question, the correct answer is displayed. But it is not because you have the answer that you understand why it is the answer.
That’s why authors can (and are encouraged to) create detailed answers, that explain the reasoning process that leads to the answer.
Detailed answers can be created at the question level. Just like hints, detailed answers can contain text (basic HTML text formatting possible, see example) and an image.
The less instructions you write, the better your title will be. Best instructions are implicit instructions. All tests we have conducted with children and adults have given the same results: the less instructions you give, the better the experience for the learner.
For instance, if the question is: “10 + 2 = ?”, you shouldn’t write anywhere: “Type in the result for the following expression:”. In this example, “10 + 2 = ?” is all you need to give as instructions, and hence the best instructions you can give.
Instructions are only needed to avoid any ambiguity in the exercises. So cut every instruction that is not strictly necessary to the user. Remember that “random” exercises expose only one question at a time, even if you have a long list of questions in your exercise. So, please, do not use such instructions as: “In every following expression…”, it would be completely irrelevant in the app.
It there is a single advice we can give authors, it is this one: frequently test your content on an iPad.
Only by eating your dog’s food will you get a precise feeling of what works great and what works poorly or fails. That’s why we have built the iPad eduPad Studio app. So come on, load the Studio app and test the content you have just created!
We do also recommend that you ask your friends, colleagues and family for feedback. You can do so easily by inviting them as beta-testers in the web studio, which enables them to test your content in the Studio app.
You can invite up to 100 people to test your content on their iPad before it is published. Those persons will be able to load your content on their iPad for free in the eduPad Studio app and to test it. This is a great opportunity for you to get invaluable feedback.
To invite someone to give you feedback:
Click on the people icon in the web studio, type in the email address of the person you want to invite as beta tester.
Click on the “Invite someone to contribute” link.
Enter the email of the person you want to invite, and select the beta-tester profile and click on “Validate”
This person will receive an invitation email, and if she accepts your invitation, will be able to load your content for free in the eduPad Studio app for iPad.
The more varied your exercises and questions are, the better. As a rule of thumb, it is better to have 20 different exercises of 2 questions than 2 exercises of 10 questions (if questions are all of the same type). Take profit of the diversity of possible exercises: mix sequential type and random type exercises, mix text selection, multiple choice and free answer questions.
Text-only questions rapidly get boring. The more sounds and images you’ll include in your content, the more attractive and addictive it’ll be.
Wikimedia commons provides a marvelous and ever-growing library of high quality media under various open licenses. Use it abundantly, and don’t forget, “open media” doesn’t mean license free, so don’t mess with copyrights, and copy-paste the relevant copyright information in the eduPad web studio (link to the source of the image and author information, and full license reference or link to).
Images are automatically resized if they exceed the allocated dimensions.
Allocated width and height depends upon the devices ( for instance, allocated size is 700 pixels in width, and 400 pixels in height for iPad). If an image is reduced, a zoom icon appears on the left-upper side of the image. If the user touches the image, the image can be zoomed-in up to the original resolution.
Avoid using unnecessarily large images (more than 700 pixels in width or 400 pixels in height).
Remember that, if an image containing text is reduced, texts most likely won’t be legible, which will force the user to zoom-in to read the texts, and can result in a clumsy user experience.
Use cases for LARGE images:
architecture (plan reading, detail searching…)
medicine (X-ray or detailed document analysis…)
art (high resolution image)
Remember that eduPad apps are designed for use in landscape mode, so landscape images render far much better than portrait images (to put it bluntly: avoid if possible portrait images).
Size (duration) of sound files:5 to 10 seconds
Try to keep sound files as short as possible: 5 to 10 seconds. Records longer than 20 seconds are definitely not user-friendly in the context of eduPad’s apps.
Weight (in Ko) of media files: 90 Ko/file as a standard, no more than 300 Ko
eduPad content is downloaded to mobile devices, which means that the larger (in Kilobytes) the media you use, the longer it’ll be for users to download content.
We technically allow for large files to be uploaded (up to 3 Mo/file), because in certain cases it is relevant. Those cases are very, very rare (think hi-resolution X-ray imaging for medical training, hi-res plans for architecture or robotic training…).
In most of the case, images and sound files should not weight more than 90 Ko, and we strongly advice you to reconsider image/sound compression in order to optimize the file size if it should be more than 300 Ko. A lot free tools enable you to optimize image/sound file compression.
The following chart gives the total size, in Mo, of the media to download with different hypothesis:
If you take a good wifi connection, 1 Mo/s real bandwidth, this chart can be read in seconds to download the content. No one likes to wait more than a few minutes before using content.
The good news is that eduPad handles updates on a differential basis, which means that only new content is downloaded. In general only the first download takes a long time. It is up to you to keep this time initial download time reasonable.