The very first version of ocPortal included basic support for surveys and competitions, but it required manual editing of PHP files for any kind of customisation. It was due to this problem that we decided to remove survey and competition support in version 2.0 - it no longer met our standards. However, with version 2.5 we reintroduced a new addon based on our earlier code, but greatly enhanced to be configurable without needing to edit any code.
We have now integrated this addon into ocPortal 3, and greatly improved it so that surveys, competitions, and quizzes may be created as readily as any kind of ocPortal content. In addition, it is now possible to view summarised results of surveys from within ocPortal.
For those that do not know much about the 2.5 addon, it provided three new types of content for ocPortal, all based around questions:
- surveys - these are a series of questions, either multiple-choice, or free-form; the results of the surveys are e-mailed to the staff
- competitions - these are a series of multiple-choice questions, each of which has a system-stored correct-answer; ocPortal takes in competition entries and may choose winners based on the top rated entrants
- quizzes - these are a series of multiple-choice questions, each of which has a system-stored correct-answer; ocPortal allows members to take quizzes, marks them, and sends the results to the staff
Let's go through a few very quick case-studies to show the benefits of these features…
A teen community could make a survey to find out teen attitudes on various social issues, to help them write a report to the government lobbying for changes to policy.
The website of a computer games studio could run a competition asking questions about their latest game. The top entrant would win a tour of the games studio headquarters, and three runner ups could win a copy of any game of their choice from their back catalogue.
The Mensa website could run a quiz to help determine if candidates have a high enough IQ to join Mensa. The quizzes would be automatically marked and the result given to both the visitor and the Mensa staff.