Archive for the ‘Polls’ Category

The new WikiStudent is now live

Saturday, October 17th, 2009

The new WikiStudent, for Unisa students, went live a couple of weeks ago. The URL:

We need Unisa students to become editors to help fill in the content - see the new site for how to join.

This blog is no longer being updated. You can browse the archives if you’re interested in how WikiStudent was re-built.

Polls for the module pages

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

Here are some of the polls that will appear on every single module page on the wiki, in this example, MNB101D.

How challenging did you find MNB101D?

How useful is MNB101D in your field of work?

What did you get for the MNB101D exam?

Never mind the exact options you see here. The wording (and styling) can change. This is just a demo.

I quite like these PollDaddy polls. You can even comment after voting. The basic service is free, but for $200 per year you can get detailed reporting and have the PollDaddy link removed. Considering I’m going to be creating over 1000 of these polls, (1200 minutes = 20 hours!) the fee just may be worth it, but I’ll try out the free version to begin with.

Now these designs are not finalised, but I do rather like them, which is why I’m showing them to you. (The brain and desk are very student-like, don’t you think?) Maybe we can come up with some more module-specific poll questions… Suggestions?

Hundreds of polls to be created!

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

I spent quite some time today creating various sample polls for WikiStudent, and trying them out on the live test site. (I installed the PollDaddy extension for MediaWiki and it works beautifully!)

There are so many designs to choose from. I’ll show you some screenshots as soon as the designs have been finalised. I’m thinking of having about 4 styles of polls:

  1. 2 similar styles for the general student questions (The poll page will be more readable if the polls alternate in colour / shade)
  2. A different style for the exam poll on each of the module pages
  3. A different style for the ‘Student opinion’ questions on each of the module pages

How many polls do you think this is?

52 general polls (a different one to appear each week on the home page) + at least 3 polls on each module page. There will be 135 modules to start with, so that totals to over 1000 polls!!!!!

These polls have to be manually created by me (I have to log into my PollDaddy account) so I’m going to make very sure that they’re all 100% before tackling this huge task. Even though the options and designs can be changed after creating the polls, this just amounts to more work, so I have to get it right first time!

Polldaddy for polls!

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

While going through some more MediaWiki extensions I came across a good-looking poll extension that you can use in conjunction with polldaddy polls. (By the way, Polldaddy have a super swish website. I’m impressed!)


Note to myself: register on this weekend and create & implement the dozens of polls planned for WikiStudent.

List of poll questions

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

You might remember the polls from the old site, with questions pertaining to studying or Unisa. Every month a new question appeared on the home page and anyone could vote.

With the new site I want to change the questions every week. This will make it look more ‘active’ and visitors will return more often if things change on a weekly rather than a monthly basis, not so?

The one problem is coming up with a different question every week - after a while there just won’t be anything new and interesting to ask! I’ve solved this problem by coming up with a fixed list of questions (32 to be precise) which will be rotated every 32 weeks.

What I like about this plan is that I’ve now listed all the questions and their options and will probably never need to worry about this again. The work is done! All that’s left is to change the question every weekend. No problem.

Btw, some examples of poll questions are: “Have you ever had to write a supplementary exam?”, “How many modules are you taking this year?”, “What do you think of Unisa’s academic standards?”. It’s always interesting to see where you fit in on the results page.