VisualNEO for Windows provides teachers and corporate trainers with a wide array of tools that can be used to create powerful computer based training (CBT) and testing applications. VisualNEO for Windows’s Action commands can be used to calculate scores and save or print the results. Fill in the blank, multiple choice and matching tests can be designed in a variety of ways using VisualNEO for Windows’s Push Buttons, Text Entry Fields and Radio Button tools.


This tutorial demonstrates one method for creating a simple multiple choice test. Our sample test will display a series of multiple choice questions. Students will respond to questions by clicking a Radio Button next to the correct answer. The student’s score will be reported at the end of the test.


Getting Started

1. Launch VisualNEO for Windows and create a new publication by selecting New from VisualNEO for Windows’s File menu.


2. Select App Properties > General from the App menu.


The App Properties screen will appear.



3. Type U.S. History Quiz in the Title field.


4. Type your name in the Author field.


5. Click the Access icon.


6. Remove the check mark from the Allow Page Up, Page Down, Home and End Keys to change pages option. Since this is a test, we want to control how students move about the publication. Turning this option off will prevent students from using the keyboard to change pages.


7. Click OK to apply these changes to the publication.


Adding Pages

Our publication will contain one page for each question, plus a final page to display the student’s  score. Since our example test is small, we only need to add two additional pages.


1. Select Add Page from the Page menu.


The Add Pages screen will appear.


2. Enter “2” into the Number of Pages to Add field.


3. Click OK.


Question #1

Now we’re ready to create our first question.


1. Display the first page by clicking the tab at the bottom of the VisualNEO for Windows screen labeled “New Page”.


2. Select the Simple Text Tool from the Tool Palette.


3. Move the mouse pointer to the center of the page. Press and hold down the left mouse button and draw a rectangle about five inches wide and one half an inch tall. Once the rectangle is the correct size, release the mouse button.


The Text Properties screen will appear.


4. Type  Who was the first president of the United States?  in the Caption field.


5. Click OK.


The Text object will appear surrounded by selection handles.


6. On the Style Palette, click the small arrow button next to the Fill Pattern box.


7. Click the pattern square containing the letter “H”. This will make our Text object hollow allowing the page’s background color to show through.


8. Click the small arrow next to the Style Palette’s Line Width box.


9. Select “None” for the line width.


10. Click the small arrow next to the Style Palette’s Font box.


The  Font Selector screen will appear.


11. Select Arial, Bold, 12 Point.


12. Click OK.


If part of the text is missing or not centered, use the mouse to move or resize the object.


Next, let’s add some potential answers for question #1.


13. Select the Radio Button Tool from the Tool Palette.


14. Move the mouse pointer to the center of the page, below the Text object. Press and hold down the left mouse button and draw a rectangle about 2 inches wide and one quarter inch tall. Once the rectangle is the correct size, release the mouse button.


The Radio Button Properties screen will appear.


15. Type George Washington in the Caption field.


While we’re here, let’s take a look at the Variable (to store button status) field. You’ll notice that it contains a strange looking entry:



This is called a variable. A variable is simply an area of the computer’s memory that VisualNEO for Windows uses to store information while your publication is running. In VisualNEO for Windows, variable names should always be surrounded by brackets ([ ]). This is how VisualNEO for Windows knows that we’re talking about a variable named [RadioGroup1] and not the word “RadioGroup1”.


Radio Buttons always appear in groups of two or more. Since a complex publication may have multiple groups of Radio Buttons, VisualNEO for Windows uses this variable to determine which buttons go together. Radio Buttons that belong to the same group will all be assigned the same variable. For example, each of the three Radio Buttons that we’ll create as potential responses to question #1 will use the variable [RadioGroup1]. Later, when we run our publication, this variable will contain the caption text of the Radio Button selected by the student. At the end of the test, we’ll be able to tell which questions were answered correctly by examining the variables assigned to each group of buttons.


16. Click OK.


The Radio Button object will appear surrounded by selection handles.

17. Click the small arrow next to the Style Palette’s Font box.


The  Font Selector screen will appear.


18. Select Arial, Regular, 12 Point.


19. Click OK.


If part of the Radio Button’s text is missing, use the mouse to resize the object.


Repeat steps 12 through 18 two more times replacing the Caption in step 14 with the following names:


Abraham Lincoln

Thomas Jefferson


Use your mouse to position the two new Radio Buttons below the first.


Creating a Continue Button

After the student has chosen one of the Radio Buttons, we need to provide a method to proceed to the next question. A simple Push Button is just the ticket.


1. Select the Push Button Tool from the Tool Palette.


2. Move the mouse pointer to the lower portion of the page below the Text and Radio Buttons. Press and hold down the left mouse button and draw a rectangle about one inch wide and one half an inch tall. Once the rectangle is the correct size, release the mouse button.


3. Type Continue in the Caption field.


When the student clicks this button we want to:


  • Make sure one of the Radio Buttons has been selected.
  • Go to the next page (which will contain question #2).


To accomplish this, we’ll use some simple VisualNEO for Windows Actions.


4. Click the Actions icon


5. Type the following into the Action Editor:


If "[RadioGroup1]" ">" ""

  GotoNextPage

Else

  AlertBox "Whoops" "You forgot to select an answer. Try again."

EndIf


This simple Action script, first examines the contents of the [RadioGroup1] variable to make sure it contains an answer of some kind (correct or not). If it does, we tell VisualNEO for Windows to go to the next page, otherwise we display an error message instructing the student to try again.


6. Click OK.


The Push Button object will appear surrounded by selection handles.


7. Use the Style Palette to set the Text object’s Fill Pattern to “Solid”, Fill Color to gray and Line Width to 1 pixel.


If needed, use your mouse to adjust the position of the objects to match the illustration below:



Question #2

Next, let’s add another question.


1. Display the second page by clicking the tab at the bottom of the VisualNEO for Windows screen labeled “New Page 1”.



2. Try this one on your own. Use the principals you learned above to add the following question and answers to the second page:


VisualNEO for Windows will automatically assign a variable called [RadioGroup2] to each of the Radio Buttons you add to this page. In order to make sure that Question #2 works correctly, let’s take a look at the Actions assigned to this page’s Continue button.


3. Select the Continue button, by clicking it with your mouse pointer.



4. Choose Object Properties from the Edit menu.


The Push Button Properties screen will appear.


5. Click the Actions icon.


6. Modify the contents of the Action Editor so that it looks like this:


If "[RadioGroup2]" ">" ""

  GotoNextPage

Else

  AlertBox "Whoops" "You forgot to select an answer. Try again."

EndIf


Scoring the Test

Now it’s time to calculate our student’s grade.


1. Display the third page by clicking the tab at the bottom of the VisualNEO for Windows screen labeled “New Page 2”.


2. Select the Simple Text Tool from the Tool Palette.


3. Move the mouse pointer to the center of the page. Press and hold down the left mouse button and draw a rectangle about two inches wide and two inches tall. Once the rectangle is the correct size, release the mouse button.


The Text Properties screen will appear.


4. Type the following text in the Caption field:


Correct Answers: [Right]

Incorrect Answers: [Wrong]


5. Click OK.


The Text object will appear surrounded by selection handles.


6. Use the Style Palette to set the Text object’s Fill Pattern to “Hollow” and Line Width to “None”.


If part of the text is missing or not centered, use the mouse to move or resize the object.


7. Select Page Properties from the Page menu.


The Page Properties screen will appear.


8. Click the Actions icon


9. Type the following into the Action Editor:


SetVar "[Right]" "0"

SetVar "[Wrong]" "0"


If "[RadioGroup1]" "=" "George Washington"

  SetVar "[Right]" "[Right]+1"

Else

  SetVar "[Wrong]" "[Wrong]+1"

EndIf


If "[RadioGroup2]" "=" "Abraham Lincoln"

  SetVar "[Right]" "[Right]+1"

Else

  SetVar "[Wrong]" "[Wrong]+1"

EndIf


This Action script uses SetVar to set two variables, [Right] and [Wrong], to zero. The two If statements that follow examine the contents of [RadioGroup1] and [RadioGroup2] and increment [Right] for a correct answer or increment [Wrong] for an incorrect answer.


10. Click OK.


Saving The Publication

Let’s save what we’ve done so far.


1. Select Save from the File menu.


Since we haven’t saved this publication before, the Save As screen will appear.


2. In the  VisualNEO for Windows 5  folder on your hard drive, open the  Tutorial Files  folder.


3. Type  Tutorial3.pub  in the File Name field.


4. Click Save.


Testing The Publication

We’re ready to try out our test.


1. Select Run (From Start) from the App menu.


2. Test the publication by answering each question and clicking the Continue buttons.


3. When you reach the third page, your score should be displayed.


4. Click the publication window’s close button or press the Esc key on your keyboard to return to authoring mode.


Possible Improvements

This example test is admittedly simple. However, the concepts learned here can be employed to create much more complex tests. One idea for improvement is to add an option to save the test results to a file. This can be done by adding a simple command to the end of the last page’s Enter Action. For example:


FileWrite "Test.dat" "1" "Correct: [Right], Incorrect: [Wrong]"


Another improvement, would be to provide an opportunity at the beginning of the test for students to enter their name or student ID number. The possibilities are almost endless.