Rating quizzes: what are people's criteria?

Posted by: tartandisco

Rating quizzes: what are people's criteria? - Fri Feb 15 2013 04:39 AM

I always try and rate quizzes I have taken, and I am curious as to what criteria people use when assigning "excellent" as opposed to "good" or indeed "average" or below.

For me, an "excellent" quiz is one which combines the following qualities:

1. It teaches me something I didn't know before
2. It is in some way "entertaining" or "fun" and provides a level of intellectual engagement that surpasses merely the rightness or wrongness of the answer
3. The author has taken the trouble to write accompanying notes which explain the answers or give useful background or in some way add to the educational aspect of the quiz
4. The alternative answers given, while not being right, are at least plausible and offer additional insight on the subject of the quiz

Things which demote a quiz down the rating order for me are:

1. Questions which are impossible to answer without detailed or specialist knowledge which a generalist has no hope of knowing. This particularly applies to literature, and to quizzes with topics like "Authors A-D" which include questions relating to[b][/b] books written by authors which only a tiny percentage of Funtrivia members can reasonably be expected to have read.
2. "All of the above"
3. Alternative answers which are patently ridiculous and offer no additional insight
4. Scanty or non-existent explanatory notes
5. Spelling and grammar errors
6. Obvious errors of fact
5. "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Catcher in the Rye." these two books seem to appear in almost every literary quiz going. Yes, I know that's an exaggeration but it certainly feels like it!

I'd be very interested to know how other people approach rating quizzes, what they think is a "good quiz" and indeed an "average" or a "bad quiz."

Adrian



Posted by: gracious1

Re: Rating quizzes: what are people's criteria? - Fri Feb 15 2013 05:24 AM

Quote:
1. Questions which are impossible to answer without detailed or specialist knowledge which a generalist has no hope of knowing. This particularly applies to literature, and to quizzes with topics like "Authors A-D" which include questions relating to[b][/b] books written by authors which only a tiny percentage of Funtrivia members can reasonably be expected to have read.


To me, this is exactly what the word "trivia" means. If you can't write a quiz about specialist topics at a trivia website, then where can you?

If a player doesn't know anything about a particular topic, he doesn't have to take the quiz. Even if he must take the quiz to fulfill some requirement for a challenge or a game, really he is still choosing to take it. So I don't think it's fair to penalize the author for writing something the author enjoys and knows a great deal about.

I disagree with point 3, too. When I write a multiple-choice answer I like to throw in an obviously wrong choice and a very, very tempting choice. Sometimes I make it two obviously wrong. This can happen when there really aren't three plausible alternatives.

I agree with points 4-6, though. I don't mind quizzes that offer ridiculous answers, especially if I am unfamiliar with the topic.
Posted by: AdamM7

Re: Rating quizzes: what are people's criteria? - Fri Feb 15 2013 05:41 AM

For me to rate an excellent quiz, I would agree with 1, 2 and 3. As for 4, it depends on the exact options, but I don't mind if one or two of the options are less plausible as long as they aren't completely ridiculous. Other people might think differently, but that's my opinion.

As for things that make me rank a quiz down, I would agree with 2 to 6. Point 1 depends on the quiz - if they've made it interesting, even if I'm not an expert on the topic, it could get rated highly. On the other hand, some specialized quizzes seem to focus on the least important details - what colour someone was wearing in scene 2 of episode 4 of season 1 of some TV show that no-one's heard of to begin with, and those quizzes certainly don't get high ranks from me. Point 7 (the one you accidentally labelled #5) depends - if the question is interesting and the II is good, I don't care whether it's about something very popular or something more obscure.

If I have to send a correction note on a quiz - for spelling/grammar mistakes or for another reason, that generally drags the rating down. It depends on how major the correction is, though.
Posted by: LadyCaitriona

Re: Rating quizzes: what are people's criteria? - Fri Feb 15 2013 06:30 AM

I don't have a grading system for rating quizzes. If I feel at the end "yeah, that was OK" then I rate it average. If I feel "pretty good!" I rate it good. If a quiz blows me away, for whatever reason, then I rate it excellent.

I don't think it's really possible to compare fairly each quiz on the site based on one set of criteria. The author of each quiz had a goal in mind while creating it, whether it's to inform, to entertain, to be a bit silly, or a mix of these qualities. Some quizzes fail to meet their goals and others surpass them, and I think the rating of the quiz should reflect that, not some set of arbitrarily-defined rules.
Posted by: AdamM7

Re: Rating quizzes: what are people's criteria? - Fri Feb 15 2013 06:49 AM

Originally Posted By: LadyCaitriona
not some set of arbitrarily-defined rules.


I wouldn't say that I have a set of "arbitrarily-defined rules", but that what I've said above are guidelines that I usually follow. Yes, everything I rate is on a "case-by-case basis", but there are patterns and things that (IMO) make a quiz better or worse.
Posted by: Tizzabelle

Re: Rating quizzes: what are people's criteria? - Fri Feb 15 2013 07:35 AM

Originally Posted By: LadyC
If I feel at the end "yeah, that was OK" then I rate it average. If I feel "pretty good!" I rate it good. If a quiz blows me away, for whatever reason, then I rate it excellent.
That's how I do it too. I've played a quiz and scored 3/10 but rated it excellent (and sent a compliment) as it was so well written, took complex points of history and very articulately distilled them down to an essence, and didn't waste time on totally immaterial parts of the subject. I've also rated a very simple For Children quiz excellent because at the end of it I had a huge smile on my face. It reminded me of the Dr Seuss books of my childhood. I enjoyed it thoroughly even though it was very simple and quick to score 10/10 on. I don't care. It was well written, entertaining, and deserving of an excellent in the For Children category in my opinion... and that's all the ratings are, opinions. smile If you enjoy it, rate accordingly, and vice versa smile

I will admit to giving higher ratings to quizzes with well written Interesting Information. If the quiz has sparked a bit of interest in me, I'd like to read more. If all a quiz has for II is something as mundane as "Canberra is the capital of Australia and has 500,000 people living there." then the good rating a quiz might have received from me falls back down to an average.
Posted by: salami_swami

Re: Rating quizzes: what are people's criteria? - Fri Feb 15 2013 09:15 AM

I don't have a defined set of rules. To me, at the end of a quiz, I just "know". Sometimes, brain teasers without interesting information are rated excellent; they were wonderful to play.

So, using the "has good information that explains the answer" really doesn't help a brain teaser. Yet some brain teasers, I rate excellent.

And, of course, some II sections are over done, and I prefer not to rate them so much. It depends on what is said, too. Someone could write six paragraphs of why Justin Bieber's hair isn't green. Others could write two insightful, short sentences that really pique the interest and explain the question thoroughly.


I, too, am one who goes case-by-case. Each player is different; we like different aspects of a quiz, different topics, and rate differently based on such.

That's what makes this site fun. smile We're not all identical robots.
Posted by: WesleyCrusher

Re: Rating quizzes: what are people's criteria? - Fri Feb 15 2013 10:20 AM

Originally Posted By: salami_swami
That's what makes this site fun. smile We're not all identical robots.


If we were, the competitive games on the site would be a lot less fun smile
Posted by: skunkee

Re: Rating quizzes: what are people's criteria? - Fri Feb 15 2013 03:08 PM

What I dislike are questions requiring a numeric answer. 'How many times did Rachel and Ross kiss?' kind of thing, or worse, 'What was the license plate number of...?'.
Posted by: bloomsby

Re: Rating quizzes: what are people's criteria? - Fri Feb 15 2013 05:29 PM

Like Lady C, Tizzabelle and salami_swami, I don't have a fixed set of criteria and I try to take into account the purpose of the quiz. For example, I wouldn't expect a Quizmaker Tune-Up to be like a Science quiz or a Brainteaser. Some quizzes are intended to be mainly educational, others mainly entertaining, and so on.

As Lady C said:

Quote:
I don't think it's really possible to compare fairly each quiz on the site based on one set of criteria. The author of each quiz had a goal in mind while creating it, whether it's to inform, to entertain, to be a bit silly, or a mix of these qualities.


Having said that, there some things that irritate me and lower a quiz in my estimation, regardless of the purpose of the quiz:

1. Factual inaccuracy.

2. Poorly expressed questions that are hard to understand.

2. Long, 'shaggy dog' questions, with inordinately long introductions to a very simple question, for example things like: Which city on the Seine, sometimes referred to as the 'City of Light', home to the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Sainte Chapelle and famous for its wide, grandiose boulevards, is the capital of France? Questions like that are massively overladen with hints and contain stuff in the question that belongs in the notes.

3. Two or three obviously absurd possible answers as options.

4. Multiple use of All of these except in quizzes designed to be educational.

I could extend the list.

Things that I value in quizzes include:

1. Good research.

2. A theme running through the quiz.

3. Relevant notes.
Posted by: looney_tunes

Re: Rating quizzes: what are people's criteria? - Fri Feb 15 2013 06:46 PM

Like a number of others, I don't have any specific rules in my mind, I just know. This thread reminds me of a final exam in a university course I took many moons ago. We were given two of the questions in advance so we could prepare to write our answers in the available time: "Which play that we read this semester did you like most, and why? Which play that we read this semester did you like least, and why?" The exercise of defending the choices actually made me realise that there were general expectations I was bringing to the plays, even though I had not clearly articulated them to myself.

I play quizzes to learn something, or to engage my mind in problem-solving (as in a Brain Teaser, or in trying to work out the answer to a question based on applying other information at my disposal to the new question), and would like to do so in a context that is engaging.

What engages me is a quiz that
a) has questions that capture my attention, and ask about interesting points of information.
b) is clearly constructed as a quiz, not just as ten (or more!) random questions.
c) has extra information that helps me learn more about the subject of the question, or at least be able to answer the same question again in the future because I understand it.
d) is written in a pleasing style - whether it is casual and chatty, or formal and instructional, it holds its tone and uses well-constructed sentences.

What disengages me is
a) a sense that the author is trying to make my life as difficult as possible to prove they know more than me, such as in giving me four consecutive days form which to choose for someone's birthday, or the color of the shirt Rachel wore the second day Tag worked in her office. This is exacerbated by information that states that the question I just got wrong was an easy question, and doesn't bother to help me learn why.
b) an author who does not seem interested in constructing their quiz in a logical manner (book and movie quizzes that leap randomly around the book or movie as another question springs to the writer's mind, instead of being organised to take me through in a developing sequence of questions are a regular irritant to me).
c) a writer who doesn't know how to write clear English. Typos and minor spelling errors I usually overlook, unless there are lots of them, as I know from experience how easy it is to miss something even after a triple proofreading. But I would like to be able to understand the question on first reading.
d) minimal and/or irrelevant information, especially when a question leaves me wondering about the correct answer.
e) errors of fact (unless, of course, it is something that has unexpectedly changed since the quiz was written, such as happened when South Sudan was recognised).

Every player will use their own criteria, and it is useful to know what they are for yourself, but not so that you can apply someone else's criteria in order to 'get it right'. The most important thing is that your score on the quiz should not be relevant, unless the reason you scored poorly is that the quiz violated the criteria you hold as important in a quiz. I have played at least two excellent quizzes on which I did not get at least two correct, and so could not add a rating - all I could do was send a compliment on a well-written quiz.
Posted by: mehaul

Re: Rating quizzes: what are people's criteria? - Fri Feb 15 2013 08:17 PM

If I go to New Questions or Quizzes and I'm presented with some text that does not have a question mark employed in its delivery (and I don't consider implied as conforming to that), I find myself being forced to dislike the work. Sorry.
Posted by: gracious1

Re: Rating quizzes: what are people's criteria? - Tue Feb 19 2013 07:12 PM

I have a suspicion, and I could be wrong now, that some players may downgrade a quiz that has fill-in-the-blank questions, when they get them wrong, especially when it involves correct spelling or following directions (e.g. "do not use plural").

I base this on some feedback I have received about quizzes that have at least one FITB question. YMMV.
-g.
Posted by: gracious1

Re: Rating quizzes: what are people's criteria? - Tue Feb 19 2013 07:17 PM

Originally Posted By: skunkee
What I dislike are questions requiring a numeric answer. 'How many times did Rachel and Ross kiss?' kind of thing, or worse, 'What was the license plate number of...?'.


Well in this case, it is very trivial, and not likely to be answered by anybody but a 'Friends' über-geek. But I gather you mean that, in general, you don't like any numerical answers ever?
Posted by: looney_tunes

Re: Rating quizzes: what are people's criteria? - Tue Feb 19 2013 08:19 PM

Originally Posted By: gracious1
Originally Posted By: skunkee
What I dislike are questions requiring a numeric answer. 'How many times did Rachel and Ross kiss?' kind of thing, or worse, 'What was the license plate number of...?'.


Well in this case, it is very trivial, and not likely to be answered by anybody but a 'Friends' über-geek. But I gather you mean that, in general, you don't like any numerical answers ever?


As you will see in the guidelines for a number of categories, numerical questions often get a poor response, unless there is something significant or interesting about the number that makes it memorable. It is often going to make a more interesting question, which will get more positive player response, if you frame it differently. Populations of cities, heights of mountains, lengths of rivers, the exact time when some soldiers came over some hill during a battle, number of balls pitched by someone in a particular World Series - I could go on, but we've all encountered these questions and groaned, especially when the incorrect options are very close to the correct answer. If the quiz is premised on such facts, that is one thing. But if you are writing a quiz with a more general focus, many members of your audience will turn off if they encounter such a question. At least, that is my experience from observation over the years - you don't generally find that kind of question in the top-ranked quizzes in any category.
Posted by: bitterlyold

Re: Rating quizzes: what are people's criteria? - Wed Feb 20 2013 12:16 AM

LOL, I cannot agree more with most of what has already been said. My rubric is relatively simple, but all of us naturally have different criteria for rating the quizzes we take.

The following is by no means an exhaustive grading scale, but since we who are here must be out of "decent" reading material, quizzes to take, people to visit, lovers to love, re-runs to re-watch, munchies to munch, etc., here:



Poor: Anything about Harry Potter or by post-post modern typists who think fantasy or stories about sparkly gay vampires is literature. Everything even remotely related to mathematics (only because I'm mathematically challenged), technology-themed quizzes written more than 3 hours ago, and cricket are right out. Score: D (1)

Average: Most of the stuff we all come up with to get points and/or badges. The questions are usually well-written, usually interesting or new, and are grotesquely inoffensive. In other words: bland. Score: C (2)

Good: Questions are well-written, new and interesting, and sometimes lead the reader to seek further information. Funny, insightful, poignant, these quizzes rate a B (3).

Excellent: Catchy title, sharp, well-constructed questions about a subject the author obviously loves and wants to share. No grammatical errors, no misleading or vague clues (and no give-aways), no slanted (biased) words/phrases such as "beautiful actress," "tragic collision," "ingenious plan" are used. Insightful follow-up information (humorous is a plus to me) is offered. Score: A (4)


I rate every quiz I take. I only comment on really good (B+) or excellent quizzes. I have given only one "poor" rating to a quiz, but it was old (dated) and has since been removed. I believe the editors are doing a great job. As all of us who are teachers know (English teacher here), sometimes "things fall through the cracks."

And humans are subjective in their judgement. So what you hate, I may love. As one of my former teammates loved to say (and I have adopted), "meh."

I give this site an A, even if I am allowed to be a member.
Posted by: LadyCaitriona

Re: Rating quizzes: what are people's criteria? - Wed Feb 20 2013 06:33 AM

Why would you automatically rate poorly anything someone writes on a certain topic? That has nothing to do with the quiz/question's quality. If someone has put a lot of effort into crafting well-reasoned, entertaining questions about a subject you don't particularly care for, it's pretty mean-spirited to rate the quiz as "poor".
Posted by: skunkee

Re: Rating quizzes: what are people's criteria? - Wed Feb 20 2013 12:58 PM

Quote:
Well in this case, it is very trivial, and not likely to be answered by anybody but a 'Friends' über-geek. But I gather you mean that, in general, you don't like any numerical answers ever?


I do not like them as a rule. There are a few exceptions, of course, of questions I might not really like but don't actively dislike. For example 'Who was the first to face the Boggart in the wardrobe?' is not a bad question. However 'Who was the fourth to fact the Boggart in the wardrobe?' is.

When the number is relevant and a big deal is made of it, it would be okay. For example, 'How many musketeers are named in the title of the novel by Dumas?' is fair game (providing Literature permits this sort of question of course), but 'How many time do they fight the Cardinal's guard?' would not be, in my humble opinion!
Posted by: skunkee

Re: Rating quizzes: what are people's criteria? - Wed Feb 20 2013 01:03 PM

Quote:
Poor: Anything about Harry Potter or by post-post modern typists who think fantasy or stories about sparkly gay vampires is literature. Everything even remotely related to mathematics (only because I'm mathematically challenged), technology-themed quizzes written more than 3 hours ago, and cricket are right out. Score: D (1)


I agree with LadyC. Why rate something as poor just because it's a topic you don't like.
I do not enjoy baseball so I avoid baseball quizzes. If a question comes up in a game, I accept the fact that even though I don't like baseball, millions of people do. I rate the question according to how well it is written, not whether or not I know the answer or like the topic.
Posted by: kyleisalive

Re: Rating quizzes: what are people's criteria? - Wed Feb 20 2013 01:26 PM

My criteria for rating quizzes changes with every quiz; different topics take different treatments, different authors have different styles, and I'm in different moods every day.

Trying to spell out why I rate quizzes the way I do is kind of like asking why one day I want soup and the next day I want potato chips. I just do. wink
Posted by: dg_dave

Re: Rating quizzes: what are people's criteria? - Wed Feb 20 2013 08:44 PM

I'm across the spectrum as well. If I find a quiz bland and score 10/10, I may not rate as highly as one I scored 2/10 on.

Originally Posted By: kyleisalive
Trying to spell out why I rate quizzes the way I do is kind of like asking why one day I want soup and the next day I want potato chips. I just do. wink


This is what makes us all unique!
Posted by: AdamM7

Re: Rating quizzes: what are people's criteria? - Thu Feb 21 2013 03:57 PM

Originally Posted By: skunkee
I do not like them as a rule. There are a few exceptions, of course, of questions I might not really like but don't actively dislike. For example 'Who was the first to face the Boggart in the wardrobe?' is not a bad question. However 'Who was the fourth to fact the Boggart in the wardrobe?' is.


It does depend on the exact question. I would prefer answering "Who was the third person to walk on the moon?" to "Who was the first/second person to walk on the moon?", because just about everyone knows by now that Neil Armstrong was the first and Buzz Aldrin was the second.

But in your example, I would agree - the first person to face the Boggart *cough*Neville*cough* was a lot more memorable and interesting than the fourth.
Posted by: zippolover

Re: Rating quizzes: what are people's criteria? - Sat Feb 23 2013 05:35 AM

I will rate a quiz down if it bores me before the end, preaches at me, tells me it was an easy question or assumes that everybody knows something.

I have just played several "Children's Quizzes" and the ones marked down are where I scored lower because I got less than 10, simply because I am NOT an American child. However, if I make a mistake because I was going for speed, I do not mark down.

Rating is a tricky problem, but I try to treat each quiz on its own merits. EG I like "Harry Potter", both books and films. I do not automatically give an excellent or even good rating though, it has to be well written, clever and not make me wonder why they bothered to write the same old same old questions.

I probably rate more Excellent than not, because I learned something, had a giggle, liked the angle or something similar. When someone takes care over the writing and it shows, it is a mark of respect.
Posted by: LadyCaitriona

Re: Rating quizzes: what are people's criteria? - Sat Feb 23 2013 07:35 AM

Originally Posted By: zippolover
Rating is a tricky problem, but I try to treat each quiz on its own merits. EG I like "Harry Potter", both books and films. I do not automatically give an excellent or even good rating though, it has to be well written, clever and not make me wonder why they bothered to write the same old same old questions.


I'm also a "Harry Potter" fan, and I agree, I am not automatically going to give every "HP" quiz an Excellent rating because I like the topic just as I am not going to give every sports quiz a Poor rating because I don't like the topic. In fact, it's probably harder to get an Excellent rating from me on a topic where I have a vast amount of knowledge, because at the back of my mind I'm probably thinking about what the author omitted to say as well as looking at what s/he did write. On a topic with which I am unfamiliar, my rating is based purely on what the author has said and the way that it was presented.
Posted by: gracious1

Re: Rating quizzes: what are people's criteria? - Sat Feb 23 2013 07:09 PM

I like being "preached at" -- i.e. I like it when an author takes a position. I don't have to agree with it; people have a certain degree of freedom of speech (as long as they are not rude, racist, profane, etc.) I also don't downgrade quizzes written by English, Scottish, Australian, Canadian, etc. authors when they ask me questions that I most likely would have gotten had I been of their nationality. That seems really unfair to do that, especially if the topic is something like UK television.

Actually I guess I only downgrade when there is lack of interesting information[*], the correct answer isn't adequately explained, the writing is a little too puerile ("Hey, dude, isn't it cool?"), or there are too many grammatical mistakes.

[*]But even then I'm forgiving of older quizzes.
Posted by: bitterlyold

Re: Rating quizzes: what are people's criteria? - Sat Mar 02 2013 11:48 AM

LOL, Skunkee. I'm surprised anyone read (much less cared about) what I wrote.

I was trying to be funny. I failed. I give me a 0.

I applaud all who get published including Hairy Pooter and Mathemagician writers. At least they read and write.

The truth is, I rate each quiz based on how much time I believe the quizzer took in creating. Voice is big with me: do I hear the quizzer or Wikistupidia? Is it interesting? Did I learn? Was I amused?

Am I old or just bitter?

meh
Posted by: kyleisalive

Re: Rating quizzes: what are people's criteria? - Sat Mar 02 2013 11:53 AM

Quote:
Am I old or just bitter?


Judging by your username... wink

I don't think being either has anything to do with it. I much prefer a factual quiz loaded with an author's personal flair, tact, and style than one reading like a Wiki page. That can affect my opinion more than most.
Posted by: agony

Re: Rating quizzes: what are people's criteria? - Sat Mar 02 2013 12:12 PM

I agree. The few editor's choice quizzes I've selected have all been quirky and individual, and that's what it takes to get an "excellent" out of me, too.