If your Facebook feed has been anything like mine, it’s been filled with quizzes (mostly from Buzzfeed, the pre-eminent quiz creating site in the world, evidently), quizzes and more quizzes.
While many of the quizzes on Buzzfeed are of the entertaining variety – “Which Golden Girl Are You?” – and thus somewhat disposable, there is a place for quizzes in the scholastic journalism arena.
To date, two of my editors have created two quizzes on our site, which have resulted in pretty good engagement with not only our current students, but alumni as well.
We’ve tried to make it so that our quizzes are focused on our school. Our first quiz focused on teachers – “Which FHC teacher are you?” – and was met with a fervor I was really surprised by. The quiz has received 2,500 hits, making it one of the most viewed pages on FHCtoday.com in its five-year history, just within one week.
Typeform is beautiful, intuitive and easy to use. Unfortunately, it also has subscription fees. We would have used typeform if it was free. Alas, we needed a free alternative. Also, there was no way to weight answers, so that our personality quiz responses would accumulate and then spit out who a respondent was.
ProProfs was focused more toward teachers and instructors. It had some capabilities for quizzes, but suffered from some of the same drawbacks as Typeform, namely a subscription fee and the weighting of answers issue. Additionally, of the three sites we looked at, ProProfs was the least aesthetically pleasing, in my opinion. It wasn’t ugly, but Typeform is minimalistic and attractively designed.
ProProfs and Typeform would be excellent sites to use if creating a more academic based quiz to accompany your coverage (though PlayBuzz offers this feature as well).
Maddie and Jessica really wanted the quiz to look similar to what Buzzfeed has made so popular. Finally, we alit upon PlayBuzz. It looks just like Buzzfeed and offers quiz types similar to what you see there. The only real drawback we found was that you were limited to six possible answers on your quiz. When Maddie and Jessica originally created the quiz, they’d selected nine teachers, so they had to make some painful cuts.
This interface is super easy to use, allows you to weight answers so certain clicks push the respondent toward a certain destination.
Our first quiz was very popular with not only students, but alumni and teachers, and if that puts our “real journalism” in front of more eyeballs, while entertaining our readers, my editors have made the decision to continue to do this. At most, quizzes will be something we post once per week.
From a work perspective, there is a surprising amount of work involved. We wanted to have images (and PlayBuzz requires) for every answer and question, so with a 10 question quiz and 6 answers per question, 70 images needed to be gathered. That also means 60 responses. The success of our first quiz was largely based on the teachers selected and the wit of the answers. This was not just something done in a 50-minute class period and posted with a simple click.
Our site does not aspire to become anything like BuzzFeed in terms of its content. We’re dedicated to covering our school and engaging and entertaining our community. For those latter two, these quizzes have succeed quite well. There’s a reason these quizzes have become such a popular share on social media. Using the quizzes for more journalistic purposes than BuzzFeed has proven to be quite challenging and it is taking a lot of thought and effort to make sure our quizzes maintain our journalistic integrity.
Continue to watch FHCtoday.com to see how our use of quizzes evolves over the rest of this school year.