A common problem facing teachers is that if you pose a question to a
class, the same few students, usually in the first row, answer
them. These students are typically not representative of the class,
being more advanced and/or paying attention. To get around this
problem, Qwheel uses a spinning "prize wheel" image (+sound) to
randomly select a name from a list. Once a name is selected, it is
removed from the list (although this behavior can be
suppressed). Using Qwheel is a great way to fairly distribute
questions in the class, get to know the names of your
students, and keep them attentive.
To use Qwheel, visit https://mitotic.github.io/wheel
Setup: No accounts or logins required! Create a list of names
from the class roster. You can use full names, or an abbreviated form,
such as first name plus enough letters from the last name to make it
unique, e.g., JaneDo; JohnS. Names in the list may be
separated by line-breaks, semicolons, commas or spaces. You can create a
line-break-separated list of names by simply copying from an Excel
spreadsheet column, or from a file with a name in each line, and
pasting it into the dialog box when requested. The Export
option in the drop-down menu may be used to generate an URL that can
be copied to re-create the name list in a different browser. (To use
Qwheel without accessing the web, see Code info below.)
Usage: Click on SPIN to rotate the wheel. When a name is
selected, a dialog box will appear. Clicking OK will remove the
selected name from the list, clicking Cancel will retain the name.
Sessions: A sequence of spins starting with a new list of names
is referred to as a session. The default session has a blank
name. Alternate session names are specified using the optional
session parameter in the URL and persist indefinitely in the
browser (using information stored in browser's offline local
storage). The drop-down menu may be used to switch between sessions or
create a new session. Restarting a session will restore the
original list of names. Deleting a session will erase it from
the browser. (Deleting the default session will re-create it.)
Exporting a session displays an URL that can be copied and
pasted in a different browser.
Creating URLs: As an alternative to copying/pasting names, you
can generate a permanent URL for creating a new session. Start with a
list of semicolon- or comma-separated names. If there are any spaces
within names, replace them with plus (+) signs. Then generate a URL
string that looks like this:
This URL can be stored in a file and reused to restart a session, as
needed. Note that the query symbol (?) denotes the start of
the parameter list and the ampersand (&) separates
different parameters. The optional session parameter enables
multiple parallel sessions. Another optional parameter max
may be used to specify the maximum number of names displayed (default:
30). If there are more names than this maximum, a random subset of
consecutive names from the list is pre-selected and displayed in the
wheel. If the names parameter is omitted, the list of names
can be entered manually via a dialog box.
Enter names via dialog box for default session
Default session, comma-separated first names+last initials
Named session, semicolon-separated names, max. display of 15 names
Code: The source code is available on Github. You can
download the code and open the www/index.html in your browser
to run Qwheel locally, even without an internet connection, by appending
parameters to the file URL (.../index.html?names=...). To
customize, modify the www/index.html file.
This implementation uses the jQuery
- Reloading the page helps if the wheel does not appear.
- The maximum length of an URL is about 2000 characters. If names are
shortened to about 10 characters each, a maximum of about 200 names
can be handled in the URL. For a longer list, pasting into the dialog
box should work.
- Specify reset=1 in the URL to clear all sessions.
- An undocumented parameter stats=1 can be specified to verify
the randomness of the selection algorithm.