Background images: the Qedoc software is distributed with a choice of 15 standard background designs. These designs are mainly peaceful landscapes. They are designed to contribute to a motivating learning environment without distracting learners from their tasks.
The original release of the Qedoc software featured just 5 background images, later increased to 10 and then 15. For the original 5, 1000's of images were assessed and a shortlist of around a 100 was worked on before the final selection was made. Many images were worked on for days and yet didn't make the cut for a variety of reasons. Similar time consuming and rigorous processes were gone through for the later expansions of the background image collection.
Selecting background images already available in the Qedoc software.
Selecting background images in the Qedoc Quiz Maker
Using the module explorer tree on the left of the screen, navigate to welcome --> appearance. The editor panel which appears at the bottom allows a number of options to be changed, including the colour scheme and background image. There is a single drop-down box for this purpose. When a background image is chosen, the colour scheme changes to match. Your module will always default to this background image when started.
If you want to use your own image, see below.
Selecting background images in the Qedoc Quiz Player
When the Qedoc Quiz Player is started, it initially shows a random background. When a module is loaded, the chosen module default background loads.
However learners can override the default with their own choice of background from the 15 available. They can also remove the backgrounds completely if they find them distracting. To do this, go to the menubar and select options --> change visual theme. A choice of the available 15 visual themes will be displayed. Learners generally find it enjoyable to be able to customise their learning environment in this way.
Using your own background images
Selecting background images other than the 15 integrated designs
A common question is: can I use my own background images?
The answer is: yes, BUT... you have to buy a commercial licence. This is one of the very few features which is reserved for commercial users.
There is also good reason for this. When we let people use our software for free, we want it to look its best. We want it to impress. The visual impact is a key part of the initial impression, and we are not prepared to compromise on the initial visual impact. Every quiz we publish for free will therefore have an "approved" background image. Another subsidiary reason is that background images take up a lot of bytes. A normal module will typically be about 20 to 100 kB, but with a custom background image included, this can be increased by about 1 megabyte or more - in other words, almost the whole module size is taken up by just one image. This doesn't make for good redistributability.
It's very difficult to create suitable background images - much more difficult than almost anyone would initially imagine. While the idea of creating your own backgrounds sounds great, the actual practice is different. It can take hours or days to come up with an image that works. We know that if we let everyone use their own backgrounds, lots of people will try this and partly fail, and then send in modules which have a poor visual appeal.
But I really, really, really want to make a background image AND support Qedoc's public library!
We don't want to exclude great artistic talent. If you are convinced you have created a great background design, you can send it directly to us and ask what we think. If we are bowled over in amazement, we can find a way. See further down.
Customising the background image with a commercial licence
- Set the difficulty level to "secure".
- Go to the same place where one selects the predefined images, and you'll find a new field for entering an image of your own. It works with pretty well one click.
- To find a matching colour scheme, flick through the predefined colour schemes (as if you were choosing a background image) and see which colours best suit your image.
New background images
From time to time, we add new images to the selection built into the Qedoc software. Images are subjected to an arduous selection process in which often thousands of images are viewed and many dozens shortlisted before a final selection is made.
Qedoc authors are welcome to make their own suggestions, but are advised that we reject over 95% of our own ideas!
Criteria for background images
- CC-BY or public domain licence. The licence must be credible and we must know exactly where you got it from!
- Sharp at 1024 pixels wide.
- Interesting, but not so interesting as to distract learners from their learning.
- Relatively low contrast, because high contrasts disrupt the legibility and aesthetics of the text and other content of the semi-transparent overlays which the Qedoc software places over the images. Likewise the toolbars on the top and left of the software interface must not be fatally damaged by the strong contrasts of darkness of underlying images.
- Points of interest in the image must be widely spread or around the edges; there must be NO focal point of interest in the centre.
- Space images do not work, due to their high contrast. Sorry.
Background images added in version 2.5.6
Click the images for enlarged versions.