Beginners’ guide to Locate questions

“Locate X in this image” is conceptually straightforward, and Locate questions are not especially subtle. Obvious uses are maps and diagrams. You can also do clever things by turning text into an image.

Features of Yacapaca’s Locate questions

  1. Over your image, you can draw any shape to represent the correct choice. You have a choice of circles, rectangles or freeform drawing.
  2. You can also define multiple specific incorrect areas, and assign different formative feedback to each.
  3. Any area you have not specifically defined is treated as a default ‘false’ area.
  4. You can see from the above that this is structurally the same as a multiple-choice question. One key area (the correct option) and as many distractor areas (incorrect options) as you choose.
  5. Yacapaca will dynamically resize the image to fit the student’s screen and available bandwidth. It works just as well on a phone as on a large desktop PC.

Authoring tips

  1. Upload a nice, large, simple image, but make sure it works if scaled down. It should be readable on an iPod Touch, but not pixellated when viewed on a desktop PC. In particular, check the readability of labels. Years ago, file size was a constraint, but no longer.
  2. When defining an area, be generous. Leave plenty of offset around the area you want. Test your compiled quiz on your phone – is the area reliably clickable with a finger?
  3. Trap specific misconceptions by defining other areas, and write good formative feedback related to them.

Examples with commentary

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This does not just test students’ knowledge – it makes a great teaching point at the same time, by forcing students to really interact with the diagram. This particular question also has multiple ‘wrong’ areas defined, so as teacher you can instantly see from the analytics where any misconceptions might lie.


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You would not expect a language question to use an image in this way, but it’s actually very effective. Authoring tip: make the text huge (60pt or larger) before taking your screenshot. Otherwise the JPG will be full of compression artefacts, and ugly as sin.


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Teaching the theory of machines through common or garden artefacts is good. Doing it with interactive photographs is better!


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A really obvious usage. This could have been done with a picture and a Cloze question “enter the label number”, but isn’t this so much more elegant?


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This is a Wordle, from the free site By using different fonts, colours and orientations, you can help students train the eye to intuitively spot misspellings or one-word grammatical errors, as here. Plus they are dead quick to do. You can knock off 20 or 30 questions like this in an hour.


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Personally, I would have done this as an image-based multiple choice, but this is just as good a way to do it.


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The only example I am slightly critical of. That’s an awful big map to find one place on an island. I’m not sure kids doing this on their phones will score the point, even if they know the answer. I would have preferred a smaller area mapped so that Sicily was bigger, and a clearer instruction to click on the island, not the volcano itself.



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