Customer FAQ

How do I retrieve a forgotten password?

For your security, passwords on Qstream are stored in an encrypted form and cannot be retrieved. If you have forgotten your password, you can have it automatically reset and a new one sent to your email address using the Reset Password page.  On the Login page, click on the “Forgot your password?” link.

I no longer want to participate in a Qstream that I signed up for.
How do I remove it?

If you want to temporarily suspend questions for a course, you can use the Vacation Hold feature. If you want to permanently drop a course, simply click on the course name in the “Courses you are taking” section of your dashboard, and then click on the “Course Options” tab. Click on the “Drop this course” button. You will be asked to confirm that you really want to drop the course. If you proceed, you are removed from the course and all progress information on that course is deleted.

How do I temporarily suspend a course?

You can temporarily suspend one or all of your courses using the Vacation Hold function.

How does a “vacation hold” work?

A vacation hold freezes your Qstream. You will not receive any new or review questions. You will not lose any progress in your course. To set a vacation hold, click on the course name in the “Courses you are taking” section of your dashboard, and then click on the “Course Options” tab. Enter the start date and duration of your vacation.

How do I delete my Qstream account entirely?

You can simply drop a course as described in a previous question. If you want to completely remove your Qstream account, please submit a support request and include your username or the email address registered on your account. Your account will be permanently removed.

I do not want certain questions to be repeated.
What should I do?

Please click on the “Do not repeat this question” button on the answer page for a question. That question will be retired and you will not see it again.  Note: the course author may have disabled this feature for the course.

What does it mean to ‘retire’ a question?

When a question is retired it no longer repeats in your course. This occurs when you meet the retirement criteria defined in the course settings (e.g. answering a question correctly twice-in-a-row).

How long does it take to complete a Qstream course?

This depends on the number of questions, how quickly you respond, and course settings (e.g. how many tries it takes to retire the questions). While a course usually takes only a few minutes each day, it can take several weeks or more to complete.

What are the green bars on the dashboard?

The green bars represent your progress in a course. The top bar represents the percentage of course questions that you have answered at least once. The bottom bar represents the percentage of questions that you have retired.

Why do I have to wait a day or more until I can answer the next question?

Learning small amounts of material over multiple sessions (“distributed practice”) can significantly improve knowledge retention compared to learning a large amount at a single time point.

What is the optimal number of questions to receive each day?

Our randomized trials suggest that a good balance is 2-3 questions per day. This number allows you to cover all the course material in a reasonable amount of time, but still allows you to complete your course material in just a few minutes each day. While the course author will assign some suggested defaults settings for the course, the ultimate decision is up to you.

What are the optimal spacing intervals for the questions?

The spacing intervals should be selected based on when you want to optimize retention of your learning. In the Harvard research trials, the spacing intervals have varied from 5 days to 6 weeks. Ideally, the spacing interval should be about 4-10% of the retention interval. In other words, if you want to optimize your retention of learning one year (50 weeks) later, the spacing interval should be between 2-5 weeks long.

How frequently should I receive the questions?

We suggest receiving 2-3 questions every 1-2 days. These settings make it easy to stay up-to-date in your course while covering all the course material in a reasonable amount of time. The Harvard studies have used frequencies ranging from once-a-day to once-a-week. While the course author will assign some suggested defaults settings for the course, the ultimate decision is up to you.

What is the optimal criterion for retiring a question in a course?

Most of the Harvard studies have used the following criteria: a question is retired if it is answered correctly twice-in-a-row. We recommend using this criterion, although we acknowledge that this is not a perfect criterion for “mastery” of the content. It requires that learners demonstrate their consistent learning and retention of the material covered in a question, while allowing learners to retire all of the questions in a reasonable amount of time.

I do not want to receive questions on the weekend.
How can I set this up?

You can turn off notifications so you are not reminded of questions on Saturday or Sunday. To do this, select “Edit Account” from the user menu.  The user menu appears when you point the mouse over your name in the top right corner of the window. On the Edit Account screen find the section labeled “Email Notification”. Check the first checkbox labelled “Don’t send me questions on weekends” and click the “Save Changes” button.

What topics are good for Qstream courses?

There is no limit to topics on which excellent Qstream courses can be created. The spaced delivery methodology is content-neutral and thus can be utilized to learn most anything. Potential applications range from teaching geography to school children to documenting competence in accounting skills among small business owners.

While it might be a challenge to teach creative writing using the question-answer format, a whole range of topics work extremely well in this format: test preparation, language learning with embedded audio files, gardening skills with embedded YouTube videos, etc. The full multimedia capabilities of the Internet can be harnessed to create a rich and effective learning experience.

What is the best question format to use for a Qstream course?

Course authors should use the question format which best meets their needs:

  • Multiple choice questions (MCQ) – Well-constructed MCQ questions with one correct answer are effective assessment tools and, due to their strong psychometric properties, have become gold-standard in educational assessment.
  • Multiple correct answer (MCA) questions – MCA questions are often less effective than MCQs as evaluation tools, but they can be more effective as educational tools. MCA questions are generally easier to write than MCQs. Another name for this type of question is ‘multiple true-false’ because the learner is forced to determine if each possible answer choice for a MCA question is correct or not. If you find yourself writing MCQs with “select all of the following, except” in the question stem or with “all of the above” as an answer choice, you might find the MCA format to be more effective.
  • Fill-in-the-blank (FIB) questions – The FIB question format demands that learners perform “free recall” of the answers, unlike the cued recall needed to answer the MCQ and MCA formats. Psychology research indicates the FIB format is more effective than MCQs in generating long-term retention of learning. FIB questions are relatively quick-and-easy to write, and they can be quite challenging for the learner to answer correctly. When writing an FIB question, the course author can choose the correct answer and several alternative correct answers. One weakness of this question format is that the learner must type in one of these answers exactly in order to correctly answer the FIB question.

Are the fill-in-the-blanks (FIB) answers case-sensitive?

No FIB answers are not case sensitive so learners do not have to match the capitalization of your answer exactly in order to get the question right. For example, if the correct answer you have specified is “Paris” both “paris” and “Paris” will be marked as correct if entered by the learner.

How can I put a hyperlink in a question or answer?

-Highlight a word which will act as the link

  • Click the chain icon in the course editor
  • Insert the target web address (http:// is needed before the address)
  • We recommend that you select the option to have the link opened in a new window
  • The “title” is what will appear when users roll-over the link
  • Click ‘save’ at the bottom of the question page

To see how the link works, use the preview function.

How do I insert a course icon?

Insert a picture into the course description page. Qstream uses the first picture which appears on this page as the course icon. If no picture is inserted here, Qstream uses the course author’s picture as the course icon. The icon will appear as a square, so it is best to choose a picture that will look good when compressed into this shape.

How do I change a course icon?

Qstream uses the first picture which appears on the course description page as the course icon. To change the course icon, insert a new picture on the course description page. You can delete any prior pictures if you wish.

What are “tags”?

Tags are one-word descriptors that you can assign to your courses, photos, and profile. Tags are a keywords you choose to help organize your stuff on this site. You can assign as many tags as you like and rename or delete them later.

How do I embed images and flash using the course editor?

You can add images or flash media to your profile and your courses by using the image ​and media buttons on the rich text editor.