Sending results by email

What's this all about?

The CGI functionality allows you to send the score of a quiz to a PERL CGI script called FormMail will then take that information and send it on to you in an email. If you set this up properly, then when your student first loads the page, he or she will be asked to enter a name or other type of identification (such as a student number). As soon as the exercise is complete, the student's name or ID, the title of the exercise, the score, and the start and end times will be sent off to the CGI script on your server, and the script will send you an email containing this information.

How do I make this work?


  1. you have the PERL script correctly installed on your server
  2. your exercise is also located on the same server (in other words, this is not likely to work when the exercise is located on your desktop computer)
  3. you enter the correct address for your FormMail script, and a correct email address

The first thing you need to do is to find out if is installed on your server. is one of the most common CGI scripts on the Web, so it's quite likely. If so, then ask your server administrator to tell you the address.

If FormMail isn't on your server, you can get it free from here:

You and/or your system administrator will have to read the instructions in the FormMail package to install and configure FormMail properly. We cannot help with this.

Why don't you provide support for this?

Getting this functionality to work properly involves configuring a PERL script on your server.

So this is between you and your system administrator.

I want it to do more than this!

Of course you do. Some people will want to get student names and ID numbers, some will want a list of questions that were wrong, some will want the student not to see his or her score -- the list of possible variations is infinite. What we have given you is basic CGI functionality; based on our code, and the instructions of the script, you will be able to add any behaviours or features you want, by editing the HotPot source files (see the Help for information on how the source files work, and how to edit them). If you don't know enough HTML and JavaScript to do this, then you will need to get outside help. You can hire us if you want; we cost about USD $70 per hour. Please don't ask us to help you with this for free -- we're simply too busy. You could check out Richard Zaiser's Guide to Transferring Results for some expert tips on extending this system.

Can my students cheat?

Very easily. This is not secure testing. If you need a secure testing solution, you need to look at server-side products such as WebCT, QuestionMark and BlackBoard. That's not what HotPot is for.

I can't get it to work!

That's a shame. There's not much we can do to help, but you might try the solution below instead.

This is too complicated! Is there an easy way?

You can upload your exercises to an account on, which is a hosting service provided by Creative Technology. It's not free, but it's designed to take all the difficulty out of tracking student logons and scores.