Using Quizzes in Moodle

This page has been updated to reflect the Moodle 3.9 upgrade

***The content on this page will be continually updated.

Last updated: February 1, 2021, 1:13 p.m.

Online quizzes are an efficient way of testing student knowledge and understanding. Because they are automatically graded, they are particularly useful in large classes or in classes where there is no TA. Quizzes can include various types of questions including: multiple choice, true/false, short answer, essay, cloze (fill in the blanks), and more.

Quiz feedback

If set up appropriately, quizzes can also provide students with immediate feedback on their answers.  Instructors have the option to provide specific feedback depending on which answer a student selects.  For example, instructors could add some clarification about commonly confused concepts or refer students to a specific resource or page in the textbook for further review. 

Moodle Quiz also provides data about questions. Instructors can see which questions were most frequently answered incorrectly, but perhaps most valuable: they can see which incorrect answers were most frequently chosen. This data can be used to adjust instruction in the future and make additional resources available.

Tips for creating effective quizzes

  1. Ensure all questions are related to course learning outcomes.
  2. Choose distractors carefully.
  3. When possible and appropriate, design questions that require higher order thinking skills (application, analysis, evaluation) to promote deep understanding rather than simple recall questions.
  4. Add questions in bulk in the AIKEN or GIFT format.
  5. Consider creating a practice quiz for students at the beginning of the course to familiarize them with the tool and prevent any future compatibility issues.

For more tips on developing quizzes in Moodle, refer to the Effective quiz practices Moodle doc page.

Other VIU resources by Liesel Knaack for Writing Effective Test Questions:

Setting up Quizzes

For step-by-step instructions for adding quizzes, refer Concordia's IITS Moodle QUiz documents: Building a Moodle Quiz, Defining a Moodle Quiz, and Reviewing Quiz Attempts in the Concordia Help for Instructors  (Moodle login required). You can also watch the video How to Create and Manage a Quiz in Moodle: Step-by-step InstructionsThis video is for Moodle 3.5.


Tips for Setting up your Quiz in Moodle

The Quiz activity in Moodle has many settings to meet the varied assessment needs of instructors and help save time grading. For example, if you use Quiz for practice and feedback, you may set a longer time frame, give feedback for each question immediately after they’ve answered, and allow multiple attempts. However, if you use Quiz to give graded tests and exams, you will want to set it up very differently.

The following tips are intended to make sure you select the right settings for the purpose of giving formal online tests and exams.

NOTE: If you are new to Moodle Quiz and want to learn how to add a Quiz activity and questions to your Quiz, please consult this Help for Instructors (log in required).

Adding questions in bulk

Adding questions to your Moodle question bank can be time consuming; however, once entered, questions will be available to the instructor in any course they teach and can be exported and imported to facilitate sharing amongst instructors.

Adding questions in bulk can be a time-saving way to populate quizzes. There are a few ways of adding quiz questions to Moodle in bulk. To add strictly multiple choice questions, the AIKEN format is a very easy way to add questions using a Word processor.  

The GIFT format, also allows for upload in bulk of multiple choice questions, true/false questions, fill in the blank questions and even short answer questions using a Word processor. Additionally, some publishers provide ready-made quizzes in a format compatible with Moodle.

Accommodation tips for Quizzes

When designing assignments, it's important to keep in mind some other principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in order to make it as accessible as possible. When following the principles of UDL, generally there will be less need to make individual accommodations; thus saving you time and effort later. Some basic things you do to make the assignment accessible:

  • do not rely on one single kind of question for your exam. As much a possible, use different question types (e.g. multiple choice, short answer, long answer, etc.)
  • provide everyone with extra time. For example, if you planned a 2-hour exam, give everyone 3 hours and tell them "This is a two-hour exam, but I am giving everyone 3 hours to complete this." This will save you time and effort later in having to accommodate individual students.

Further resources

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