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Using Quizzes in Moodle

Last updated: December 13, 2023, 9:27 p.m.

This content is for Moodle 3.9.

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

  • Ensure all questions are related to course learning outcomes.
  • Choose distractors carefully.
  • When possible and appropriate, design questions that require higher order thinking skills (application, analysis, evaluation) to promote deep understanding rather than simple recall questions.
  • Add questions in bulk in the AIKEN or GIFT format.
  • 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.


Setup for 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, for Moodle 3.5, How to Create and Manage a Quiz in Moodle: Step-by-step Instructions.

To set a reasonable time limit, you will need to think about how much time you should allocate to each question or each type of question.

The table below provides a recommended time allotment per question for some common question types.

Question type Average Time
Multiple choice 1 minute
Multiple choice – higher level analysis or evaluation 1 1/2 minutes
True or false 30 seconds
Short answer 2 min
Match 30 seconds per item
Short Essay (Written answer) Use your judgment based on length and complexity of answer required. Minimum: 10 – 20 minutes or more.

Source: Adapted from Writing Effective Quiz Questions , Vancouver Island University

NOTE: You may want to adjust these based on your subject, your students, and the difficulty level of your questions. If you have been given a list of students with disabilities by the Access Centre, provide extended time for these students using the User or Group Override setting in Quiz.

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.


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