Question types

Revision as of 20:54, 10 September 2006 by Helen Foster (talk | contribs) (content moved to Multiple Choice question type)

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.2. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Question types.

You may add a variety of different types of questions in the Quiz module. Questions in a lesson behave in a similar manner but there are not as many types.

Short answer

In response to a question (that may include a image), the respondent types a word or phrase. There may several possible correct answers, with different grades. Answers may or may not be sensitive to case.

To create a short answer question:

  1. Give your question a descriptive name
  2. Create the question stem. If you want students to fill in a blank, use the underscore to indicate where the blank is.
  3. Select an image to display if you want to add a picture to the question (see step 3 in the multiple choice description above for more detail).
  4. Choose whether capitalization is important. Case sensitivity can be tricky. Will you accept george washingtion as well as George Washington as an answer?
  5. Next, fill in the answers you will accept. You can give each answer a percentage of the grade as well. You could give common misspellings partial credit with this option. If the "Case sensitive" option is selected, then you can have different scores for "Word" or "word".
  6. Create feedback for each acceptable answer.
  7. Click Save Changes to add the question to the category

You can use the asterisk character (*) as a wildcard to match any series of characters. For example, use ran*ing to match any word or phrase starting with "ran" and ending with "ing". If you really do want to match an asterisk then use a backslash like this: \*

If you want one question with the two answers fuel and oxygen, you ought to be able to limit the number of variants by writing:

fuel*oxygen 100%

would accept "fuel oxygen" "fuel, oxygen" "fuel; oxygen" "fuel and oxygen" "fuel oxygen" {two spaces} "fuel & oxygen" "fuel oxygen" "fuel und oxygen" "fuel&&oxygen" it would even accept "fuel or oxygen" "fuel but not oxygen" "fuel|oxygen" which might not be so good but you can never be completely safe!

oxygen*fuel 100%
*fuel* 50%

(the order of the answers is important since it stops checking with the first alternative that is satisfied)

*oxygen* 50%
*air* 40%  maybe etc

Without wildcards the answers are compared exactly, so be careful with your spelling!

You may like to prototype your short answer questions to catch common acceptable answers you hadn’t thought of. Start out by creating a few acceptable answers, then include the question in a quiz for no points. Be sure to tell students you are testing a new question. Once the quiz is over, review students’ answers and add their acceptable answers to the list.

Template:Moodle 1.6

Starting with Moodle 1.6, there are two different student answer analysis systems available for the Short Answer type of question: the simple system is used by default; the Regular Expressions system is used if the "Use Regular Expressions" option box has been checked on the Edit Question Page screen. See Short answer analysis for a description of the new type, with examples.


From the student perspective, a numerical question looks just like a short-answer question. The difference is that numerical answers are allowed to have an accepted error. This allows a continuous range of answers to be set.

For example, if the answer is 30 with an accepted error of 5, then any number between 25 and 35 will be accepted as correct.

Numerical questions can also have case-insensitive non-numerical answers. This is useful whenever the answer for a numerical question is something like N/A, +inf, -inf, NaN etc.

Template:Moodle 1.7This has changed in Moodle 1.7. Text answers are no longer allowed. that is what short answer is for.

What is new in 1.7 is that you can have different answers with different levels of accuracy. That lets you as questions like: "What is a root of x^2 - 3x + 2?" or awards different levels of credit depending on how accurate the student was.

Figure 5-8. Numerical Question

To create a numerical question

  1. Give the question a descriptive name (This is only seen in the question list that you see as a teacher when you are putting together a quiz)
  2. Type the equation or numerical question for your students to solve

Moodle has a various text filters that allow you to type an equation and have it properly typeset when displayed. The Moodle Algebra filter is very good for writing common matematical expressions in a simple way. More complicated expressions can use the TeX syntax. If they don't work the administrator may have not enabled them.

  1. Select an image to display if you want to add a picture to the question (see step 3 in the multiple choice description above for more detail).
  2. Enter the correct answer. 23.4 23,4 and 2.34E+1 would all work. (Prior to Moodle 1.7, you can only add one correct answer in the user interface. If you import the question with a GIFT format file you can specifiy multiple answer(intervals) with accompanying feedback and point-percentage. This is done similar to the CLOZE Numerical format. There is no units support in the Cloze type.) It is possible, though not simple, to get support for several answer intervals and unit support if you create the question in the numerical interface and export it in Moodle XML format. Than you can duplicate the <answer> segment and put in another answer interval and the feedback and grading factor you want for that interval. Than import it again. You will not be able to edit the question in the normal numerical interface though.
  3. Enter the accepted error, the range above or below the correct answer. For example, if the correct answer is 5, but you will accept 4 or 6 as answers, your accepted error is 1.
  4. Enter feedback for the question. It is possible to use all kinds of HTML formating for the feedback but it must be written by hand. Unfortunately (in 1.5.3 anyhow) it is right justified and has no identifying formatting.
  5. Units can be specified and work to a degree. Unfortunately if the student answers with the right number but no unit he can get full points. And if he thinks of another unit and has the right number and no unit, he gets no differentiated feedback, just wrong. You must also give the conversion factor . So if your main answer was 5500 with unit W and you wanted to allow the unit kW you would have to specify the factor 0.001. If you wanted to allow Watt you would use the factor 1.
  6. (Moodle 1.7 only) If you want some feedback shown to wrong answers, type a feedback comment with a blank answer.
  7. Click Save Changes to add the question to the category

Lesson Module said: This type of question requires a number as the answer. In it's simplest form it requires just one answer to be specified. For example "What is 2 plus 2?" with the answer 4 given a forward jump. However, it is better to specify a range because the internal rounding of numerical values can make single numeric comparisons rather hit or miss. Thus, if the question were "What is 10 divided by 3" it would be necessary to give the answer as Minimum:Maximum, that is two values separated by a colon. Thus if 3.33:3.34 is given as the acceptable range for the answer, then the answers 3.33, 3.333, 3.3333... would all be taken as correct answers. "Wrong" answers would include 3.3 (less than the minimum) and 3.4 (greater than the maximum).

More than one correct answer is allowed and the answers can be either single or pair of values. Note that the order in which the answers are tested is Answer 1, Answer 2... so some care needs to taken if the desired response is to appear. For example the question "When was Larkin born?" could have the single value of 1922, the exact answer, and the pair of values 1920:1929, the 20's, as the less exact answer.The order in which these values should be tested is, obviously, 1922 then 1920:1929. The first answer might have the response "That's exactly right" while the other answer's response might be "That's close, you've got the right decade, it is was actually 1922."

Wrong answers can be given but depending on their actual range, care should be taken to place them after the correct answers. For example in adding the wrong answer 3:4 to the "10 divided by 3" question it needs to come after the correct answer. That is the answers are ordered 3.33:3.34 (the "correct" answer) then 3:4 (the "wrong" answer, but not wildly wrong answer!).

Unfortunately this question differs from the numerical quiz question and the numerical embedded question (Cloze) in a couple of ways. 3:4 in those questions means "3 plus or minus 4", in other words from -1 to 7. The embedded question doesn't support interval boundaries. The numerical question, if imported in GIFT format, can use "3..4" as the interval from 3 to 4. Another difference is that those questions accept , as decimal in student answers, but the lesson numerical question doesn't.


In response to a question (that may include an image), the respondent selects from two options: True or False.

If feedback is enabled, then the appropriate feedback message is shown to the respondent after answering the quiz. For example, if the correct answer is "False", but they answer "True" (getting it wrong) then the "True" feedback is shown.


Matching questions consist of a list of names or statements which must be correctly matched against another list of names or statements. For example "Match the Capital with the Country" with the two lists "Canada, Italy, Japan" and "Ottawa, Rome, Tokyo". There is one correct answer. Each match is equally weighted to contribute towards the grade for the total question.

It is possible to have repeated entries in one of the lists but care should be taken to make the repeats identical.

  • For example "Identify the type of these creatures" with the lists "Ant, Cow, Dog, Sparrow" and "Insect, Mammal, Mammal, Bird".

Unlike the Multichoice question where the choices are shown in a random order, the first list of items in a Matching question is not shuffled but shown in the same order as entered. This allows for "Ordered" questions to be constructed. Consider the question " Put the following into the order they were born, the earliest first" with the lists "1., 2., 3., 4." and "Longfellow, Lawrence, Lowell, Larkin". The second list is shuffed before being used in the question, of course.

Matching questions do not support feedback.


==== Moodle 1.5 ==== Template:Moodle 1.5 When creating this type of question the items for the first list go into the Answer boxes and items for the second list go into the Response boxes. Once created a more sensible labelling scheme is shown. When the student successfully matches the items the jump on the first answer is used. An unsuccessful answer jumps to the page on the second answer. The question does not support custom responses, the student is told how many matches are correct or if all the matches are correct. ==== Moodle 1.6 ==== Template:Moodle 1.6 When the student successfully matches the items, the Correct answer jump is used. An unsuccessful answer jumps to Wrong answer jump. The question supports only 2 response (= feedback) messages: the Correct response message is displayed if all matches are correct, and the Wrong response message otherwise.

==== Moodle 1.7 ==== Template:Moodle 1.7 In Moodle 1.7 there can be more answers than questions, to make it harder for the student if they do not know the right answer. Before, there could only be as many answers as questions.


Match questions look better on screen if you put the longer piece of text in the question and not the match. For example, when vocabulary matching put the single word in the match and the definition sentence in the question. Otherwise the drop down for long questions will be awkward to use and difficult to read.

Embedded answers (Cloze)

Embedded answers (Cloze) questions consist of a passage of text (in Moodle format) that has various answers embedded within it, including multiple choice, short answers and Numerical answers.

There is currently no graphical interface to create these questions - you need to specify the question format using the text box or by importing them from external files.

Random short-answer matching

From the student perspective, this looks just like a Matching question. The difference is that the subquestions are drawn randomly from Short Answer questions in the current category.

After an optional introduction, the respondent is presented with several sub-questions and several jumbled answers. There is one correct answer for each question.

The respondent must select an answer to match each sub-question.

Each sub-question is equally weighted to contribute towards the grade for the total question.

The questions and answers are randomly drawn from the pool of "Short Answer" questions in the current category. Each attempt on a quiz will have different questions and answers.


This is not a real question. It simply prints some text (and possibly graphics) without requiring an answer. This can be used to provide some information to be used by a following group of questions, for example.


Calculated questions offer a way to create individual numerical questions by the use of wildcards that are substituted with individual values when the quiz is taken.


Short essay questions are meant for short, paragraph or two type of essays one often finds on exams. Thus we did not use the html editor, preferring a simple text field. For longer essays, the assignment module is a better choice.

In response to a question (that may include an image) the respondent writes an answer in essay format. Three fields may be edited when creating the essay question: the question title, the body of the question, and feedback that can be displayed at a time chosen by the facilitator.

The essay question will not be assigned a grade until it has been reviewed by a teacher or facilitator by using the Manual Grading feature. When manually grading an essay question, the grader will be able to enter a custom comment in response to the respondent's essay and be able to assign a score for the essay.

Essay questions in a Lesson. To grade lesson essay questions, first click on the name of the lesson in your course page. If there are essay questions to be graded, there will be a link saying "Grade essay questions". This link will open a screen showing how many ungraded essay questions there are. Ungraded essay questions will be in listed in red. Click the link for the essay you wish to grade.

The essay grading screen shows the title of the question, the student's essay response, and a place you can write optional comments and give the essay a score. Click the Submit grade button to record your score and comments. Graded questions will be displayed in green. Repeat the process to finish grading. Click the "Email graded essays" link to email your responses to your students.

Third-party question types

Besides the question types described above that are part of the core Moodle distribution there are question type plugins contributed by the community.

Drag and Drop

Please see the Drag and Drop question tutorial for more information.

Molecule design

The Java Molecular Editor question type allows you to ask students to design and submit a molecular structure.

Regular Expression Short Answer

Template:Moodle 1.6Like the Short Answer question, the RegExp Short Answer question expects the student to answer an "open" question with a word or a short phrase. However, using so-called regular expressions gives you access to a more powerful system for analysing the student's answers and thus providing more adapted feedback messages. The Regular Expression Short Answer question type is available for Moodle 1.6 from the Modules and plugins database. --Joseph Rézeau 22:49, 25 May 2006 (WST)

Rendered Matching

Need some mention of what this is or will be.--Dennis Daniels 14:09, 6 June 2006 (WST)