Java Molecular Editor question type

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.3. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Java Molecular Editor question type.

The Java Molecular Editor question type (JME) can be used to design molecular structures, so you can ask questions such as "Please draw the structure of 2,3-dichloro-but-2-ene". In order to mark responses, they need to be converted to a simple text format called SMILES (see for more information).

So, the student must design the molecule, using the JME Java Applet. The content of the student response is automatically saved when the student change page in the quiz either by pressing on the "Next" button, or using the quiz navigation panel. When quiz attempt is submitted, this response is then marked in the same way as a (case-sensitive) short-answer question.

You can use a similar process when designing the question. Using the JME applet, design a molecule that is a possible (right or wrong) answer and then press a button next to the answer boxes to store the current design as a SMILES code.

It was created by Dan Stowell and first offered as contributed code in May 2006. It is currently maintained by Jean-Michel Védrine

Current Features

  • The students uses the Java Molecular Editor applet to draw a molecule to answer the question.
  • student answer is saved when the student moves to another page of the quiz using the quiz navigation panel or the next button.
  • Support for multiple answers so partial credit or assistance can be provided to students.
  • Core functionality works entirely within Moodle - external programs are optional
  • versions for Moodle 2.3, 2.4 and 2.5 available from the Moodle plugin Directory. Versions for older Moodle versions exist.



  • Unzip the zip file into the <moodle root>/question/type directory. You should end up with a directory named <moodle root>/question/type/jme.
  • Login as an administrator and visit the Site Administration page (http://<my moodle>/admin). Then follow the usual procedure to install a Moodle plugin.
  • Go to a course, click on question and select the new Jave Molecular Editor question type to add.


  • Failed to load question options from the table qtype_jme_options for questionid <n>: this error message usually occurs because you have entered a jme question into Moodle without having visited the site administration page (http://<my moodle>/admin) to install the plugin first. To fix it go to the Site Administration page while logged in as an administrator to install the plugin. Any existing algebra questions that were added (via editing or import) before this will need to be deleted since they are missing important information.

See also