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Drag and drop into text

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A drag and drop question type where missing words have to be dragged into gaps in a paragraph of text.


This is a question type created and maintained by the Open University.

Moodle versions available

This question type is available for Moodle 2.1 to 2.8 from the Moodle plugins database].


OU drag and drop into text general.png

Question name: A descriptive name is sensible. This name will not be shown to students.

Question text: You may use the full functionality of the editor to state the question.

The Question text is written with two sets of square brackets '[[n]]' indicating the positioning of gaps and a number 'n' inside the brackets indicating the correct choice from a list which follows the question.

It is allowed to place the drop zones in lists and tables.

General feedback: The Open University recommends that all questions should have this box completed with the correct answer and a fully worked explanation. The contents of this box will be shown to all students irrespective of whether their response was correct or incorrect. The Open University do not recommend that authors rely on using the machine generated 'Right answer' (from the interactive Computer Machine Assessment definition form).

OU drag and drop into text choices.png

Limited formatting of text using <sub>, <sup>, <b>, <i>, <em> and <strong> is allowed.

Choices that are within the same Group are colour coded and may only be dropped in a gap with the corresponding colour.

Choices that are marked as 'infinite' may be used in multiple locations.

It is not possible to have drag boxes containing multiple lines. If you want to drag long sentences - don't. Give each a label and drag the label.

The resulting question when run in 'interactive with multiple tries' style looks as follows:

OU drag and drop into text look at runtime.png


Drag and drop questions are keyboard accessible. Use the <tab> key to move between the gaps and the <space> key to cycle around the possible choices for each gap.


All gaps are weighted identically; in the above example each gap is worth 25% of the marks. Only gaps that are filled correctly gain marks. There is no negative marking of gaps that are filled incorrectly.

OU drag and drop into text combined feedback.png

The display of Combined feedback is governed by the Specific feedback setting on the iCMA definition form.

In interactive with multiple tries mode Combined feedback is shown after every try as well as when the question completes.

The option ‘Show the number of correct responses’ is over-ridden in interactive with multiple tries mode by the same settings in the ‘Settings for multiple tries’ section of the editing form.

OU drag and drop into text multiple tries.png

Penalty for each incorrect try: The available mark is reduced by the penalty for second and subsequent tries. In the example above a correct answer at the second try will score 0.6666667 of the available marks and a correct answer at the third try will score 0.3333334 of the available marks.

If the question is used in 'interactive with multiple tries' behaviour the marking is modified as follows:

  1. The mark is reduced for each try by the penalty factor.
  2. Allowance is made for when a correct choice is first chosen providing it remains chosen in subsequent tries.

Hint: You can complete as many of these boxes as you wish. If you wish to give the student three tries at a question you will need to provide two hints. At runtime when the hints are exhausted the question will finish and the student will be given the general feedback and the question score will be calculated.

Clear incorrect responses: When ‘Try again’ is clicked incorrect choices are cleared.

Show the number of correct responses: Include in the feedback a statement of how many choices are correct.


Is there a wildcard for blanks to be empty?

The only way to do this is to make a drag item that looks empty, and make students drag that into the boxes that should be empty. As the code ignores drag items that comprise only spaces, you will need to try to use something like a non-breaking space (easy to do with 1 click in the TinyMCE_editor, or type &nbsp in other Text editor).

More documentation

See also