Import questions

Revision as of 11:12, 18 June 2008 by Bart O'Donnell (talk | contribs) (Question formats)

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 3.1. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version of Moodle is probably available here: Import questions.

Moodle provides a number of different formats to import questions into question banks. Some enable imports to be made from proprietary quiz software, others provide questions to be imported from human-readable text files and others provide Moodle specific formats to enable transfer of questions between quiz banks.

In the case of the text formats (in particular GIFT), once you get to know a format, it may be easier to simply type the questions into a text file than to use the web interface. You can just keep typing instead of waiting for new web pages to load for each question.

The available formats vary with the version of Moodle and if it is a quiz or lesson module.


  • GIFT - Moodle 'proprietary' text format for import and export. Reasonably comprehensive.
  • Moodle XML - Moodle 'proprietary' xml format for import and export. Very comprehensive.
  • Aiken - This format is an easy way of writing multiple-choice questions for import.
  • Missing Word -If you’re going to write a lot of missing word multiple choice questions, the missing word format is an easy way to create them.
  • AON - This format is the same as the missing word format, except it creates matching questions from the multiple choice questions. Please note that from Moodle 1.8 it will no longer be part of the standard Moodle.
  • Blackboard - From Moodle 1.7 onwards, if you're converting from Blackboard to Moodle, you can export your course and then import the question pools into Moodle using the Blackboard "POOL" type export format. It relies on XML functions being compiled into your PHP. Note that you must first unpack the exported zip file and provide Moodle with the appropriate .dat file. Note that this version does not work with Blackboard Version 6 and newer. (Use this format for ExamView 5 or 6)
  • Blackboard V6+ - This module can import questions saved in Blackboard's export format. It provides limited support for Blackboard Version 6 and 7. It relies on XML functions being compiled into your PHP. You must upload the zip file exported from Blackboard.
  • WebCT format - This format supports importing multiple choice and short answers questions from WebCT's text format.
  • Course Test Manager - This format enables you to import questions from the Course Test Manager from Course Technology.
  • Embedded Answers (Cloze) - This format is a multiple question, multiple answer question with embedded answers. They can be a bit tricky to develop, but they are a unique way of asking questions.
  • Importing from Examview - ExamView 4 supported an XML export format that Moodle can import. If you are using a newer version of ExamView, you should export using Blackboard, extract the zip archive ExamView creates, then import in Moodle using Blackboard format (do not use 6+ format for moodle import, even though exam view calls this a Blackboard6+ file--it isn't). You can choose one of the ".dat" files from the ExamView archive to import. Note that images are not currently imported. See and

Character encoding

Prior to Moodle 1.6 the question file was assumed to be encoded in the same way as the language being used within the Moodle site. With Moodle 1.6 and onwards it is assumed that the imported file is encoded in UTF8. If it is not an external tool must be used to change the encoding. Note that if only basic 'latin' characters are used, then the coding issue can generally be ignored. Be particularly careful when creating questions using Microsoft Word. For reasons best known to themselves, Microsoft used their own encoding for some characters and this is likely to break the import.

See also