Short-Answer question type

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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: Short-Answer question type.

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.

Question set-up

  • Give your question a descriptive name.
  • Create the question stem. If you want students to fill in a blank, use the underscore to indicate where the blank is.
  • Select an image to display if you want to add a picture to the question (see step 3 in Multiple Choice question type for more detail).
  • Choose whether capitalization is important. Case sensitivity can be tricky. Will you accept george washingtion as well as George Washington as an answer?
  • 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".
  • Create feedback for each acceptable answer.
  • 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.