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From MoodleDocs

This is a type of quiz designed to be used in face-to-face lessons, with a classroom full of computers/tablets/phones.

The teacher creates the quiz in advance - adding question bank questions from the Moodle question bank. (This includes any question type available for Moodle)

The quiz can be set up to take the quiz in class groups (set up through the Moodle built in groups functionality). Group attendance may also be used in order only give present group members the final grade.

During the lesson, the teacher starts the quiz. Students can now connect to this quiz. Once the teacher is satisfied that all students have connected to the quiz, they can click on "Start Quiz"

Depending on the question settings the question will end automatically, or will need to be ended via the instructor's "end question" button. The instructor can review student responses in real time and re-poll the same question, go to the next question, or jump to any question set up for the session.

The teacher can, at a later date, go back through the results and, for each question, see exactly what answer each student gave. Students will also be able to view their attempts based on the display options in the quiz settings. Grades are also recorded based on the module settings for whether or not this particular quiz was assessed.

The original plugin (real-time quiz) was written by Davo Smith, to which the University of Wisconsin - Madison (funded by an educational innovation grant given to the Medical school) re-wrote the plugin, which is now named active quiz.