Spelling questions

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Making questions to test for correct spelling is a very important issue in language teaching in many languages. There are many ways to make spelling questions in Moodle:

  • Or some additional modules:


With the Gapfill question type

  • Use the Gapfill question type ( with the following settings: Drag and Drop | Fixed Gap Size |Options after text). This creates a structure that is almost perfect.
  • Here we have created a question, where we have 12 spaces available. For distractors, I entered all of the letters of the alphabet.
Note: Unfortunately, the Gapfill question type always shuffles the options. The plugin author figured that a checkbox for turning off shuffle would have added rarely used complexity :(
  • Teachers just need to duplicate the question, then type the letters of the spelling words in between each bracket. (And record themself reading the word).

Preview question Spelling 2020-01-27 09-23-52.png

  • Since this is being used by elementary students and is a spelling test, having the "answers" in alpha order would be helpful.
  • Options:

With the Drag and drop matching question type

You can create the previous question with the Drag and drop matching question type. It does "work". However, gapfill is so much more elegant and easy to use. (Yes,it adds a bit of additional complexity). The Drag and Drop built-in question ends up with teachers having to enter a number that corresponds to the correct letter (which is kind of weird for teachers). Thus, the question ends up looking like this:.

Editing a drag and drop into text 2020-01-27 09-28-17.png

Plus, if we have mixed upper and lower case, the answers double.

Gapfill is so much more elegant. IIt would look like this: [t][h][e]. Much easier for the teacher to enter.

I can see utilizing a strict order for elementary students.

With the formulas question

The formulas question includes a multiple choice question with a drop-down menu or radio buttons. Below we use the drop down menu.

We define the alphabet as a list of strings. Since, with the formulas question, the numbering of elements always starts at zero, the first string is defined as being empty ("") so that "a" is the first letter, "b" the second, etc.:

Global variables:

The answer is "moodle" where "m" is the 13th letter of the alphabet, "o" is the 15th, and so on:


Now, we define six answer boxes, numbered from 0 to 5 (the numbering must start at 0). "alphabet" refers to the list of strings defined above and MCE indicates a multiple choice question with a drop-down menu:

Part's text:

Here's what the question looks like:

Formulas question type for spelling Moodle.png

With the Essay (auto-grade) question type

You can make a glossary of common spelling errors. See Essay_(auto-grade)_question_type#Glossary_of_common_errors

Essay(auto-grade) question type new screen 06.png

Essay(auto-grade) question type new screen 08.png