Matching question type

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Matching questions have a content area and a list of names or statements which must be correctly matched against another list of names or statements. For example "Match the Capital with the Country" with the two lists "Canada, Italy, Japan" and "Ottawa, Rome, Tokyo". In the Quiz Module, each match is equally weighted to contribute towards the grade for the total question.

Question set-up in Question bank

  1. Select the question category
  2. Give the question a descriptive name - this allows you to identify it in the question bank.
  3. Enter some instructions in the 'Question text' field to tell the students what they are matching.
  4. Set the 'Default mark' (i.e. the maximum number of points for this question).
  5. If you wish, add general feedback. This is text that appears to the student after he/she has answered the question.
  6. Check the 'shuffle' box if you want the answers in the drop-down menus to be shuffled. Note: The Quiz display setting must also be set to shuffle within a questions for this to work.
  7. For the first matching item, enter the question and a matching answer.
  8. Fill in at least two questions and three answers. Click 'Blanks for 3 more questions' to add more. You can enter as many as 10 items (or more - see 'See also' below). You can provide extra wrong answers by giving an answer with a blank question.
  9. Set the 'Penalty for each incorrect try' (see grading below).
  10. Click Save changes to add the question to the category.


  • Each sub-question is equally weighted to contribute towards the grade for the total question. For example a student who correctly matches 3 of the 4 possible matches will receive 3/4 or 75% of the total possible score for that question.
  • The 'penalty factor' only applies when the question is used in a quiz using adaptive mode - i.e. where the student is allowed multiple attempts at a question even within the same attempt at the quiz. If the penalty factor is more than 0, then the student will lose that proportion of the maximum grade upon each successive attempt. For example, if the default question grade is 10, and the penalty factor is 0.2, then each successive attempt after the first one will incur a penalty of 0.2 x 10 = 2 points.

Repeated entries

It is possible to have repeated entries in one of the lists but care should be taken to make the repeats identical. For example "Identify the type of these creatures" with the lists "Ant, Cow, Dog, Sparrow" and "Insect, Mammal, Mammal, Bird".

Having more answers than questions

It is possible to have more answers than the number of questions; just put in more answers, without any corresponding question. It also works if several subquestions have the same answers; for example if you have five parts to the question all with answer either "yes" or "no".

Ordered questions

In the Quiz module, it is possible for both the question list and the answer list to be shuffled. The answer list is always shuffled. The "shuffle within questions" must be "Yes" as a quiz setting under Display AND the shuffle question box must be check on the individual question.

Consider the question "Match the letter with its position in the alphabet" with the question list "1, 2, 3, 4" and answer list "A, B, C, D". The answer list is always shuffled for each student in the pull down list of the possible matches. However, only when both the quiz and individual question shuffles are turned on, will the question list be shuffled to something like "2,4,1,3".

Lesson Module matching questions

Matching questions are also used in the Lesson Module. However, while they look similar to the student, they are different for the teacher. Quizzes don't have jumps.

  • In the Lesson Module, all matches must be right for the question to be scored as correct.
  • What is called the question list in a Quiz, does not shuffle in the Lesson Module. In the earlier example, A, B, C , D will always be in that order and 1,2,3,4 will always be shuffled in the Lesson Module.
  • Lesson Module has an "answer" and a "matching answer" instead of a "question" and "answer".
  • In Lesson Module there has to be matching pairs. It is not possible to have 4 items in one list to match with 1 of 5 items in another list. Both lists will be equal in their number.

Ordered questions in Lesson Module

In the Lesson Module, unlike Multiple choice questions or the Quiz Module, the question list is always the same order and the choices are shown in a random order.

Tips and tricks

  • Matching questions look better on screen if you put the longer piece of text in the question and not the match. For example, when vocabulary matching put the single word in the match and the definition sentence in the question. Otherwise the drop down for long questions will be awkward to use and difficult to read.
  • Matching questions in a Lesson module are slightly different than in a Quiz module when the teacher is in edit mode. For example, there are scoring differences and a quiz does not use jumps.

See also