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Embedded answers (Cloze) questions consist of a passage of text (in Moodle format) that has various answers embedded within it, including multiple choice, short answers and numerical answers.

There is currently no graphical interface to create these questions - you need to specify the question format using the text box or by importing them from external files.

Lots of people suggest that Hot Potatoes software is the easiest way to create Embedded answer (Cloze) questions. Once you have created your questions on your PC, you can then import them into into Moodle's quiz module.


The Moodle help documentation for Cloze questions gives an example. Peter Ruthven-Stuart advises, "I found the best way to learn how to make the Cloze type questions was to copy the example in the above link, and then make small changes to the example until I broke it."

The number appearing at the beginning of a 'blank' indicates the weighting for the question, and is nothing to do with the question number. So, in the example below the blank has been given a weight of '2'. So, if the blanks all have an equal weight, you don't need to type any number.

{2:SHORTANSWER:%100%CALL#Yes, that's it!~%0%?#What should I __ you? Either lower or UPPER case is OK.}

NB: Be careful when copying a cloze type question into the WYSIWYG HTML editor, as line breaks tend to get added, which destroys the question.

Joseph Rézeau provided the following examples and the detailed explanation of the syntax.

Match the following cities with the correct state:

  • San Francisco: {1:MULTICHOICE:=California#OK~Arizona#Wrong}
  • Tucson: {1:MULTICHOICE:California#Wrong~%100%Arizona#OK}
  • Los Angeles: {1:MULTICHOICE:=California#OK~Arizona#Wrong}
  • Phoenix: {1:MULTICHOICE:%0%California#Wrong~=Arizona#OK}

The capital of France is {1:SHORTANSWER:=Paris#Congratulations!~%50%Marseille#No, that is the second largest city in France (after Paris).~.*#Wrong answer. The capital of France is Paris, of course.} Note! This example only works in Moodle 1.5.2, see the point 12 below.

Please note that this does not cover the NUMERICAL type question.

  1. all question items within a cloze-type question are coded inside curled braces { }
  2. the number which appears between the opening brace and the colon {1: is the weighting of that item; if it is set at 1 for all the items, it needs not be specified, so you can have {:
  3. after the colon we have the item type: MULTICHOICE, SHORTANSWER, NUMERICAL
  4. the syntax for MULTICHOICE and SHORTANSWER is the same; the only difference is in the displaying of the item to the student
  5. the order of the various answers is indifferent (except if you want a catch-all for wrong answers, see #12 below)
  6. a correct answer is preceded with the equal sign = or a percentage (usually %100%)
  7. a wrong answer is preceded with nothing or a percentage (usually %0%)
  8. you can allocate some points between 0 and 100 to some answers, if you put the appropriate percentage
  9. all answers except the first one are separated from one another by the tilde ~ sign
  10. answers can be followed by an optional feedback message, preceded with the # sign; if there is no feedback message, the # sign can be present or absent, it does not matter
  11. note that the feedback message is displayed in a small popup window (if and when feedback has been declared accessible to the students in the Quiz settings) upon mouse hovering
  12. in the SHORTANSWER type you may want to put a catch-all (wrong) answer in order to send a "wrong, try again" feedback; you can do this by inserting .* as a wrong answer; this does not work in Moodle 1.5, 1.5.3 and 1.6; it works in version 1.5.2 only; see my post here
  13. unfortunately in MULTICHOICE MODE it is not possible to get the answers to be scrambled
  14. unfortunately in SHORTANSWER mode it is not possible to make the answers case-sensitive (except by using a workaround which I will make explain in a further post in this thread)

See also

This information was drawn from: