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Student projects/New question types

From MoodleDocs

Programmer: Adriane Boyd

Mentor: Tim Hunt


I am planning to update Moodle to add several new types of questions and to update the student and teacher interfaces for a number of existing question types to make them easier to use.

New Question Types

A student is given a set of items and asked to order them. As suggested in the project ideas, this would be implemented with drag and drop with a version like the current matching question as a fallback. To accommodate different kinds of ordering activities (jumbled sentences, create a timeline), the teacher could specify whether the items were to be ordered horizontally or vertically. Grading options could be available as in existing systems: equally weighted, all or nothing, right minus wrong.
Image Click Questions
The student is given a prompt and responsed by clicking on a certain area of an image. To make the question, the teacher would upload the image and identify the area within the image that counts as the correct area for the answer. A javascript student interface could allow the student to move a bullseye around the image before clicking submit or a simpler version could be handled with a input form image.

Question Types to Modify and Extend

Cloze Questions
Cloze questions have been implemented, but the teacher is required to use an unwieldy syntax to specify the possible answers and feedback. To make this quiz easier for teachers to use, the question editing interface could include small pop-up windows where the teacher could enter the possible answers, feedback, and scores for each type of blank. The pop-up windows would be similar to the link creation dialog windows used by the htmlArea editor in Moodle.
  • Option: create cloze questions from existing questions as in clozejr

Matching questions are also already implemented, but the options appear more like multiple choice cloze questions. The matching possibilities are not reduced as the student works on the question, so the student can match the same answer with all three targets. It would be useful to make the matching question a drag and drop exercise where each answer is only allowed to match with one target. Initially, this question type would be developed for text targets and answers since there is an existing plugin for drag and drop questions with images. Working only with text has the advantage that the teacher interface would remain the same.
Multiple Select
Multiple choice questions allow the teacher to use multiple select, but because each choice is graded independently, there is no way to only give credit for choosing one correct set of answers. The multiple choice question could be updated or a new multiple select question type could be created in order to have extra grading options that make sense for multiple select. A simple set of grading options could be similar to those used by existing systems: all or nothing, right answers, right minus wrong.
File Response
The student uploads a file as an answer to a quiz question. Creating this type of question would have the lowest priority since it is already possible for students to upload files as an activity, but it could be useful in cases where a student demonstrates a skill by creating or modifying a file in an external program and uploads the result as part of a quiz. There would be no automatic grading for this type of question. (Implementing this question type will solve [ MDL-8075] and possibly [ MDL-8229])
Likert / Opinion Scale (no longer planned)
Likert/opinion scale questions could be useful in gathering student opinions about various topics. Moodle is already using Likert/opinion scale questions in its surveys, so it should not be difficult to adapt this type as a quiz question type. This question type would not need automatic grading. (Other CMSes have this as a quiz question type, but it does not make sense in terms of assessment as a quiz question type and it is already available as part of the Questionnaire module.)

Other Ideas for New Quiz Question Types

  • A question as a series of clues with higher scores when answered correctly with fewer clues.
  • A fill-in-the-blank table, particularly for grammar studies. What I would like is to create a paradigm table, with options for them to use to fill in the table.

Other Quiz/Question Issues

Database structures

Core functions

Interface mockups

File Response

The file response question allows a student to upload a file and optionally have an essay field to submit text to accompany the file.

Teacher Interface

The question creation interface is the same as the essay question with an additional field to specify the maximum upload size.

The grading interface is also similar to the essay question.

screenshot of file response question grading page

Student Interface

The file response question at the start and after a file has been uploaded.

screenshot of file response question
screenshot of file response question with submitted file

Ordering Question

The ordering question is adapted from the matching question. Currently the grading is still similar to the ordering question. Each item is graded individually based on an absolute position in the list and each item is weighted equally. Duplicate items are equivalent for grading purposes (like duplicate answers in matching questions). More grading options will be added in the future.

Teacher Interface

The teacher interface is similar to the matching question except there are no answer fields.

screenshot of ordering editing page

Student Interface

Drag and drop

  • Horizontal ordering
This is only useful for a small number of short items.
screenshot of horizontal ordering preview
  • Vertical ordering
The initial version of the question.
screenshot of vertical ordering
The question after a submission.
screenshot of submitted vertical ordering
After the final submission of the question.
screenshot of finished vertical ordering
In the case of negative scores for incorrect answers, students may wish not to respond at all to the question. It is equivalent to not selecting any responses in the fallback version.
screenshot of vertical ordering with no response submitted


The fallback looks like the matching question, but the grading is not quite the same. To make the grading equivalent to the drag-and-drop version, where two items cannot possibly be in the same position in the list, each position only counts the first time it is used as a response. The position 1 has already been used for "f", so the second occurrence of 1 is counted as incorrect even though the correct position for "d" is 1.
screenshot of fallback


The drag-and-drop question is adapted from the existing matching question. The teacher editing interface and the grading have not been modified. The fallback looks identical to the original matching question.

Student Interface

The initial appearance of the drag-and-drop version of the matching question. To allow answers to be used multiple times, dragging an answer from the list on the right to a target puts a copy of the answer in the target. The current answer for a question can be changed by dragging the answer off the target or by dropping another answer on the target.
screenshot of drag-and-drop matching question
The current drop target is highlighted.
screenshot of drag-and-drop target highlighting for matching question
On final submission, the feedback looks similar to original matching question.
screenshot of finished matching submission

Image Target

The image target question asks students to select a particular area of an image. The javascript version has a draggable bull's eye that the student drags onto the image. The non-javascript version has the student click on the image to submit a response. (The non-javascript version is not ideal. I would recommend using the javascript version if at all possible, but if you need to use the non-javascript version, please read the README carefully.)

Teacher Interface

The teacher interface allows teachers to select an image and select an area within the image.
screenshot of editing image click question

Student Interface

The initial appearance of the question.
screenshot of initial image click question
The appearance after submission.
screenshot of submitted image click question


The initial appearance of the non-javascript version of the question. There is no submit button because clicking on the image submits the answer. The fallback has several drawbacks:
  1. in adaptive mode, the grading only works correctly if it is the only question on a page
  2. the feedback is displayed, but the student's response is not displayed back to him/her
screenshot of submitted image click question

Tasks and Timeline

  • June 11, 2007
    • File response question
  • June 18, 2007
    • File response question
  • June 25, 2007
    • Basic ordering question type separate from matching
  • July 2, 2007
    • Drag-and-drop extension to ordering question
  • July 9, 2007
    • Drag-and-drop extension to ordering question
  • July 16, 2007
    • Drag-and-drop extension to ordering question
  • July 23, 2007
    • Drag-and-drop extension to matching question
  • July 30, 2007
    • Drag-and-drop extension to matching question
  • August 6, 2007
    • Image click question
  • August 13, 2007
    • Image click question
  • August 20, 2007
    • Negative scoring in non-adaptive mode OR
    • Cloze question
  • August 27, 2007
    • Update question type plugin HOWTO

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