Moodle 2 Quizzing Improvements

This is part three of a three part series of Convergence blog posts on Moodle 2 Activities.

UCSF faculty have long taken advantage of online quizzing in the CLE, not just for graded exams like midterms and finals, but also for ungraded activities like self-assessments or practice quizzes. Moodle 2 includes several improvements that make the quizzing activity easier to use for instructors and students alike. This post covers the most compelling improvements: quiz navigation and flagging, overriding quiz settings for a subset of students, and reviewing and grading student responses.

Navigation and Flagging


Some of the biggest improvements to quizzes in Moodle 2 are geared towards students. A new quiz navigation block sits in the corner of the screen and provides several pieces of information to a student during their quiz attempt. Using this new feature, a student can:

  • see how many questions are in the quiz (in the above example, 7 questions)
  • determine which questions they have answered (gray background) or not answered (white background)
  • determine which questions they previously flagged for later review (small red triangle at the top of box 2), and click to jump to that question.
  • monitor how much time is left in the quiz in an unobtrusive way (under certain circumstances, the Moodle 1.9 time clock could block a student’s view of quiz content).
  • click the “Finish attempt” link to review their progress and submit the quiz.

These improvements should help prevent confusion during what is already a stressful time for many students.

Overriding Settings


Faculty members who needed to provide accommodations to students on quizzes in Moodle 1.9 knew that the process for doing so was cumbersome at best. In Moodle 2, an instructor can make exceptions to a number of quiz settings for an individual or group or students. For example, if the time limit for a quiz is 30 minutes, a student who needs time-and-a-half can be given a 45 minute time limit (as shown in the image above). This can be done quickly, easily, and securely, without having to create duplicate copies of a quiz. Other overrides an instructor can make in this way include the start or end date of a quiz, the number of attempts an individual student can make, or the password that student can use to access the quiz.

Reviewing and Grading Student Responses

Reviewing student quiz responses in a table format.

Moodle’s quiz activity provides a number of different question types, including multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions. Many of these question types can be automatically graded by the system because there are distinctly correct and incorrect answers to each question. Essay responses, though, must be graded manually by a person.

Moodle 1.9 provided instructors with the ability to download grade information for individual students in a quiz (i.e. how many points they earned on each question), but not the actual text of the responses. The only way to see these responses was to be logged into the system, and to click into each student’s attempt one at a time. Moodle 2 now allows instructors to view a table containing the text of the questions as well as the actual responses entered by a student or selected students — but also to download this table to an Excel spreadsheet for offline access or storage. This should make it much easier and more convenient for instructors to grade essay questions, sort student quiz results based on their response to a particular question, and also keep a backup copy of results offline for future review.

Ready to get started in Moodle 2?

Faculty who are interested in taking advantage of the new quizzing improvements can begin teaching their courses in Moodle 2 as early as the Spring term. For information about joining the Moodle 2 Pilot, contact the Learning Technologies Group. We’ll be happy to meet with you, review the contents of your existing courses, and discuss the migration services the LTG can provide.

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