What is the Quiz activity?

Please First Read our Quick Guide to the Dos and Don’ts of Online Assessment During COVID-19 Disruption

The Quiz is a powerful activity that can meet many teaching needs, from simple, multiple-choice knowledge tests to complex, self-assessment tasks with detailed feedback. This quick guide is designed to get you started with using it simply and does not necessarily reflect our usual advice on online learning.

It’s important to understand that incorrect setup of the Quiz can lead to student quiz attempts being lost. Consequently, we recommend that you stick with the default settings where possible and seek our advice if you are unsure of something. You may also wish to study the full Quiz activity documentation.

Before you start, watch the short video below to familiarise yourself with how the Quiz functions:

Using the Default Settings (RECOMMENDED)

We recommend leaving the quiz on default settings, particularly if you are new to using it. This will help avoid problems arising like finding that you have 300 students who have taken the quiz, only to discover you can’t see or mark their attempts!

If you don’t change anything on the quiz setup page (the ‘front cover’), then your quiz will function like this:

  • It will not have a time limit and students can take it as many times as they wish, with the recorded grade being their best attempt.
  • Each question will be on a different page and they can move freely between previous and later questions.
  • Students won’t know their score or get feedback until they complete the quiz.

If you need to change any of the quiz settings, they are detailed below. If you are intending to use a quiz for assessment purposes, we strongly recommend you ask us to check your settings via TEL@bath.ac.uk.

You MUST notify us about your quiz using the attached form giving at least 7 working days’ notice

  • A quiz is made up of two parts: (1) a set up page or ‘front cover’ where you add the criteria for the quiz, such as grading and time limits, and (2) the questions themselves.
  • The questions are stored separately from your quiz in a course Question bank. This means you can reuse your questions in a later quiz. It also means you could display an empty quiz (a ‘front cover’ with no questions added) on your course page, so be careful!
  • You may prefer to make your quiz questions then add them to a quiz ‘front cover’ later. To do so see the documentation on Question bank or just read on below.

  • In the course where you want your quiz, turn on the editing and from the Activity Chooser, select ‘Quiz’.
  • Give it a name and if desired, a description telling students what the quiz is about.
  • You can now scroll down to the bottom of the page, click ‘Save and display’ and start adding questions. (Go to the section ‘Add your questions’ below.)

  1. Click the button ‘Edit quiz’
  2. Click ‘Add’ on the right and then click ‘+ a new question’. (If you already made questions in the question bank, then click ‘+ from question bank’ or if you wish to add a question randomly picked from a category of questions, click ‘+ a random question’).
  3. Choose the type of question you want to add and then click ‘Add’ at the bottom:
  4. Add your question. If you need help, click the documentation link at the bottom of your question page or explore the Question types documentation. Note that students won’t see the question name; it is for your records only.
  5. Click ‘Save changes’ when you have made your question.
  6. Repeat steps 2- 5 for as many questions as you need.
  7. If you want to,change the maximum grade for your quiz to reflect the number of questions.

Time Limits

In order to minimise the risk of students encountering technical problems when taking a Quiz, if using a time limit, you will need to allow students to access the quiz during a set ‘window’. This could be 24 or 48 hours etc as appropriate. However, you may also wish to limit the time that students are given to actually take the Quiz.

Note: If using a time limit it is ESSENTIAL that you set the ‘When time expires‘ setting to ‘Open attempts are submitted automatically‘. 

Timing settings for an example scenario are shown below. The settings are configured for a 48 hour quiz window, where students have 90 minutes to take the Quiz. They can begin the Quiz at any time during the 48 hour window.
Quiz timings image

Please note if the Quiz should take around 60 minutes to complete, we recommend that you add, for example, 30 mins extra time to the Time Limit to account for any potential problems students may have with network or internet connections when taking the quiz. 

Yes. In order to have the expected 60 minutes to complete the quiz, students must begin the quiz at least 60 minutes before the end of the quiz window. The closure of the quiz window will cut off any in-progress attempts in accordance with the behaviour specified for open attempts.

To add extra time for a DAPS student:

Click on the link to the Quiz, then from the pink cog icon towards the top right of the screen choose ‘User Overrides’

Screenshot of Quiz options menu showing location of 'User Overrides'
Screenshot of Quiz options menu showing location of ‘User Overrides’

Click on the green ‘Add User Override’ button. On the next page, search for the student’s name, click on them, then add the extra time as necessary. When you are happy, if you need to add an override for another user choose ‘Save and add another override’ or, if you have finished adding overrides, click ‘Save’

Screenshot of User Override settings page
Screenshot of User Override settings page

  • Once you have added all the questions you need, your quiz is ready for students and will already be visible on the page (unless you hid it while you were setting it up.)
  • It is a good idea to preview your quiz by clicking in the block Administration > Quiz administration > Preview. (1 below) You can then check for any oversights and edit a question directly from a link provided (2 below):

This is expected functionality, grades will only be displayed upon completion of the the quiz, or if previewed while the quiz is ‘live’.

To view the results once students have taken the quiz, you can either:

  • Click the quiz itself and then the link Attempts = (where the number is the number of attempts) – or –
  • Click the quiz and then from the Administration block choose Quiz administration, expand Results and select the analysis you need.

Advanced Quiz Setup FAQ

Due to the number and complexity of quiz settings, not everything is covered below. For full descriptions, please see the Moodle documentation linked at the bottom of the page.

Key Quiz Settings

  • Time limit – if you only want to allow students a limited amount of time from when they start until they must have finished. If, instead you want students to finish by a certain date and time, set the Close the quiz setting.
  • How questions behave -Interactive with multiple tries -instead of the quiz being like a test where students only see their results at the end, this setting allows them to get immediate feedback for each question and keep trying. (Good for formative assessment.) Learn more about Question behaviours.
  • Overall feedback -completing this will give your students customised feedback according to what grade range they obtained.

Open the Timings setting to adjust them:
Open the quiz
You can specify times when the quiz is accessible for people to make attempts. Before the opening time the quiz will be unavailable to students. They will be able to view the quiz introduction but will not be able to view the questions. Quizzes with start times in the future display both the open and close date for students.
Close the quiz
After the closing time, the students will not be able to start new attempts. Answers that the student submits after the quiz closing date will be saved but they will not be marked.
Even after the quiz has closed students will still be able to see the quiz description and review their attempts. What exactly they will see depends on the settings you choose for review options (see below).
Time limit
By default, quizzes do not have a time limit, which allows students as much time as they need to complete the quiz. If you do specify a time limit, several things are done to try and ensure that quizzes are completed within that time:
  1. A countdown timer is shown in the quiz navigation block
  2. When the timer has run out, the quiz is submitted automatically with whatever answers have been filled in so far
  3. If a student manages to cheat and goes over the allotted time, no marks are awarded for any answers entered after the time ran out
    quiz_timer image

When time expires:

There are three options as to what will happen when the time limit is up. Choose the one you need from the dropdown menu:

  1. Open attempts are submitted automatically (This is the default, and safest option).
  2. There is a grace period when open attempts can be submitted, but no more questions answered
  3. Attempts must be submitted before time expires, or they are not counted (We strongly recommend you DO NOT use this setting).

If you select There is a grace period… then you can check the box to enable the Submission grace period and specify a period of time during which learners may still submit the quiz after the time is up.

  • Note: You can change quiz availability and duration for different groups or users in the Group or User override sections in the Quiz Administration settings block.

Grade category
If you have specified categories in your Gradebook, select the one you wish the quiz to be in.

Attempts allowed
Specify the numbers of attempts you wish to allow students to have. Allowing multiple attempts can increase the value of the quiz for formative assessment.
  • Note: You can change the allowed number of attempts for different groups or users in the Group or User override sections of the Quiz Administration settings block.

Grade to pass
Here you can set a passing grade for the quiz. This may be connected with Activity completion and Conditional activities such that a student will not be able to access a follow up activity until they have passed the quiz.

Grading method
When multiple attempts are allowed, there are different ways you can use the grades to calculate the student’s final grade for the quiz.
    • Highest grade – the final grade is the highest (best) grade in any attempt
    • Average grade – the final grade is the average (simple mean) grade of all attempts
    • First grade – the final grade is the grade earned on the first attempt (other attempts are ignored)
    • Last grade – the final grade is the grade earned on the most recent attempt only

New page
For longer quizzes it is wise to limit the number of questions per page. (Moodle saves students progress when they submit questions, so one question per page is ideal, and essential if you are using the quiz for summative assessment).
When adding questions to the quiz, page breaks will automatically be inserted according to the setting you choose here. However, you will also be able to move page breaks around by hand later on the editing page.
(Note that changing this setting has no effect on questions you have already added to the quiz. The setting will only apply to questions you add subsequently).
To change the page breaks in an existing quiz, you need to go to the quiz editing screen, tick the ‘Show page breaks’ checkbox, then use the repaginate control.
  • If you have many questions that use many high definition images and the server suffers performance issues, showing only one question per page is easier on the server that showing many (or all) questions in one page.
Navigation method (available by clicking Show More)
  • Choose Sequential instead of Free, if you want to force the student to progress through the questions in order and not go back to a previous question or skip to a later one.

How questions behave
This is the primary way to control how students can interact with each question.
For immediate feedback on their response, with a chance to try again, if they get it wrong, then select ‘Interactive with mulitple tries’ (and add some hints to your questions).
To replicate a traditional exam, select ‘Deferred feedback’.
For a description of all the behaviours, see Question behaviours.
Allow redo within an attempt (available by clicking “Show more”)
If using Interactive or Immediate feedback mode, enabling this setting means students can try a question again even if they have used up their allowed attempts. (This may help them act on the feedback given at the end of the attempts).
Each attempt builds on the last (available by clicking “Show more”)
If multiple attempts are allowed and this setting is set to Yes, then each new attempt contains the results of the previous attempt. (This allows students to concentrate on the questions they got wrong).
To show a fresh quiz on every attempt, select No for this setting.

This section controls what information students will be shown when they review their past attempts at the quiz, and during the attempt in adaptive mode. It is a matrix with check boxes.

The various pieces of information that can be controlled are:

The attempt
Will show how the student responded to each question.
Whether correct
Displays whether the students response to each question is correct or incorrect.
Reveals the marks awarded to the student and the grade for the quiz.
Specific feedback
Will show the feedback for the response to the answer as set when adding the question to the quiz. Each response to a question can have feedback for both correct and incorrect answers.
General feedback
Displays the general feedback for the whole question as set when adding the question to the quiz. You can use the general feedback to give students some background to what knowledge the question was testing.
Right answer
Reveals the correct answer to each question, whether the student answered correctly or not (See note below).
Overall feedback
Displays feedback for the entire quiz as set in the quiz settings (See note below).

For each of the above items, you can determine the timeframe when the students will see them:

During the attempt
is only available when ‘How questions behave’ has been set to ‘Immediate feedback’‘Immediate feedback with CBM’ and ‘Interactive with multiple tries’. If set to one of these options then a ‘Check’ button will appear below the answer and when clicked the student will submit that response and then receive immediate feedback.
Immediately after the attempt 
means within 2 minutes of the student clicking “submit all and finish”.
Later, while the quiz is still open
means after 2 minutes, but before the close date (if the quiz does not have a close date, this phase never ends).
After the quiz is closed
means what it says (you never get here for quizzes without a close date).
Tip: Checking any of the boxes in the timeframe row, will reveal the test to the student. For example, to allow students to see their quiz immediately after taking it but not later, make sure none of the boxes in “Later” or “After” rows are checked. The student will be able to see their grade but not get into the quiz.

(Note: There are inconsistencies between the Answers display across question types. E.g. the matching question type shows students which of their responses are correct, but does not tell them the right answer for the ones they got wrong. The short answer and multiple choice question types do give students the correct answer).

(Note: As a Moodle Teacher, you are not affected by these settings and will always be able to review all information about a student’s attempt at any time).

In your list of review options, you must have ‘The attempt’ (the first option in the lists) selected before you can enable the options to show ‘Whether correct’, ‘Specific feedback’, ‘General feedback’, and ‘Right answer’. If you choose not to let the students review the attempt, your only options are to display ‘Marks’ and ‘Overall feedback’.

Show the user’s picture
To assist with checking student identities, student’s profile pictures can be displayed on screen during the quiz.
Decimal places in grades
This option determines how many digits will be shown after the decimal separator (see langconfig ) when the grade is displayed. A setting of 0 for example means that the grades are displayed as integers.
(Note: This setting is only used for the display of grades, not for the display or marking of answers).

Require password
If you specify a password in here then participants must enter the same password before they are allowed to make an attempt on the quiz.
Require network address
You can restrict access for a quiz to particular subnets on the LAN or Internet by specifying a comma-separated list of partial or full IP address numbers.
This can be for an invigilated quiz, where you want to be sure that only people in the exam room are able to access the quiz.
There are three types of numbers you can use (you can not use text based domain names like example.com)
Enforced delay between attempts
This setting allows delays between attempts to be specified. For example, a student may be allowed to take the quiz twice immediately with no delay, but if they want to improve their score with a third attempt, they are forced to wait a week.
Browser security
The options in this section offer various ways to try to restrict how students may try to ‘cheat’ while attempting a quiz. However, this is a complex issue and not just a problem of technology. Consequently it may not necessarily be best solved by technical solutions. We would not recommend trying to re-create formal exams on Moodle. Design of assessments may need to change for online delivery, and the TEL team can assist you with the design process.

Overall feedback is shown to a student after they have completed an attempt at the quiz. The text shown can depend on the grade the student got. Click Show editing tools to display the editor, and drag the bottom right of the text box out to expand it.

For example, if you entered:

Grade boundary: 100%
Feedback: “Well done”
Grade boundary: 40%
Feedback: “Please study this week’s work again”
Grade boundary: 0%
  • Students who score between 100% and 40% will see the “Well done” feedback.
  • Students who score between 39.99% and 0% will see “Please study this week’s work again”.

Grade boundaries can be specified either as a percentage, for example “31.41%”, or as a number, for example “7”. If your quiz is out of 10 marks, a grade boundary of 7 means 7/10 or better.

Note: that the maximum and minimum grade boundaries (100% and 0%) are set automatically.

Note: If you’re getting confusing error messages about a boundary being out of sequence (when it’s obviously *in* sequence), or “boundaries must be between 0% and 100%” (and they are) — check that the Maximum Grade for this quiz is set to something greater than zero.

Quizzes can’t be re-used once they have been run, however you can re-use the same set of questions by duplicating the quiz. This will create a copy without any user data, so there will be no record of any previous attempts.

To duplicate a quiz, with Editing turned on on, click on the edit button beside the link to the quiz and choose ‘duplicate’.

To copy a quiz from on course to another, you can use Moodle’s Import function. You will need Teacher access to both courses to make the import.

Prior to making the import, it is a good idea to check that the quiz only contains questions from its own Question bank, rather than from a course-wide Question bank. If the quiz contains questions from a coursewide Question bank, the entire question bank will be imported into the target course.

Shuffling and Question Randomisation

You can shuffle the order the different questions are displayed in. You can also shuffle the order the options are listed in for a given question with options (e.g. multiple choice). Question randomisation allows you to assign a random subset of questions to students.

To shuffle all questions in a quiz, go to the “Edit Quiz” screen and select the “Shuffle” checkbox: see the example below. Please note this will shuffle all questions including those arranged in pages (i.e. questions on the same page will be split). In the example below the order could be {A,F,B,E,C,D} meaning that question B and C are split (they were previously on the same page).

Moodle Screenshot of the Edit Quiz pane, with shuffle question highlighted

It is possible to create sections, where questions in that section only are shuffled together by creating Section Headings in a quiz (follow the step-by-step picture instructions for creating Sections).

In the example below, Section 1 will contain questions {A,B,C} shuffled together (note that shuffling overrides pages, we could have questions C,A,B), followed by Section 2 with questions {D,E,F} in a shuffled order. Note it is not possible to shuffle the Sections, i.e. Section 1 will always appear first.

Moodle screenshot showing Section 1 (containing three questions) with an annotated border and the shuffle box ticked, and the same for repeated below (Section 2 (containing three questions) with an annotated border and the shuffle box ticked).

By using sections, it is possible to create parts of the test where the question order is shuffled and also sections where the questions appears in the specified order.

This assumes you have either

  1. a large question bank that you want students to sample from (in which case you should ensure question are of comparable difficulty)
  2. you have a question with a set of related variations.

In both cases you should setup manage the questions with either Tags or Categories in the question bank (this allows you to filter similar questions for selection). To add a random question follow the guidance.

For questions where the answer choices are listed (like multiple choice, matching questions) it is possible to shuffle the displayed list of choices within the question. This is enabled by default when creating a Moodle question and quiz. For example, this prevents the answer to question 1 always being b) the second choice and creates a barrier for students sharing answers easily.

To enable question choice shuffling in the quiz, in the Quiz Settings under Question Behaviour you must select Shuffle within Questions.

It is also possible to locally override choice shuffling for a question even if choice shuffling is enabled in a quiz. For example, you have a question with a series of choices ranked from lowest-biggest: shuffling the order would make the question cognitively harder without increasing the difficulty of the material so you would like to keep the order of choices unshuffled. To do this edit the question and under General settings, uncheck Shuffle the Choices?


To remark a Quiz question in Moodle:

  • Go to the Quiz > Settings cog > Results: Responses. This displays all students and responses (and indicates correct/incorrect)

  • Click on the link that indicates a student’s question attempt. This will open a pop-up window where you can scroll down and “Make Comment or override mark” to amend the mark for that question.

  • You will need to edit each of the student question attempts individually to apply the new grade/feedback to all attempts.

The video below shows how to do this: 

To review a quiz attempt:

  • Go to the quiz link and click on it, then click on Attempts  This displays all students and links to the quiz attempts.

  • Click on the link to the student attempt for which you would like to override grades/feedback.

  • The attempt overview will be displayed.

  • To edit the grade/feedback for a question, click on ‘Make Comment or override mark’ for the relevant question.
  • This will open a pop-up window where you can scroll down and “Make Comment or override mark” to amend the mark for that question.

  • Click ‘Save’ then close the pop up window to return to the attempt overview.

  • When you have finished making changes for the student’s attempt, click on Finish Review at the bottom of the page.

Useful Links