What is it?

In Moodle there are a number of quiz and test options which you may wish to utilise.

Although these require upfront investment of time and planning, marking can be automated and the questions can be re-used. The nature of computer based assessment not only saves time spent marking because this is automated, but it also enables students to receive immediate feedback (if enabled) and provides a clear overview of gaps in knowledge, which helps steer future sessions.

How might I use it?

You may wish to test your students on a formative assessment basis before a lecture to establish how much of the required reading has been understood, or after a lecture to gain an understanding of knowledge retention and application. Quizzes also provide an additional option for summative assessment. Such summative assessment has potential to differ from traditional, paper delivered assessment but of course, there are the standard exam conditions to consider (invigilation, spaces between seats etc.) and it would require the attention of the TEL team.

Benefits of using Moodle Quizzes overlap with other e-assessment practices:

  • Closing the feedback loop - manual marking of problem sheets takes time, decreasing the impact of feedback and adding to academic workload. Furthermore, by the time students have received feedback, they will have moved onto the something else and have little opportunity to act on the feedback. E-assessment leads to instant feedback and gives students the opportunity to act on the feedback and re-attempt a similar problem.
  • Pre-assessment - to support students with varying experiences and abilities, e-assessment can be used to diagnose and improve their proficiency, then signpost students to additional support so they can access the course effectively.
  • Flipped Learning - the opportunity for students to practice a question and receive feedback before a meeting can increase participation and make sure everyone is starting on similar footing.
  • Supporting Remote Learners - e-assessment gives students off campus (e.g. on placement, distance learners, out of term time) access to assessment as learning and feedback.
  • Quizzes enable structured tools for formative assessment, with the potential to provide instant feedback where required. They offer more diversity than a standard essay based question, and can provide more frequent testing to benchmark knowledge.
  • The gradebook view facilitates an easy review of the responses and common areas of excellence / gaps in knowledge.
  • The ability to see which students have engaged with the assessment
  • Whilst Moodle Quizzes have been used for summative assessment, it is difficult to lock down the browser to provide a strict closed-book experience
  • Equations cannot realistically be marked automatically due to the variable nature of a correct entry

How do staff and students use it effectively?

Decide why you're using quizzes.

If you build the quizzes to hone into particular segments of knowledge rather than keeping questions generic, you will find that you are able to extract much more useful data around student performance and understanding. If you choose to offer students broader questions (essay or short answer based, for example), then you will need to trade off the quick analysis you would get with mutiple choice based questions.

  • Question construction

When using multiple choice, try not to use any 'easy guess' questions as this isn't of much value when it comes to testing understanding

Try to use questions which explore application of knowledge, rather than memory recall. Testing application of questions will prepare them for similar questions from a different perspetive, or enable them to write more comprehensive responses in an essay based scenario

  • Testing

Test your questions. It is easy to miss spelling mistakes or incorrectly typed questions (or indeed, answers). Thorough testing beforehand will prevent both you and your students from becoming flustered by incorrect questions and/or automated marking

  • Reports

Quiz reports can help with learning analytics. To access these, navigate to the quiz and on the left hand side, you will see a 'Results option'. Expand this by clicking on the drop down arrow and choose from the selection presented.

  • Tagging

Don't forget to tag your questions appropriately. This will help you if you wish to re-use questions because you can filter by tag. There is a tagging section at the end of each question in the question creation tool

  • Shuffling

It is possible to shuffle answers within a question, or shuffle questions from the question bank.

  • Shuffling answers within a question:

This may be beneficial where the questions need to be answered in a particular order, but to deter collusion the responses should be display in a randomised order.

The option to shuffle answers within questions can be located in the Quiz Settings when you first set up the quiz

  • Shuffling questions from the question bank

To provide each student with a different quiz, you may wish to randomise questions pulled through from the question bank.

This option is presented when you opt to add a question. Choose to add 'a random question'.

  • Categorisation.

Placing your questions into categories will help when you come to re-use a question set. You can also share questions between courses, and between teachers by exporting categories and importing them into the course where they are required. You can compile a quiz where you add for example, 3 questions from category A, 3 questions from category B and 3 questions from category C. These can be at random so students receive an individual set of questions.

There will be the option to add from an existing category, or add using a new category. Invariably, you will require the first option.

Select the category you would like the questions to come from. This is particularly useful if you have grouped your question bank categories by topic and wish to pull through 3 questions per topic.

Case study

Further reading

You may find these resources useful: