Listening Activities in Moodle 1.9: Part 2

5 min read

Activity 3: Investigating texts using Quiz

Aim: Using quiz to investigate texts

Moodle modules: Quiz

Extra programs: None

Ease of setup: ***

As noted elsewhere, Quiz can be a useful module for practicing different language skills. This is primarily because we can build in helpful feedback and because we can allow students to spend as much time as they want practicing.

There are various ways that Quiz can help students listen. Here are some examples:

  • Listening and matching: students listen for gist information and match answers to general questions about the text.
  • Ordering task for arranging events in a sequence.
  • Multiple-choice for information transfer, identifying speakers’ attitudes, and identifying numbers.
  • Gap-fill tasks: Students listen to a song, poem, or other text, and fill in the missing words. It’s worth thinking carefully about what sorts of words you want to blank out. Do you want to focus on grammar words (prepositions, pronouns, and conjunctions, etc.), words that are difficult to spell, or keywords (words that convey the main meaning of the text)?

To exemplify each of these examples, we’ll make one quiz with four different question types. You could choose to have quizzes with any number of different question types. We’ll take as our listening text a story which we recorded ourselves. We could record it in a recording program like Audacity. The story is about a rather special trip to the zoo.

Here is a possible transcript abridged from

One day an out of work mime artist is visiting the zoo and attempts to earn some money as a street performer monkey. As soon as he starts to draw a crowd, a zoo keeper grabs him and drags him into his office. The zoo keeper explains to the mime artist that the zoo’s most popular attraction, a gorilla, has died suddenly and the keeper fears that attendance at the zoo will fall off.

He offers the mime artist a job to dress up as the gorilla until they can get another one. The mime artist accepts.

So the next morning the mime artist puts on the gorilla suit and enters the cage before the crowd comes. He discovers that it’s a great job. He can sleep all he wants, play and make fun of people and he draws bigger crowds than he ever did as a mime. However, eventually the crowds tire of him and he tires of just swinging on trees. He begins to notice that the people are paying more attention to the lion in the cage next to his. Not wanting to lose the attention of his audience, he climbs to the top of his cage, crawls across a partition, and dangles from the top to the lion’s cage. Of course, this makes the lion furious, but the crowd loves it.

At the end of the day the zoo keeper comes and gives the mime artist a raise for being such a good attraction. Well, this goes on for some time, the mime keeps taunting the lion, the crowds grow larger, and his salary keeps going up. Then one terrible day when he is dangling over the furious lion he slips and falls. The mime artist is terrified.

The lion gathers itself and prepares to pounce. The mime artist is so scared that he begins to run round and round the cage with the lion close behind. Finally, the mime artist starts screaming and yelling, “Help me, help me!”, but the lion is quick and pounces. The mime artist soon finds himself flat on his back looking up at the angry lion and the lion says, “Shut up you idiot! Do you want to get us both fired?”

The questions start with general gist questions (matching). Then comes an ordering question, which requires slightly more attention to detail. The last two are multiple-choice and gap-fill questions, which get students to focus on detailed aspects of the listening text.

Here’s how to do it

The following sections refer you to the activities and point out any major differences.

Setting up the quiz

Listening and matching question

Use NanoGong to create sound clips which replace pictures and texts.

Here are some examples of the matching questions you could set up. These are general questions which help students get the gist of the story.



How many animals are there in the story?.


Where does this take place?

The zoo

Where does the zoo keeper find the mime artist?

On the street

How many animals are there in the cages?


This is what your matching question might look like:

Listening Activities in Moodle 1.9: Part 2

Here are a few more matching questions you could consider:

  • Match recordings to pictures. Students could hear a description of an image (painting, photo) and identify the description. The easiest way to do this would be to take some photos of similar scenes.
  • Match individual words to sounds. Students hear the recording and decide which words they are hearing.



A. “I hear you’re coming”


B.”It’s over here”




Ordering question

In this variation students listen to a story and then order events in sequence.

We need to make sure that the sequence is not guessable without hearing the story. Here are the stages from our story that you could include in the question:

  1. The zookeeper grabs the mime artist.
  2. The zookeeper offers the mime artist a job.
  3. The gorilla lies on top of the neighboring cage.
  4. The lion tries to attack the gorilla.
  5. The lion tells the gorilla off.

This is what the ordering question would look like:

Listening Activities in Moodle 1.9: Part 2

Multiple-choice question

Multiple-choice questions are a good way of getting students to investigate texts in more detail.

Here are some possible questions we could include in this activity.

Question 1

According to the story, why does the mime artist accept a job as a gorilla?

Answer 1

His work on the street isn’t going well.

Answer 2

The zookeeper has an urgent need for a gorilla.

Answer 3

He always wanted to work as a gorilla in a zoo.

Answer 4

The last gorilla quit the job.


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