Moodle 1.9 Testing and Assessment: Multiple Choice Quizzes

6 min read


Moodle 1.9 Testing and Assessment

Moodle 1.9 Testing and Assessment

Develop and evaluate quizzes and tests using Moodle modules

  • Create and evaluate interesting and interactive tests using a variety of Moodle modules
  • Create simple vocabulary or flash card tests and complex tests by setting up a Lesson module
  • Motivate your students to excel through feedback and by keeping their grades online
  • A well-structured practical guide packed with illustrative examples and screenshots


        Read more about this book      

(For more resources on Moodle 1.9, see here.)

Getting started

We need to get to the Question bank and Question Editing pages. One quick way to do this is through the Course Admin Menu. There is a link titled Questions, which will bring you to the correct place.

The first thing we need to do is name the quiz. We are going to call this one Multiple Choice Quiz. For the introduction, we are just going to write the purpose of this quiz to teach you a few things about this item type. Once we click on the Save and Display button, we will see the Question bank.

Notice the questions from the True/False quiz? They are there because the category they are associated with is Course. If I want to get rid of them so that they don’t interfere with anything new I am doing, I have a few options.

Categories and contexts

There are four default categories: System, Miscellaneous, Course, and Activity. The categories act like folders or directories, allowing the questions to be accessed at different levels or hierarchies. They are set up in what are known as contexts. Each context has its own question hierarchies, with the highest context being the Core System, moving down to Course Category, Course, and Activity. What this means is that you can select the context in which you can share your questions. By selecting the System option from the menu, any questions that have been created at this level will be available in all courses and for any quiz you have created on the site.

Miscellaneous/Course Category

The next level below System to store questions is Miscellaneous, like the Course Category. This category is where all the courses you are enrolled in are found.

The questions placed in this context are available to all courses and activities in the Course Category.


This is where questions directly related to the course the quiz is being made for are stored.

Course is the default, and most Moodle users find this is a good place for their questions. Placing the items here allows you to create items specific to the course, based on exactly what was covered. It will also only use the questions developed in the course to draw on for random questions. You can also make a subcategory for questions you’d like to draw from. As long as questions are in one category, they can end up in a quiz that randomly draws questions from that category. Creating subcategories for different units in the course makes it easy to keep track of exactly which questions were used. It also helps in organization and administration of courses

The drawback is that the questions are only able to be used in the course. So, looking at the previous graph, the Question bank in Course B would not be able to use anything from Course A. This does not mean we can’t ever use them again; we will just need to export them to wherever we want to use them. We’ll look at this activity later.


Creating items in the quiz Activity itself is also possible. This means that questions being created will only be available for the specific test being made.

The benefit to this is that you are assured that the questions are not available anywhere else, so, for example, if you want your test’s questions to be completely isolated and unable to be used as random items in other formative or summative tests, this area would be a good place to place all the items.

The only real drawback is that the questions you spent all that time working on are limited to a single activity, a single exam.

I don’t have the space here to go into how to use categories and contexts, but it isn’t too hard to figure out. For a detailed and complete overview of how to create and use categories or contexts, check out these links Question_categories/ and

Multiple Choice item creation page

Since composing Multiple Choice items is nearly the same as creating True/False questions, we are going to be working on a few of them now. Once we have the hang of making them, we will look at a few options that we didn’t use in the previous test and see how they work.

Returning to the Question bank, I go to the Create New Question drop-down and select Multiple Choice. Make sure you have the appropriate category selected.

When the Adding a Multiple Choice question page opens, you will notice that it looks very similar to the True/False question page. That’s because it is. There are a few new options available here, but the page looks basically the same.

In the top section of the page, General, all the same information from True/False, such as item name and description are there. There are also three new options directly under the General feedback> text area.

One or multiple answers

This drop-down option has only two choices. It enables us to either accept only a single response or more than one answer as a response. The two options in the drop-down menu are called One answer only and Multiple answers allowed.

Shuffle the choices

This option takes the possible responses and randomly orders them. This is useful for reducing cheating, and also allows each student to be given a slightly different version of the test.

This option will shuffle only if the Shuffle options for the quiz and the question are both turned on. The default is to shuffle or not based on the settings for the quiz module the Moodle administrator has set. These defaults can be overridden in the Quiz settings or here.

Number the choices

This section allows you to decide on how you want to mark the responses. You have four options: lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers, or nothing.

From here, we scroll down the page and we will see that we are offered five sections, called Choice 1, Choice 2, and others for entering the answers. These choices can be seen in the next screenshot:

Here, we can enter our potential answers, the grade students will get for choosing the particular potential answer, and some feedback based on their response. Under the five answer sections, you have the option to create more choices using a button titled Blanks for 3 More Choices. Clicking on this button will create Choices 6 to 8.

There is no way to get rid of Choices, but it is possible to have fewer responses. If we only want to have three responses available, then all we need to do is fill in the three choices we want.

At the bottom of the page, we see the three feedback boxes: one is for correct responses, one for partially correct responses, and the final one for incorrect responses. As for choices, these can be filled or left empty.


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