For further information including pedagogical advice on Quizzes click here for the Educational Development Unit help page

Adding a new quiz

quizThe Quiz activity module allows the teacher to design and build quizzes consisting of a large variety of Question types, including multiple choices, true-false and short answer questions. These questions are kept in the Question bank and can be re-used in different quizzes.

The teacher can allow the quiz to be attempted multiple times, with the questions shuffled or randomly selected from the question bank. A time limit may be set.

Each attempt is marked automatically, with the exception of essay questions, and the grade is recorded in the gradebook.

The teacher can choose when and if hints, feedback and correct answers are shown to students.
Quizzes may be used

  • As course exams
  • As mini tests for reading assignments or at the end of a topic
  • As exam practice using questions from past exams
  • To deliver immediate feedback about performance
  • For self-assessment
Creating A Quiz

This is the standard name field. This name will appear on the home page of the course, navigation menu and other places which will show or provide links to this quiz.

Describe the purpose of the glossary and provide instructions or background information, links etc. Click the icon top left to expand the toolbars, and drag the bottom right of the text box out to expand it.

Display description on course page
If ticked, the quiz description will appear on the course page directly under the quiz name.



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.

You can make the quiz available at different times for different groups or users in the Group or User override sections of the Quiz Administration settings block.

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. quiz_timerA 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
You can make the quiz available last a different period of time for different groups or users in the Group or User override sections of the Quiz Administration settings block (see below).

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:
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.



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

Attempts allowed
Students may be allowed to have multiple attempts at a quiz. This can help make the process of taking the quiz more of an educational activity rather than simply an assessment. If the quiz is randomized then the student will get a new version for each attempt. This is useful for practice purposes.
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.

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



Question order
If ‘Shuffled randomly’ is selected, then the order of questions in the quiz will be randomly shuffled each time a student starts a new attempt at the quiz. The intention is to make it a little harder for students to copy from each other.

New page
For longer quizzes it makes sense to stretch the quiz over several pages by limiting the number of questions per page. 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.

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’ check box, then use the re paginate control.

Navigation method (available by clicking ‘Show More’)
By choosing Sequential instead of Free, the teacher is forcing the student to progress through the questions in order without being able to go back to a previous question or skip to a later one.


Question Behaviour

Shuffle within questions
If set to ‘yes’, then each time the student takes a quiz the parts of the question will be shuffled randomly.

How questions behave

  • Deferred feedback – Students must enter an answer to each question and then submit the entire quiz, before anything is graded or they get any feedback.
  • Adaptive mode and Adaptive mode (no penalties) – Allows students to have multiple attempts at the question before moving on to the next question. This behavior requires that the “Whether correct” box is ticked under “During the attempt” in the “Review options” section, at a minimum.
  • Interactive mode – After submitting one answer, and reading the feedback, the student has to click a ‘Try again’ button before they can try a new response. Once the student has got the question right, they can no longer change their response. Once the student has got the question wrong too many times, they are just graded wrong (or partially correct) and get shown the feedback and can no longer change their answer. The number of possible tries is governed by the “Hints” subsection of the “Multiple tries” section of each item’s settings. The number of possible tries is the number of hints, plus one.
    • There can be different feedback after each try the student makes.
    • The question can adapt itself to the student’s answer, for example by giving some hints before asking the student to try again.
  • Immediate feedback – Similar to interactive mode in that the student can submit their response immediately during the quiz attempt, and get it graded. However, they can only submit one response, they cannot change it later.
  • Deferred feedback or Immediate feedback with Certainty-based marking (CBM) – With CBM, the student does not only answer the question, but they also indicate how sure they are they got the question right. The grading is adjusted by the choice of certainty, so that students have to reflect honestly on their own level of knowledge in order to get the best mark. See the See Also section below for an example quiz using CBM and a blog post explaining the philosophy.
There is also an option “Manual grading” which can be enabled from Administration>Site administration>Plugins>Question behavior This causes all questions in the quiz to require manual grading.


Review options

These options control what information students can see when they review a quiz attempt or look at the quiz reports. During the attempt settings are only relevant for some behaviors, like ‘interactive with multiple tries’, which may display feedback during the attempt.

Immediately after the attempt settings apply for the first two minutes after ‘Submit all and finish’ is clicked. Later, while the quiz is still open settings apply after this, and before the quiz close date. After the quiz is closed settings apply after the quiz close date has passed. If the quiz does not have a close date, this state is never reached.


The attempt
Whether the student can review the attempt at all.

Whether correct
This covers both the textual description ‘Correct’, ‘Partially correct’ or ‘Incorrect’, and any coloured highlighting that conveys the same information.

The numerical marks for each question, and the overall attempt score.

Specific feedback
Feedback that depends on what response the student gave.

General feedback
General feedback is shown to the student after they have completed the question. Unlike specific feedback, which depends on the question type and what response the student gave, the same general feedback text is shown to all students. You can use the general feedback to give students a fully worked answer and perhaps a link to more information they can use if they did not understand the questions.

Right answer
An automatically generated summary of the correct response. This can be limited, so you may wish to consider explaining the correct solution in the general feedback for the question, and turning this option off.

Overall feedback
The feedback given at the end of the attempt, depending on the student’s total mark.

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.
Currently, the Answers display is a bit inconsistent between different question types. For example, 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 choices question types do tell the student what the correct answer is.

Users with the capability ‘View hidden grades’ (typically teachers and administrators) are not affected by these settings and will always by 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
It is now possible, when displaying the user’s profile picture for proctoring purposes, to choose whether a large image or thumbnail will be displayed.

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. This setting is only used for the display of grades, not for the display or marking of answers.


Extra restrictions on attempts

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. This is useful to give only a selected group of students access to 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 is especially useful for a proctored (invigilated) quiz, where you want to be sure that only people in a certain room are able to access the quiz. For example: 192.168. ,,

There are three types of numbers you can use (you can not use text based domain names like example.com):

  1. Full IP addresses, such as which will match a single computer (or proxy).
  2. Partial addresses, such as 192.168 which will match anything starting with those numbers.
  3. CIDR notation, such as which allows you to specify more detailed subnets.

Enforced delay between attempts
You can set a time (from seconds to weeks) between the first and second attempt of a quiz. You can also (or alternatively) set a time from seconds to weeks for subsequent attempts after the second attempt. Thus, you might allow a student 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 and use the time for extra revision.

Browser security
This is by default an advanced field, visible by clicking “Show advanced”.
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 not a simple issue, and what in one situation is considered ‘cheating’ may, in another situation, just be effective use of information technology. (For example, the ability to quickly find answers using a search engine.)

Be aware that this is not just at problem of technology with a technical solution. Cheating has been going on since long before computers, and while computers make certain actions, like copy and paste, easier, they also make it easier for teachers to detect cheating – for example using the quiz reports. The options provided here are not fool-proof, and while they do make some forms of cheating harder for students, they also make it more inconvenient for students to attempt the quizzes, and they are not fool-proof.

Full screen pop-up with some JavaScript security
There is a limit to what the quiz, which runs on a web server, can do to restrict what the student sitting at their computer can do while attempting the quiz. However, this option does what is possible:

  • The quiz will only start if the student has a JavaScript-enabled web-browser.
  • The quiz appears in a fullscreen popup window that covers all the other windows and has no course navigation controls.
  • The students are prevented, as far as is possible, from using facilities like copy and paste.

Require the use of Safe Exam Browser
This option will only appear if your administrator has enabled it in
Settings > Site administration > Development > Experimental > Experimental settings

Safe Exam Browser is a customized web browser that must be downloaded and installed on the computer that the student uses to attempt the quiz. It restricts student use more effectively than a pop up window option. Features include full screen, without web navigation options, shortcut keys including copy and paste are disabled and of course surfing the web during an exam.


Overall feedback

Overall feedback is shown to a student after they have completed an attempt at the quiz. The text that is shown can depend on the grade the student got. Click “Show editing tools” to display the rich text 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%
Then students who score between 100% and 40% will see the “Well done” message, and those who score between 39.99% and 0% will see “Please study this week’s work again”. That is, the grade boundaries define ranges of grades, and each feedback string is displayed to scores within the appropriate range.

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.

You can set as many or as few grade boundaries as you wish. The form allows you up to 5 ranges at first, but you can add more by clicking the “Add 3 fields to form” button underneath.

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.

Working with a quiz

Adding Questions

Once you have accessed the quiz editing screen as above, you can add questions from a number of locations:

  1. Click the “Add questionediting_quiz_02button to begin a new question (fig1.1)
  2. Click “Show(fig1.2a) to reveal the contents of the question bank (fig2.2b) and then either choose a pre-made question or click “Create new question
  3. Click “Add a random question(fig1.3) to add a random question, providing there are questions in the question bank already.


Creating A New Question

  1. To make a brand new question, click “Add a question(fig1.1).
  2. From the next screen (fig. 3), choose the question type you want to add and click “Next
When you click on a question type on the left, helpful information appears on the right (fig. 3).
Fill in the question form (fig. 4), making sure to give a grade to the correct answer.


Choosing a pre-made question

If other teachers in the course have editing_quiz_06made questions, or if a teacher made questions in an earlier quiz, these can be added to the current quiz by clicking the arrows next to them in the question bank or by checking/ticking the box of several and then clicking the button “add to quiz“. To ensure all previously made questions are available, make sure to tick the boxes “also show questions from sub-categories/old questions“.

Adding a random question

As long as you have questions in the question bank, you can add random questions to your quiz. This might be useful if you editing_quiz_07have students in a class taking a quiz at the same time, because they are unlikely to get the same questions at the same time. The same question will never appear twice in a quiz. If you include several random questions then
different questions will always be chosen for each of them. If you mix random questions with non-random questions then the random questions will be chosen so that they do not duplicate one of the non-random questions. This does imply that you need to provide enough questions in the category from which the random questions are chosen, otherwise the student will be shown a friendly error message.
The more questions you provide the more likely it will be that students get different
questions on each attempt.

The grade for the randomly chosen question will be rescaled so that the maximum grade is what you have chosen as the grade for the random question.

You can add one or more random questions by choosing the number and category in the
question bank.

Question categories
Questions can be stored and retrieved from categories in the Question bank. When you make a new question it defaults editing_quiz_08to the category with the course name. So if you make a quiz in the Senior Physics course, questions will automatically be added to “Default for Senior Physics“. You can opt to have your quiz questions in a category of their own
(“Quizname“) or to add a subcategory.



To add a subcategory, go to Settings>Quiz administration>Question bank>Categories

Users will have access to different categories according to their permissions. For example, a regular teacher might only have access to question categories in his own Physics course whereas his Faculty Head of Science with permissions in all science courses might have access to question categories in Biology and Chemistry as well.

Quiz layout
  • You can choose in Settings>Quiz administration>Edit settinediting_quiz_09gs>Layout (fig. 8, fig. 9) whether to have a new page for every question or after a certain number of questions.
  • You can click the “Add a page here(fig. 10.1) button to add a page at selected intervals and move questions up and down by clicking the arrow button. (fig. 10.2)
  • You can also set the pages by clicking the tab “Order and paging” on the Edit quiz screen.
  • Questions may be moved up and down with the arrows, or you can check the boxes to their left and then click “reorder questions
  • You can check a box to select a question and then click “Add new pages after selected questions
  • You can “re paginate” by setting the number of questions per page. After setting the number of questions per page, you can move questions so that there are a different number of questions on each page.



Assigning points to questions
Settings > Quiz administration > Edit quiz > Editing quiz

You can set how many points each question is worth by changing the number in the box to the right of each question (fig. 10.3) and you can change the maximum grade by changing the number in the box at the top of the quiz (fig. 10.4) The default is one point per question and 100.00 maximum grade.

Each save button is independent of each other. Thus if you change 2 grade boxes and
click on the “Save” button, only the grade next to that button will be saved. Your other
changes will revert to what they were before. Best practice is to change the grade and save
one question at a time.

The quiz module will do any maths, so for example, a 2 point question will be worth 2 times more when the Quiz module determines how many point out of 10 to award the student.

Previewing the quiz
  • You can preview individual questions by clicking the magnifying editing_quiz_12glass icon (fig. 10.5)
  • You can preview the whole quiz by clicking the “Preview”
    link in Settings>Quiz administration>Preview (fig. 11)
  • The quiz works like a real quiz so you can see your grades
    and any feedback for correct/incorrect answers just as a
    student would see them.

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