In Focus: Moodle Quiz (1) – “Why use a Quiz?”

“Why use a Quiz?”

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be taking a look at the Moodle Quiz – a feature-rich activity in Moodle that can be used for both formative and summative assessment. At a time where classroom-based learning is limited, it is the perfect tool to give confidence to both students and tutors that learning progress is being made and to perhaps identify subject areas where understanding needs further development.

Adding value with Quizzes

The inclusion of quizzes in your Moodle courses bring a number of benefits including:

Giving students confidence – the Quiz activity can provide instant detailed feedback to students whatever time of day they engage and submit a quiz attempt. By testing a specific part of the learning, a good score on a quiz can communicate to the student that they have understood the learning and are making good progress. If a student answers a question incorrectly, feedback can be tailored to the student’s response in order to correct any misunderstanding and clarify the point that is being tested.

Assessing student understanding – It’s also a great way for tutors to get a feel for how well students have understood the content of a pre-recorded lecture or some pre-reading before they attend a seminar to explore the key points presented in those resources. If there is a common misunderstanding, this can be dealt with as part of the subsequent seminar.

Encouraging “pre-reading” – according to Marcell (2008), pre-class quizzes were associated with students being more likely to complete the assigned reading before the class. In a time where pre-recorded lecture materials are being produced with the expectation that a student watches the recording before attending the subsequent seminar, the presence of a quiz after some key reading/watching (coupled with the expectation that a student takes the quiz) adds a little more weight to the pre-reading.

Features of the Moodle quiz

The Quiz activity in Moodle is a very powerful tool with lots of configuration options to fit your needs. Over the coming weeks, I’ll be exploring some of the key features of a Moodle quiz that you can use to get the best out of this tool, including:

Question types – Whilst Multiple Choice questions are the most popular choice when selecting question types, Moodle offers over 20 different question types to both vary the experience for your students and to align with how you wish to challenge your students.

Feedback options – instant automated feedback (unless using the Essay question type) is a massive benefit of the Moodle quiz; regardless of whatever time of day a student attempts a quiz, there is no need to wait for feedback or results. Feedback can even be tailored to the specific response a student has given to a question and can direct the student to further learning, if appropriate.

Timings and Attempts management – as well as defining a start and end time for when a quiz might be accessed, a timer option is also available whereby the permitted duration of an attempt can be set once somebody has selected to ‘Start quiz’. There’s also the option to define different timings and deadlines for different students.

Selecting questions – how you structure the quiz is completely within your control; you can select specific questions, random questions or a mixture of the two. You can also define where the page breaks appear in a quiz so can group questions together, for example, if they were related to a specific topic.

Reports – as well as the standard quiz report, which allows you to manage submitted attempts by students, there are also reports dedicated to the questions including how a specific question was answered by students as well as how many times a question was asked (if you’ve selected to pick questions at random).


Marcell, M. (2008). Effectiveness of Regular Online Quizzing in Increasing Class Participation and PreparationInternational Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 2 (1)

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