Quiz

Multiple Instances

 
 
Picture of Rick Jerz
Re: Multiple Instances
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Tim, I know you see this kind of request that Mark made often.  I thought that I would add some perspectives to this based upon my own experience.  I am sure that you have thought about this issue much more than I.

First, I really like that Moodle does not allow one to add multiple copies of the same question to an exam.  I personally believe that if Moodle did, the probability of making a mistake on an exam's design would go up.  I came to Moodle initially with Mark's request, but as I have used Moodle for nearly five years, I like this "feature" that you cannot add a duplicate of a question by mistake.

Duplicating quiz questions is really not that time consuming.  Furthermore, it provides a natural opportunity to at least slightly modify each form of a question so the students sees different questions.  The key to doing this is to make sure that your initial question (depending upon question type), is good (e.g., a calculated mulitchoice, which can be a bit complex in its configuation and equations).  Yes, there will always be someone who really wants identical questions, but of course, this is the quickest form of a duplicated question.

I wonder, however, about the Moodle database and its growth with certain types of questions, in particular, calculated questions.  If someone were to create a "calculated" question, let's say with 10 variables, and with 50 values for each variable, this would produce 500 values in the database (if my thinking is correct).  Then, if you duplicate this question, let's say 50 times, you are now up to 25,000 values in the database.  What is this doing to the size of the database?  So one worry about it?  Might it slow Moodle down?  Is it adding, maybe 50MB of storage for this one type of question?  Or is this issue insignificant relative to mySQL in the over scope of what the database is storing? 

What do you think?

 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: Multiple Instances
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Well, we could make it so you can only add mulitple instances of qtype like calculated, where the one question has multiple variants. Then, we also need to insure that each instance of the question in each attempt uses a different variant.

However, even when a question has one variant, you might want to add multiple copies. For example and essay question that asks "Write a reflective note on how you approached the questions in this section."

However, I take your point, so if we do implement this, we should find ways to build a UI that lets people do all the things they might reasonably want to do, while making it difficult for them to make accidental mistakes.

 
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Picture of Rick Jerz
Re: Multiple Instances
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Tim, thanks for your reply.  I am just trying to provide some ideas as you, and others, think about ways to improve the quiz engine.

As another possibility, if Moodle were to allow multiple instances, maybe there could be a warning message, such as "This question already exists in this quiz, are you sure that you want to add another copy?"

 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: Multiple Instances
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Yes. It is really good to have these disucssions before any code is written. It is one of the things that makes working on Moodle so great, that there is a whole forum full of people with whom to discuss design questions like this.

 
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