Installation help

 
 
Picture of Lars Bjorstrup
Migrating quiz from Fronter to Moodle?
 

Hi, I work as teacher and our school is in the process of changing from Fronter to Moodle. I have a large number of (simple) Fronter quiz / assigments and would very much like to migrate my questions and alternative ansvars to Moodle.

Vi do not have the nevest Fronter but I can export my quiz from Fronter into XML .. but unsure how I import this format into Moodle.

I have looked and found description on the Moodle XML format but unsure how to best appoach this task.

Any hints / suggestions would be much appreacted

Thank you very much in advance, Lars Bjørstrup (Denmark)

 
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Gmads
Re: Migrating quiz from Fronter to Moodle?
Group Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers

Hi Lars,

It should be a matter of just selecting the import option tab and selecting the Moodle XML format option.

Here's the question import documentation page:

http://docs.moodle.org/22/en/Import_questions

 
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Picture of Lars Bjorstrup
Ang: Re: Migrating quiz from Fronter to Moodle?
 

Hi Guillermo, 

Thanks for that pointer to the import_questions. I prevously tried what you suggest (hoping that it would be that simple) but the exported XML from Fronter seems to be in another format that Moodle can not read (get an error message that the format is not correct).

Did this work for you? I maybe I am doing something wrong.

Anyway I am thinking that the XML from Fronter somhow needs to be converted to XML that Moodle can understand .. and wondered if anyone had tried this. Or another similar method.

Lars

 
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Gmads
Re: Ang: Re: Migrating quiz from Fronter to Moodle?
Group Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers

Hi Lars,

I did some searching around... from frontersupport.com:

* What are the different room export options? tests will be in an IMS format that can be imported back again.

* What can I export from tests? This export will provide you with an IMS QTI XML file.

So basically, Fronter exports tests in IMS QTI format (saved as an XML file).

Moodle, in turn, uses a "propietary" format (a very comprehensive one), and I'd say that's why you are getting error messages. It seems that even Fronter has limitations importing test questions ("there are some known limitations currently in the test tool's support for importing questions from an XML file -IMS QTI").

Looking around in the Moodle Docs, I just found that since version 2.3, under the Blackboard section of the Import questions page, it says that "both Blackboard POOL and QTI files are supported":

http://docs.moodle.org/23/en/Import_questions#Blackboard_V6.2B
http://docs.moodle.org/24/en/Import_questions#Blackboard_V6.2B
http://docs.moodle.org/25/en/Import_questions#Blackboard

However, that leads me to think that the QTI file would have to be in a binary format. I guess you'll get more help about this at the Quiz forum.

Finally, I found this online tool: QTI Converter, "you can convert a QTI XML file or a .zip file containing a single assessment into a SCORM 1.2 package using this interface." You might want to give it a try.

---

From jqti.qtitools.org, "QTI XML is rather unlike most xml documents as it doesn't only contain data, but also instructions."

 
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Picture of Lars Bjorstrup
Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Migrating quiz from Fronter to Moodle?
 

Thank you very very much Guillermo for doing this thorough research and giving this informative answer. Interesting about the QTI support with Blackboard inport.. and that you located a QTI XML file converter .. I will try it out here in the coming period, and get back with my findings. Thank you so much again.

Lars

 
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Gmads
Re: Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Migrating quiz from Fronter to Moodle?
Group Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers

Lars, you're most welcome smile

 
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Picture of Jean-Michel Védrine
Re: Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Migrating quiz from Fronter to Moodle?
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hello,

Thanks to Tim Hunt for pointing me to that forum thread.

As I worked on the blackboard question import format included into Moodle latest versions, I would be interested to see some samples of XML files produced by Fronter when you import some questions, to see if it will be doable to create an import tool.

The problem with IMSQTI format is that it's quite a general (and complicated) format and each software I studied implement a different "dialect" of IMSQTI. Myabe the one used by Fronter is not too different from the one used by Blackboard and maybe we can adapt the blackboard parser to parse files created by Fronter ?

To answer that question, I must look at some XML files created by Fronter.

 
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Picture of Lars Bjorstrup
Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Migrating quiz from Fronter to Moodle?
 

Hello Tim, Thanks for the information on the XML dialects.. that would be very interesting to know if it was similar to the Blackboard format. I will export an example from Fronter to let you see the format.

 
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Picture of Lars Bjorstrup
Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Migrating quiz from Fronter to Moodle?
 

Sorry I meant Jean-Michel, I have tried exporting from Fronter a simple example quiz .. Fronters export capablities are limited eg. does not support matrix formatted questions. 

In this quiz I have two questions (one with a radio button ie. one answer possible) .. the other with checkboxes ie. multiple answers possible. Each question also has a small comment.

Is this by any chance similar to the Black Board XML ?

(attached XLM file exported from our Fronter system)

Thank you,

Lars Bjorstrup

 
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Picture of Jean-Michel Védrine
Re: Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Migrating quiz from Fronter to Moodle?
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Well this become interesting smile

  • Bad news is that Fronter XML is not similar to Blackboard
  • Good News is that it is similar to WebCT 6 Vista XML
  • Bad News is that there is no existing Moodle importer for WebCT 6 Vista
  • Good News is that once MDL-30001 is closed my intention was to look at creating one

But as Fronter XML is a lot simpler than WEBCT 6 Vista XML I will try to create a Fronter importer first.

In fact I already started.

Can I ask you several questions as I don't have access to Fronter ?

  • your sample file only contains multichoice questions. Are there other types of questions that you can create in Fronter and export ?  If yes, can I have a sample file ?
  • Is it possible to insert images in questions ? If yes, can i have  sample file ?
  • in the sample file it seems that there is place for some feedback. Is it possible to include feedbacks into questions in Fronter ? If yes, can I have a sample file ?
 
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Picture of Jean-Michel Védrine
Re: Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Migrating quiz from Fronter to Moodle?
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Sorry, I forgot to ask something:

for each Fronter question there is both a "question" and a "comment"

For the first question, "question" is "What color is an elephant?" and "comment" is "Read the book to learn more. This assignemnt is mandatory."

For the second question, "question" is "What happens when it rains?" and "comment" is "Check all answers that apply"

of course I will import "question" as the question text but I don't know what to do with "comment". Append it to question text ? Drop it ?

And by the way you should correct your first question because the right answer is not included, it is "Heffalump are purple" everybody knows that big grin.

 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Migrating quiz from Fronter to Moodle?
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Is the comment like Moodle's general feedback?

 
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Picture of Jean-Michel Védrine
Re: Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Migrating quiz from Fronter to Moodle?
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hello Tim,

Yes my first idea was that Fronter comment was like Moodle's general feedback and first question seems to support this idea well.

But second question where feedback is "Check all answers that apply" makes me wonder if it should be displayed during attempt or as a feedback. Better to wait for Fronter users comments.

 
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Picture of Lars Bjorstrup
Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Migrating quiz from Fronter to Moodle?
 

Hi Tim,

The comment is more like extra info (added to the question) .. and a field for one big general comment to the quiz. But Fronter also have fields for student to comment (when the solve the quiz)

 
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Picture of Lars Bjorstrup
Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Migrating quiz from Fronter to Moodle?
 

Yes for each question Fronter has a field for adding a general comment (additional information about the question for example). For example I (the teacher) could write a hint that the student should read a specific book etc. Yes the "Check all answers that apply" is my (teacher) comment .. 

If possible I think the best would be to append the comment to the question text (eg. in paranteses) so that this info is not lost?

ha ha ha ha ha .... I will correct my first question!! wink

 
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Picture of Lars Bjorstrup
Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Migrating quiz from Fronter to Moodle?
 

Hi Jean-Michel, Sorry for my late reply - I am on vacation and did not expect such quick feedback smile - thank you very much. I will get the info for you as soon as I am on Fronter again again. Please note that our Fronter is not the latest one.

I have found that Fronter have a number of question types (will get back to you on that) but also that it complained and could not export its own "Matrix questions" (so that type I can not get over). That is quiestions that are in a kind of schema with question in rows and a number of possible answers (with points) in colums. Personally I dont use those kind of (multichoice) quiestions much. Also seems like XML is the only export option from the interface - will look again.

Yes you can insert images into questions... will make an example.

Hm .. there is room for a "comment field" for each question. There is possibilty to give feedback also for the student .. so the answered quiz can include a comment. Also I as teacher can give a comment when I give feedback. But I guess this must be the student comment field. 

FANTASTIC news on your development ..  

Lars

 
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Picture of Jean-Michel Védrine
Re: Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Migrating quiz from Fronter to Moodle?
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

I have released a first version of a Moodle add-on to import questions from Fronter.

You can find it attached to this forum message.

 
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Picture of Lars Bjorstrup
Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Migrating quiz from Fronter to Moodle?
 

Amazing, what a delightfull surprise !!  I cant wait to try this out .. I am so now to Moodle that it might be a problem for me getting it "installed" but will look into it as soon as I am back from summer vacation.

 
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Picture of Lars Bjorstrup
Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Ang: Re: Migrating quiz from Fronter to Moodle?
 

Hi Jean-Michel,

I know that there were some work going on at our school Fronter system .. but seems to be done, so I could actullay log on an make an example for you. To my surprise our Fronter system seems to be upgraded - but I also know that we are moving to Moodle .. so now I have access to the new Fronter for a while it seems.

Attached a new example with all possible question types (exept one called "Match" that Fronter did not want to export).

The new Fronter interface seems more flexible.. so the previous comment field is now a "question type" just called text, where some arbitray text can be added to the quiz. I included this also in my example export.

 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: Migrating quiz from Fronter to Moodle?
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Moodle does cannot import the type of XML that fronter exports. I new import add-on could be written to do that, but someone would have to do the work.

The main requirement would be some example files exported from Fronter, that show how it outputs all the possible question types.

 
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Picture of Nick Varney
Re: Migrating quiz from Fronter to Moodle?
 
I'm involved in exactly the same migration from Fronter and also looked into the best workflow for converting tests to quizzes. I explored converting the Frontier xml test exports to moodle xml format manually but found there was just too much extra code to strip out in the Fronter file to make it worthwhile. To cut a long story short after much testing with other Moodle import formats, I've come to the conclusion that the quickest way to migrate from Fronter to Moodle is to cut and paste from one to other! Two screens also helpful smile A conversion tool would certainly be useful, but beyond my coding skills.
 
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Picture of Juergen Zimmer
Re: Migrating quiz from Fronter to Moodle?
 

Dear all,

sorry for joining this thread a bit late... I should read the Moodle forums more often...

My 10 cents: My predecessor at the University of Vienna once wrote a fronter question format (attached) because we had both systems running in parallel for  a few years. But I don't know much about it, just packed it together to share with you.

HOWEVER: The code was for Moodle 1.9.10. So it would probably have to be adjusted for Moodle 2.x

Found it in our old Moodle code at question/format/fronter/

Hope that is anyhow interesting.

 

Cheers

  Juergen

 
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Picture of Jean-Michel Védrine
Re: Migrating quiz from Fronter to Moodle?
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hello Juergen,

Thanks a lot for posting this.

At first glance it appears this is quite similar to what I have done: modify the blackboard_six import format to work with the QTI file generated by Fronter.

But the main difference is that I started with the actual version of the blackboard_six, so my code works with Moodle 2.4/2.5 smile

So I will compare how we parse the Fronter structure and adjust my code because I think your colleague was able to test his code with a lot more Fronter sample files than me. When this will be done I will publish a first version of the plugin for Moodle 2.4/2.5.

 

 
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Picture of Lars Bjorstrup
Ang: Migrating quiz from Fronter to Moodle?
 

Thank you Tim and Nick for the insight. I am still just starting to build my first course in Moodle - but are considering finding some automated solution (eg. buliding an addin as you suggest) to help me get all my quizzes over og simply do i it by hand.. for example by using one of the many (free) XML to more readable format converters online (eg. to comma separated file) then it would "just" be a one way conversion. But will see later. Thanks again. Lars

 
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Picture of Lars Bjorstrup
Ang: Migrating quiz from Fronter to Moodle?
 

Hello,

I just wanted to say that I finally got access to trying out the Fronter XML import plugin that you (Jean-Michel Védrine) wrote ..

And it works perfectly for all my simple quiz questions.

I did notice one minor problem .. when there are multiple options and the points are set to decimal eg. 0.33 for some of the options the plugin does not import the quiz.

But what a great help this plugin is for me.

THANK YOU again

Lars Bjorstrup

 
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