Quiz

New quiz feature for Moodle 2.9

 
Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
New quiz feature for Moodle 2.9
Group Core developersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developers

You may or may not remember these proposed quiz improvements from wow! it is nearly two years ago now.

Well, the good news is that something is happening thanks to Mahmoud and me. This week's release of 2.9 dev contains item 2. Question dependencies, also known as MDL-40990.

Here is what students see during the attempt, if this feature is enabled:

Screen grab of during the attempt.

And here is how you set it up on the Edit quiz page:

Screen grab of the Edit quiz page.

I am not sure if that is the most usable thing ever, but it was the best I could do for now.

If you want to try this, the latest code is on http://qa.moodle.net/. If you do, please let us have any feedback here. I suggest reading the Testing instructions for MDL-40990 if you want to know more detail about how this works. Or, if you are a geek, you could read the Behat test scripts


With any luck, this work will be like London buses*, and now that one of these new features has arrived, three will come along in quick succession.

4. Repeating a question in-situ, also known as MDL-40992, is nearly finished. I have a feeling that there is a bit too much to do, so I won't finish it tomorrow, so it won't be integrated next week, but the week after. I realised today that the best way to do the last bit was to fix MDL-6340 first, so that should get into Moodle 2.9 too.

1. Breaking up a quiz into section, also known as MDL-40988, is being worked on my Mahmoud. We are hopeful that will also get into 2.9, but it is the one furthest from finished. It should get there though, even if we have to bribe the integration team wink


* Actually, my mother would probably disinherit me if I did not explain that this cliche is woefully out-of-date and inaccurate. These days London buses rarely behave like that because there are more shorter routes, with more frequent buses, and they use GPS to regulate the service.

 
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Picture of Emma Richardson
Re: New quiz feature for Moodle 2.9
Group Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

That is awesome Tim!!  As always, thanks for all your work on this!

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: New quiz feature for Moodle 2.9
Group Core developersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developersGroup Testers

For anyone else who is allergic to reading instructions (which can be found in the link Tim gave), this bit is crucial, and probably obvious if you give it any thought.

If the quiz allows it (How questions behave: Interactive, or Immediate)

Awesome work Tim


(Ha in a recursive/meta way I have just thought that if you gave a quiz to teach this feature, this feature would be useful to stop people like me jumping forward before reading the earlier bits wooooooo)

 
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Picture of dawn alderson
Re: New quiz feature for Moodle 2.9
 

Hey,

lovely for iterative approach, really nice and I would say timely given that we know there is an ever-increasing emphasis on knowledge development taking the format of building on what has gone-before.

OK. No surprise, have a small query...but I think I am right in my interpretation-always good to put it on the table nevertheless, because it may have implications for the related doc-blurb, or not of course.

   Those little locks in the second diagram, they can lock down so- to -speak in a specific order. So, in that 1st diagram we see two questions then a lock-down on the third, but also this feature offers the following too:

Sometimes you have a sequence of of questions that build on each other, and the text of question 2 inevitably gives away the answer to question 1. A not very good example might be:

Q1: Which tool in Moodle can you use to automatically grade your students?
Q2: How do you add a quiz to Moodle?

So, if the quiz is set to a behaviour where the students can finish one question during an attempt (e.g. immediate feedback, interactive, ...), then there should be a way for teachers to indicate that Q2 depends on Q1.

In this case, until Q1 is finished, Q2 will not be accessible:

  • It will not be a link in the navigation, and will be shown 'greyed out' in some way.
  • If Q2 is on a page on its own, then it will not be possible to navigate to page 2.
  • If Q2 is on a page with other questions that can be accessed, then instead of rendering Q2, we will show a grey box saying "This question will not be avialable until Question 1 has been answered."
  • We will need a special string to describe this state on the summary page.

What I am saying is that the lock-down can be used in more than one way.

I look forward to reading your Mum's blog Tim-it would be nice to read about trains next! Bit of a stall at Temple Meads for me yesterday-traffic too close...so more than one train waiting to get in-all or nothing...I don't think the system has got around to GPS yet. wink(Surprise Surprise)  

 
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Picture of dawn alderson
Re: New quiz feature for Moodle 2.9
 

well, this made me smile:


http://londonbusesonebusatatime.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/the-project-end-to-end.html

I think there is/are teacher(s) in the mix!  Everything there....everything!

A great read, but most importantly a superb stimulus, annotated by beautiful art.

Now: message to Mary, Jo and Linda, when the moodle hub is up and running, I think this would be a great resource for a moodle course...I wonder if they might consider that for the future! Smothered in curriculm links just waiting for a quiz, book and so on smile

sorry-off piste, I know-forgive me.

D  

  

 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: New quiz feature for Moodle 2.9
Group Core developersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developers

A further progress update:

4. Repeating a question in-situ, also known as MDL-40992, was integrated this week, along with the contentious MDL-6340 that it depended on. You can try it for yourself on http://qa.moodle.net/ if you are interested.

This feature works best when you have a quiz that is set up as recommended in https://docs.moodle.org/28/en/Effective_quiz_practices#Robust_testing_with_random_variants, or in a quiz built from calculated questions, where for each 'question' in the quiz, there are really several different version of the same question that can appear at that point, selected at random.

This feature is intended for quizzes that help students practice a skill and learn it.

Also, you need to be using a setting for How questions behave where questoins can finish during the attempt. So, Interactive with multiple tries, Immediate feedback, or Immediate feedback with CBM.

Screen grab of the quiz settings

Note this is an advanced setting, so you have to click Show more... to see it (by default).

If you turn this on, then during the attempt, once the student has finished one question, they get a 'Redo question' button, and when they click it, they get to replace that question in their quiz attempt with a different random question.

Screen grab before clicking redo.Screen grab after clicking redo.

The point of this feature is that students can focus repeated practice on the paritcular questions they find difficult. They don't have to keep re-doing the entire quiz, including questions they can do easily, just to practice one question.

As the teacher, when you revew the attempt, you can all the different questions the student attempted. All the different responses are also included in the statistics report. In time, we will probably want to include more information about this in the other quiz reports, but there was not time to implement that now. However, we can add it later.


1. Breaking up a quiz into section, also known as MDL-40988, has just been finished. If anyone would like to peer-review 3000 lines of code before Monday, that would be great. Otherwise I will be tempted to break the rules and submit it for integration anyway.

 
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Picture of dawn alderson
Re: New quiz feature for Moodle 2.9
 

great.

I think...

re:

Obviously, there are many strategies students can use to cheat. While it would be naïve to assume there isn't cheating, the vast majority of your students want to succeed on their own merits. The anonymity of the online environment may open up new avenues for the cheaters, but it's not really much different from your face-to-face classes. A few people will go to great lengths to cheat, but most will be honest as long as it's not too easy to get away with it. A few precautions will eliminate most of the easy cheats, and the classic strategies will work for the others.

The teacher will generally have a shared profile with the student about his/her knowledge-dev, capabilites...and that tends to guide strengths and weaknesses, before it even gets to assessment. During/after assess....personal tut (one-to-one) covers all corners.  I find it difficult to think one of my students would cheat to embark upon a false learning pathway-I could be wrong.  But, in general it is rare-given people give up their own time to make progress.

Approach sounds- sound to me. 

 
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Picture of Tammy Moore
Yes! Yes! and again Yes!
 

Admission, I am one of those that has hung back on 1.9. With a good sized (1600 active students per week average)  ten year old Moodle with lots of upgrades, used year-round,  and one or two database oddities such as one course changing from a number to an alphanumeric one and getting locked up so that it cannot even be deleted or used, I knew an upgrade would be way beyond my abilities. I have been waiting for features to be so tantalizing I just couldn't hold back any more. This one may just be it for me. 


We already prefer the use of quizzes set to allow multiple attempts for practice. Good students will keep at it until they get it figured out. Bad students do cheat though, especially on multiple choice problems. In the end, with only a final grade of 100% easy to see at a glance when reviewing how the class is doing, it is hard to discern the difference between students that found it so easy they got the 100% because they knew it, vs students that struggled hard to get their 100%, vs the cheaters that spent 60 seconds clicking on answers even without reading till the multiple choice questions said they got it right. I see potential in this to eventually send reports about students where the feature was triggered. This will help teachers that love the retake design of a quiz more easily spot the strugglers and the cheaters and give an optimum type of question retake with new questions of the same type. We already organize most of our quiz banks on problem type not lesson, so we will be in good shape to start using it easily.  

Quick question, other than essay are there limitations? I know cloze question types sometimes are not compatible with some uses or export types.

I have a test server with 2.8 installed and I am looking forward to playing with it and hope fervently that it will get report functionality in a future release if it cannot make it in to this one. :0)


 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: Yes! Yes! and again Yes!
Group Core developersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developers

smile

Thanks for your kind words.

If you like that sort of quizzes, you might also want to look at 'Interactive with multiple tries' under 'How questions  behave' (which has been there since Moodle 2.1). If you self-register, you can try quite a nice example of how that works at http://www.open.edu/openlearnworks/mod/quiz/view.php?id=51380

Essay questions are only a limit because they can never get finished during the attempt, and the re-do button only appears if the question is finished during the attempt. So Cloze questions are fine.

If you have any suggestions as you try this out, please let us know. As yet we have only had limited feedback on what we have done.

 
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Picture of Tammy Moore
Re: New quiz feature for Moodle 2.9
 

Tim, or anyone that may know, I am using this question behavior but I am puzzled by how the per answer feedback works. When it is a multiple choice question I get the hint and also the individual answer feedback, but the feedback that I place in for specific answers in short answers are not showing like they do for multiple choice. Is this a bug or it it supposed to be different for short answer? Maybe I am missing a setting somewhere? I am using interactive with redo and have 50% penalty with three hints.

 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: New quiz feature for Moodle 2.9
Group Core developersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developers

I'm sorry. I don't quite follow your explanation of the problem. Would it help to attach a screen-grab? Or try explaining in more detail how you have things set up, and what sequence of actions by the student leads to an unexpected result.

 
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Picture of Tammy Moore
Re: New quiz feature for Moodle 2.9
 

Sorry, totally exhausted Moodler here dreaming she has done something on her to do list (this is instance number 3 now) while sitting at her desk. I think if we don't get done with the course rebuilding soon my mind will be totally worthless.  I have discovered that the phrase "cross-eyed tired" actually has a basis in reality. I started experiencing it this week too. What a weird phenomenon that you cannot think your eyes to uncross for up to a minute of working on it. I am so glad the transition from Moodle 2.9 to 3.0 is promised to not be as hard as 1.9 to 2.x has been. 


As hard as these 18-hour days, 7-days a week have been for the last two months, this question behavior is going to really make it worth it. The students have been active for about a week in the newly rebuilt Moodle courses. While the students were confused a bit at first because they were used to the old way, once they caught on they liked it. With the exception of the one course where I dreamed I did the hint levels for module 1. I even clearly remember doing these specific questions and worrying about slipping behind in my e-mail load because it was taking a while to add the hints in. I cannot even dream with a 'Wow look at how far a head of schedule I am getting!" thrown in for fantasy sake. lol

 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: New quiz feature for Moodle 2.9
Group Core developersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developers

Another week, and another integration round has passed, so lets have some screen-grabs of the third and final feature: Section headings.

You create them on the editing page like this

Screen grab of the editing page with section headings

Where applicable, the Add menus contain "a new section heading". Then during an attempt they show up in the navigation like this

Screen grab of during the attempt

If you are sharp eyed, you will notice that Shuffle questions, which used to be a whole-quiz setting is now set for each section separately on the Edit quiz page. (When you upgrade from 2.8 or earlier, everything is, of course, updated correctly and your shuffled quizzes will go on working the way you want.)

That is all at the moment, though I would not be surprised if people want to take this further in future. (For example adding an option to give a total score for each sections. I think that would be hard to do, but would make a lot of people happy.)

I say "that is all" but actually the changes to the editing page were bloody hard to get right. Throwing section headings into the mix alongside questions and pages makes things much more complex. You need to thank Mahmoud for all his work there. Sadly, while I was doing the screen-grabs for this post I found an bug MDL-49813, but we should be able to fix that before the 2.9 release.

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: New quiz feature for Moodle 2.9
Group Core developersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developersGroup Testers

I had a play with 2.9 Dev section headings today, nice!

 
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Picture of Nadav Kavalerchik
Re: New quiz feature for Moodle 2.9
Group Core developersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developersGroup TestersGroup Translators

I'll be brief, and include my impressions for the entire thread so far...

I have died and gone to Quiz heaven! smile

Bless you Mahmoud and Tim!

 
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Picture of Madhusudan Singh
Re: New quiz feature for Moodle 2.9
 

This is just amazing!!

You have just solved a long standing problem of mine. Remember these threads:

https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=270994

https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=272324

https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=273004

?

Now please tell me that shared datasets can be defined to be section dependent!!!

 
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Picture of Madhusudan Singh
Re: New quiz feature for Moodle 2.9
 

Amazing work, Tim!

I can see this being useful in some circumstances.

 
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Picture of Arash Hadadgar
Re: New quiz feature for Moodle 2.9
 
Thanks for adding this feature.

My university has Moodle 2.8, and as I know it is hard for them to upgrade it to 2.9 right now.
Do you have any idea how to have this feature previous version?
I want to force users to answer all questions. As you may not like this concept, I will try to add "I don't know" option to the answers provided.

Thanks in advance
Arash

 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: New quiz feature for Moodle 2.9
Group Core developersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developers

Well there is a standard way you get new features in software: you upgrade to the new version. Moodle is no different.

If you are running a Moodle site, it is no good being in a position where you have to say "it is hard to upgrade". New versions of Moodle come out regularly. It is essential to get to a position where it is easy to upgrade.

However, if you mush, it may be possible to manually back-port a specific change. That means manually inspecting the code changes in Moodle 2.9 that implemented this feature, and manually making the same changes in your Moodle 2.8 site. And then testing to make sure that has not broken anything. It is a lot of work.

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: New quiz feature for Moodle 2.9
Group Core developersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developersGroup Testers

As a general rule do not modify core Moodle. Where I work we have somewhere between one and two slight tweaks we really need, but on balance we would rather have none. The quiz is one of the more complex features of Moodle so you might introduce unexpected side effects. The changes between Moodle 2.8 and 2.9 are quite modest so I would urge you to try to arrange an upgrade. If you do decide to tweak your code get familiar with running the unit tests.

 
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Picture of Ian Hunt
Re: New quiz feature for Moodle 2.9
 

I've just spent a little time looking for item 3 (sequences of question variants).  Was this ever implemented ?  (I did not see any reference to it recently on the forums or documentation that I looked at).

 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: New quiz feature for Moodle 2.9
Group Core developersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developers

That one was never implemented. It remain a good idea in principle, but building the user interface is hard, and so it has not happened yet, and there are no immediately plans to resurrect the idea.

 
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