Question types: Combined

Maintained by Tim at Lone Pine Koala SanctuaryTim Hunt, Picture of Phil ButcherPhil Butcher, at the OU (Perry building)Mahmoud Kassaei
A Moodle question type which allows questions to be built up from parts that are other simpler question types (requires you to have these question types installed)
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Current versions available: 5

There are working examples in eAssessment with Moodle on our OpenLearn site.

The documentation is in How to create questions in Moodle on that site.

This question types uses other question types as sub questions. It allows you to have one or more entry fields for any of these question types embedded in your question text. You must have at least one of these question types installed for this combined question type to work :

Here is an example of a question where a teacher has combined 1 variable numeric, 1 pmatch, 1 multiple response and 1 select missing word sub question in one combined question.

Example of a combined question



This plugin is part of set Open University.


Screenshot #0


Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Tim Hunt (Lead maintainer)
Picture of Phil Butcher
Phil Butcher: Question type designer
at the OU (Perry building)
Mahmoud Kassaei: Developer
Picture of Jamie Pratt
Jamie Pratt: Developer
Picture of Chris Nelson
Chris Nelson: Product owner
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  • Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
    Fri, Jul 5, 2013, 2:47 PM
    OK, error message merged. Thanks Jamie. However, I am not sure it is worth re-tagging and making a new zip just for this.

    I don't actually thing this is a big deal. By and large Moodle users aren't idiots, and they will at least glance at the description that says they need the other qtypes before installing this.
  • Anthony Borrow
    Fri, Jul 5, 2013, 11:07 PM
    Tim - I agree most Moodle users are pretty savvy, I was just thinking it would be pretty easy to avoid this by having one of the core types listed as combinable but I think Jamie's highlighting of things makes it clear enough to move forward. Peace - Anthony
  • Picture of Nadav Kavalerchik
    Wed, Jul 10, 2013, 3:48 AM
    I have not installed it, yet. So... can it be used to give the student a choice of answering one of several optional questions?
  • Picture of Phil Butcher
    Thu, Jul 11, 2013, 7:10 PM
    No. All parts add to the total mark for the question.
  • Picture of For Linh
    Sat, Aug 24, 2013, 5:39 PM
    I like it ! Thank you, Jamie.
    Can you add a code for multichoice questions with one answer?

  • Picture of Phil Butcher
    Mon, Sep 2, 2013, 4:24 PM
    Not necessary. Just use the existing OU multiple response and in your rubric say 'select one'.
  • Picture of For Linh
    Thu, Sep 5, 2013, 1:29 PM
    Thank Phil for suggestion,

    But I need a COMBINED multichoice questions with the CIRCLE labels (one check only) instead the SQUARE labels (multi checks).
  • Picture of Fabien C
    Wed, Sep 18, 2013, 1:57 AM
    Jamie, thank you so much for proposing this new question type. I see that the question type "varnumeric" is combinable, but I would like to know if there is any way to define calculated variables as we do in the varnumeric question type.
  • Picture of Phil Butcher
    Wed, Sep 18, 2013, 9:33 PM
    I deliberately left variables out of the specification because I thought that adding them in would make the form too complex for most users.
  • Picture of Jamie Pratt
    Thu, Sep 19, 2013, 11:51 AM
    There are two possibilities I can think of for how we might allow for the creation of more complex questions with more options but at the same time keep the question creation forms simple for beginners. We might just use the 'Show advanced' feature of Moodle forms to initially hide some settings in the form until the show advanced button is pressed.

    And / or it would be possible to allow for more than one embed code per question type. We could create a second code for the varnumeric question type that if included in the question text brings up a more complex form. So 'numeric' would bring up the simpler form and 'varnumeric' would allow for the use of variables as well.

    The behaviour of each of the embed codes is controlled by plug-ins. I'm not sure if write now it would be possible to just write a new plug in to add a more complex varnumeric sub question type or whether some changes would be needed to the combined question type itself.

    Allowing the creation of more complex sub questions is a much requested feature. Someone else asked if it was possible to allow for different grades for different answers for text sub questions. Again this might be solved by creating a new sub question type with a different type code used to embed the question.
  • Picture of Fabien C
    Mon, Sep 23, 2013, 6:11 AM
    Thanks for your answers, both possibilities would be great.
  • Picture of Ian Hunt
    Fri, Apr 4, 2014, 4:31 AM
    As an organic chemist, the example was right on home turf smile
    Any plan to integrate other question subtypes ? I'd really like to see the molecule drawing type in this type of application. For example, we ask students to solve a molecule from a set of spectra. They are required to draw the answer, but I'd like to get them to enter other data too that they have extracted from the spectra.
  • Picture of Phil Butcher
    Fri, Apr 4, 2014, 5:16 PM
    As an ex-physical chemist I'm glad you like it.

    We are working on methods for stringing together sequences of questions yet allowing those questions to be fetched from pools - so the first question is chosen randomly from one pool then the next is chosen from the second pool using some criterion linking it to the first, ditto for the third question etc. So you can then have a pool of molecules to draw and then follow with other questions for the same molecule. And you will be able to block q2 until the student has answered q1.

    You can see that we have to get the form redesign right so that we don't scare folks off. We are not going to hit Moodle 2.7 but Tim Hunt and his team are working hard to get it into Moodle 2.8.
  • Picture of Phil Butcher
    Fri, Apr 4, 2014, 5:17 PM
    Oh and I should have added that we also intend to switch our Pattern match with JME to use JSME.
  • Picture of Laurence Dohogne
    Wed, Oct 1, 2014, 3:27 PM
    We tried to install the Combined plugin on two Moodle installations running Moodle 2.7.2+ . On the first one, we only get 1:selectmenu:1 available and on the second one the "OU multiple response" is missing. We installed varnumeric on both installations. What can be wrong ? Thanks.
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