Pattern match with molecular editor

Question types ::: qtype_pmatchjme
Maintained by Tim at Lone Pine Koala SanctuaryTim Hunt, Jamie Pratt, Phil Butcher
A question type where the user enters their response using the JavaScript Molecular Editor, and the response is then graded using the OU's pattern-match algorithm.
Latest release:
430 sites
12 fans
Current versions available: 9

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 plugin is part of set Open University.


Screenshot #0


Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Tim Hunt (Lead maintainer)
Jamie Pratt: Developer
Phil Butcher: Question type designer
Colin Chambers: Developer
Chris Nelson: Product owner
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  • Thu, Aug 8, 2019, 10:51 PM
    same here, it doesn´t work with Moodle 3.7.1 and no hints or any entries in log-files. The preview doesn´t accept the answer and gives no feedback. Doing the test the jme-question even doesn´t show up the jme-editor. Maybe some library is still used by the plugin that was deprecated/taken out in Moodle 3.7 such as e.g. eventslib.php? Unfortunately the logs state no starting points for debugging...
  • Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
    Thu, Aug 8, 2019, 10:56 PM
    Yes, I can confirm this problem, mainly thanks to aspark21 and segunb who reported the problem over on Github, and even suggested a fix I am afraid I have been busy, and I am on leave tomorrow, but I will try to review that fix and get a new version published early next week. In the mean time, you might be able to apply the fix to your own Moodle site. It is a small code change required.

    Sorry about this.
  • Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
    Thu, Aug 15, 2019, 11:46 PM
    Not sure if 'Thursday' counts as early in the week, but I have just pushed a new version which solves the problem with Moodle 3.7. Thanks for your patience.
  • Mon, Nov 4, 2019, 5:42 PM
    The question type is great - we have implemented it in a class of ~900 students using online assessment. We have had a few teething issues that we cannot resolve. 1) quite often the editor fails to load and the only solution appears to be a browser cache clear. Our IT department say it is a problem with the plugin, so not sure if others have seen this. And 2) the X button and FG button are seemingly randomly disable during an exam we did. I have no idea why.
  • Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
    Mon, Nov 4, 2019, 9:30 PM
    The J(S)ME that this quiestion type is built around is a third-party widget ( So, if/when it stops working, it is a bit of a black box. (Fortunately, it has mostly proved reliably over the years.)

    Have you managed to get any information about why it is failing, when it fails? E.g. if you press F12 if the browser, are there any erros in the brower's console?
  • Wed, Nov 6, 2019, 2:46 PM
    Thank you Tim - yes this plugin is really good. Our IT guys theoretically have been looking at the problem, but their lack of feedback has left me very frustrated. The main issue of the plugin not loading (which happens about 10% of the time) is solved by doing a full browser cache clear (99% of the time). In very rare cases we need to move a student to another PC, which as you can imagine is not great during a summative assessment. The thing that is weird is that I have never seen any other reports of this behaviour, which makes me feel it is a problem on this side, but our support team have said (I quote) "We have found issues with the plugin. Even with updates of both Moodle and the plugin, the problem still exists. Our IT colleagues agree that the problem exists within the plugin. " I will try using F12 if it happens on my PC - I also just had a call from our Moodle support team saying that they did a Moodle cache clear before the exam, which also did have a significant effect on the number of issues we experienced this time.
  • Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
    Thu, Nov 7, 2019, 3:50 AM
    Acutally, I just found that the automated tests for this quetion type were failing because the JSME was not loading during the test run. I was able to fix it just be telling the test to reload the page. Did not require anything like clearing the cache.

    So, clearly there is some unreliability here. However, I am afraid I cannot predict when I will get time to investigate the problem properly.
  • Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 3:40 AM
    For me the plugin has no library. It is simply missing. Already from the installation. Where can I get the library from?
  • Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
    Thu, Jun 11, 2020, 5:10 AM
    Latest version works with Moodle 3.9.
  • Thu, Jun 18, 2020, 8:43 PM
    Is it possible to activate optional parameters (rbuton, atommovebutton) in the version for moodle 3.8 ? And also to change the size of the editor ?
  • Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
    Mon, Jun 22, 2020, 3:51 PM
    At the moment, there is no facility to do that sort of customisation. They would be good features to add, but I doubt we will ever do that. however, pull requests welcome.
  • Mon, Jul 27, 2020, 10:16 PM
    Hi, can someone help me with these, please? Is this plugin good? Is it secure? Does it let moodle slow? Is it free? Thanks!
  • Thu, Sep 10, 2020, 11:58 PM
    A few years ago we report the same type of problem described above (i.e. answer not being "saved" as drawn) with the simple JSME qu type (which is no longer being maintained I believe). Since the simple JSME feels like a simplified version of the pattern matching version, could the simple JSME be spawned (recreated, updated) from this qu type ? I have hundreds of JSME qu I want to be able to use...otherwise maybe I need to try to transfer JSME to pattern match...
  • Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
    Fri, Sep 11, 2020, 12:04 AM
    The code of the other question type bears no relation to this one, so I don't know. I don't have time to look into this myself, but our code is open source, and if it can help resurrect the other question type, then you are welcome to -steal- (I mean reuse under the GPL) it.
  • Fri, May 21, 2021, 4:52 AM
    Well after a year of teaching from home, recircling to revisit see where things can improve in the future...
    Came back to this topic because of our continuing use of JSME without pattern match (and not sure about needing to convert 100s of questions from JSME to JSME with pattern match).
    Anyway, I was just able to recreate our "old" problem (answer not saved) that we have in simple JSME with the JSME pattern match (triggered if a blank answer checked first, then new repeated drawing typically "lost"). We had previously revealed that this seems to be connected to the simple text match origins of this qu type (?) and I seem to recall being able to demo this on the OU site thus establishing it as not being an artifact of our set up. Having been using drawing questions for 20 yrs and 10+ with Moodle, it would be great to find a solution (we note that some browsers and devices make this worse than others). I'd love to hear from anyone else who has observed this, and especially anyone with a fix!
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