Question types: Regular expression short answer

Maintained by Picture of Nicolas Dunand Nicolas Dunand
This question type (for the Moodle quiz module) aims at a more advanced system of student's response analysis, through the use of regular expresssions. This question type is an extension of the SHORTANSWER type. It can be used on its own and can also be incorporated into the existing Cloze (embedded) question type.
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Like the Short Answer question, the RegExp Short Answer question expects the respondent to answer an "open" question with a word or a short phrase. However, the RegExp system system gives you access to a more powerful system for analyzing the student's answers with the aim of providing more relevant immediate feedback.



Picture of Nicolas Dunand
Nicolas Dunand (Lead maintainer)
Picture of Joseph Rézeau
Joseph Rézeau: Original author
Picture of RISET Université de Lausanne
RISET Université de Lausanne: Supporting institution
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  • Picture of Joseph Rézeau
    Wed, 18 Jun 2014, 1:04 AM
    Yes there will be a 2.7 version... when I have time.
  • Picture of Nicolas Dunand
    Fri, 18 Jul 2014, 3:11 PM
    What I can tell from my – albeit very basic – testing in Moodle 2.7, this question type seems to work flawlessly.
  • Picture of Tomáš Hudec
    Thu, 21 Jan 2016, 6:38 AM
    Would it be possible to extend the plug-in to multiple (short) answers (input fields) each compared to multiple regular expressions?
    The critical section access control algorithm must meet these three conditions:
    1. [ input-field ], 2. [ input-field ], 3. [ input-field ].

    Answers (regular expressions):
    1. for 50%: (mutual )?exclusion
    2, for 25%: progress( in allocation)?
    3. for 25%: bounded waiting
    (Or each worth 1/3 of points.)

    The answer from each input field would be checked to each RE and if a match is found that RE would be removed from checking remaining input fields.

    The purpose is to allow multiple answers in any order.

    Creating only one input field and requiring all the possibilities (separated by comma) would require complex RE mixing all possible orders and dealing with wrong parts. Multiple input field is much simpler.

    Thanks for implementing or pointing me to the solution if it already exists.
  • Picture of Ken Barker
    Thu, 9 Jun 2016, 9:42 AM
    Thanks for the permutation feature - I have found it very useful. I've also found that it seems to be limited to five options per set - I cannot get six to work. Perhaps this limitation could be documented?
  • Picture of Emmanuel Mayorga
    Fri, 28 Apr 2017, 12:36 PM
    I've read through all of the documentation several times and I am having a hard time understanding why meta characters are not allowed for accepted answers. I must be missing something, can someone please explain? Thank you.
  • Picture of Gilles Boyé
    Thu, 21 Sep 2017, 11:37 PM
    Does the CLOZE integration of Regex still work with Moodle 3.3 ?
  • Picture of Francis Feytout
    Fri, 22 Sep 2017, 5:36 PM
    Hi, I can confirm the regex integration to the multianswer (cloze) type is broken for Moodle 3.3, do you have with up-to-date renderer.php and questiontype.php files ? Or when will have them ? Thanks
  • Picture of Gilles Boyé
    Sat, 14 Oct 2017, 9:11 PM
    To be more precise, the existing renderer.php and questiontype.php files still work fine with the standard cloze question types but they block the new type, MULTIRESPONSE that was introduced in 3.2 (at least).
  • Picture of Gilles Boyé
    Sat, 14 Oct 2017, 9:13 PM
    The description of MULTIRESPONSE can be found at
  • Picture of Sebastian H.
    Mon, 23 Apr 2018, 8:01 PM
    will there be a 3.4 Version of this plugin?

    Best regards
  • Picture of Nicolas Dunand
    Tue, 24 Apr 2018, 12:29 PM
    Hi Sebastian,

    No 3.4 version planned, but please do report if not fully compatible with Moodle 3.4.
  • Picture of Alan Chadwick
    Tue, 31 Jul 2018, 5:27 PM

    I've been using this plugin for a while now and I'm really grateful to you for creating and maintaining it. It's probably the feature I use most in Moodle.

    I'm trying to add regex to cloze type questions but the links to the hacked files are dead -

    Is there anywhere that I can find these files, please? It would be extremely helpful to have this functionality with Cloze. No problem if it's a problem.

  • Picture of Nicolas Dunand
    Thu, 2 Aug 2018, 2:42 PM
    Hi Alan,

    I'm merely keeping these plugins originally made by Joseph Rézeau up to date. But the feature you are referring to comes from the Moodle 2.4 (obsolete) documentation of the plugin. If you check the current documentation – by clicking the link at the top of the article you mention – you will see that this feature is no longer mentioned.
  • Picture of Joseph Rézeau
    Sat, 6 Oct 2018, 5:50 AM
    As of today, the hacked files for using REGEXP questions to regular Moodle CLOZE questions have been restored (for Moodle 3.5). See the documentation at
  • Picture of Gavin Botten
    Tue, 13 Nov 2018, 6:32 PM
    Hi guys, I've come across a really interesting anomaly, it isn't REALLY a problem, but the functionality would be a great benefit, if you could get it to work properly in the App as well as in a web browser.

    Anyways, this is the "issue", one of my teachers added underscores(_) where her answers were supposed to be in the "Short Answer" question, the effect this had, is to place the Text Box in the place where the underscores were typed, this in itself, is an AWESOME feature as it means that you could put the box where you want it in a sentence to fill in a missing word or something like that, and it works GREAT in chrome, if you click on the box, it allows you to enter the word, and when you click on the finish attempt/Next button, it saves your answer, which means that it will allow you to submit the answer, however, when you do the same in the latest Moodle App(3.5.2), whether it is the android, iOS or Desktop, it does not save the answer and therefore does not submit an answer when you submit your quiz, just a side note, this problem does not exist in the Moodle Classic App, as the answer box still appears at the bottom of the question regardless of whether you add the underscores or not, in fact the Moodle Classic App does not even show the underscores at all.

    Like I said, this is an awesome feature, whether it was intended or not, and I would really like to see it added into the question type if possible, otherwise, would it be possible to remove the underscore "issue" completely, so that the underscore is visible, instead of the Text Box.

    We are currently running Moodle Web v3.5.2 and the same for Moodle Mobile App.
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