Question types: Variable numeric

Maintained by Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Tim Hunt, Picture of Jamie Pratt Jamie Pratt, Picture of Phil Butcher Phil Butcher
A calculated numeric question type with variable and expression evaluation. Random values are generated for each student attempting the quiz.
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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.


Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Tim Hunt (Lead maintainer)
Picture of Jamie Pratt
Jamie Pratt: Developer
Picture of Phil Butcher
Phil Butcher: Question type designer
Picture of Colin Chambers
Colin Chambers: Developer
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  • Ravi Vare
    Fri, 4 May 2012, 12:25 PM
    Any documentations with an example for this Q. type?
  • Picture of Phil Butcher
    Tue, 22 May 2012, 8:46 PM
    Please follow the link to 'More documentation on this plugin' and you will find the author documentation under 'How to create an iCMA in Moodle'.
  • Steve Turley picture
    Thu, 17 Oct 2013, 1:57 AM
    I'm having a little trouble with the functions in this questions type.
    1. I would have expected the log function to give the common (base 10) log of a number since there is also a ln function supported. It appears to be giving the natural (base e) log.
    2. How do I take a number to a power?. I don't see an operator or function for that in the documentation.
  • Picture of Joseph Baxter
    Mon, 1 Sep 2014, 4:55 PM

    We are using version 2014042800 of varnumeric and have a question regarding the expected behaviour.

    When we hit the "recalculate" button variables are only recalculated if there are no errors in the question i.e. you need to provide an answer etc.

    Is this the expected behaviour? Our users are saying this was not the case in previous versions and that recalculation always occurred (their memory may be incorrect).

    Thanks in advance.

    Joseph Baxter
    University of Nottingham
  • Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
    Tue, 2 Sep 2014, 12:06 AM
    I don't think that we intentionally changed this. Would be interestign to know for sure if this has changed, but that would require trying a range of old versions from git.
  • Picture of Charles Havegheer
    Wed, 24 Sep 2014, 3:48 PM

    i have version 2.7 and the box "Require scientific notation" doesn't work
    I don't have the superscript facility :/
  • Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
    Wed, 24 Sep 2014, 11:03 PM
    Hmm. It seems to be working for me on my test site.

    There are a few changes I need to publish to the plugins DB, which I have not done yet, but I don't think they would affect this.

    Have you tried the ususal things, like 'Purge all caches'?
  • Picture of Charles Havegheer
    Fri, 26 Sep 2014, 12:17 AM
    Hi ,
    Yes, I tried to purge caches.
    I tested the plug-in to a new Moodle installation, with default configuration and default theme, and I had the same problem
  • Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
    Fri, 26 Sep 2014, 1:21 AM
    OK, so there is an issue here. Noted.
  • Picture of lucia liljegren
    Mon, 15 Dec 2014, 10:41 PM
    I read the I found-- which is a moodle quiz that shows what the questions look like on the front end. That shows me that this is the (likely) the type of question I would like to create. But it doesn't tell me how to create them.

    I'm looking for documentation that explains how to create a question. An simple example showing
    * a possible question (example: what is x+(2x)^2 where y=2x or something like that)
    * what sorts of things to put in boxes
    all on the admin side is what I'm hoping for.
    That must exist. Where can I find that? (Or what search terms can I use.)

    I'm hoping to move on to "combined" once I know whether I need wild cards { }.
  • Picture of lucia liljegren
    Tue, 16 Dec 2014, 1:11 AM
    Thanks! That's what I needed!! I've got my first one in.
  • Picture of Gábor Katona
    Tue, 5 Jan 2016, 12:26 AM
    We have started to experiment with this plugin and we noticed that the decimal and thousand separator are hard coded into the plugin code rather than getting them from the Moodle language file. Do you plan to change this behaviour?
  • Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
    Wed, 6 Jan 2016, 3:16 AM
    Unfortunately, we don't plan to do this. The handling of . and , in the standard Numerical question type is not ideal, and has caused many subtle problems over the years, so I am wary of copying it.

    This question type was created by and for the Open University, which only teaches in English, so we don't need this ourselves. This reduces the change the change would ever by made (but it is not completely impossible).
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