Your Moodle version

Question types: Pattern match

Maintained by Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Tim Hunt, Picture of Jamie Pratt Jamie Pratt, Picture of Phil Butcher Phil Butcher
Allows a short response of one or a few sentences that is graded by comparing against various model answers, which are described using the OU's pattern match syntax.

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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  • Picture of Jamie Pratt
    Wed, Oct 3, 2012, 3:29 PM
  • Picture of llywelyn morgan
    Thu, Oct 4, 2012, 5:04 AM
    thanks jamie. will take a look.
  • Picture of N. Hari
    Wed, Jan 23, 2013, 2:51 PM
    Seem to be getting an error during installation. We are using xampp for windows with php 5.3.5 and Pspell is missing in the latest php versions. Any suggestions?
  • Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
    Wed, Jan 23, 2013, 3:36 PM
    What error message?
  • David
    Wed, Feb 13, 2013, 5:53 AM
    This looks amazing, are there any language specific algorithms, or should it work in most languages?
  • Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
    Wed, Feb 13, 2013, 5:54 PM
    It should work in most languages where writing is made up of words separated by sentences. It is actually a feature that it is a pretty 'dumb' text-matching algorithm, that does not try to do anything too sophisticated with grammar or linguistics. If you look at the published research (Google scholar search for Sally Jordan and Phil Butcher) then you will see that we found that approach more effective.

    Actually, we should add the links to the published papers here when we get a moment.
  • Picture of Phil Butcher
    Wed, Feb 13, 2013, 5:58 PM
    The reference is already in the documentation on labspace.
  • Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
    Wed, Jan 8, 2014, 9:43 PM
    This Moodle 2.5 version worked fine in Moodle 2.6. However, as N. Hari spotted above, pspell is no longer available everywhere. PHP is moving in the direction of the 'enchant' spell-checking library, and I have just released a new version (for Moodle 2.5 and 2.6) where you can choose in the admin screens whether this qtype should use pspell or enchant.
  • Picture of Laurent Repond
    Sat, Sep 20, 2014, 8:56 PM
    Hi everyone. This is a great tool however I am having a little trouble with it and was wondering if anyone could help? It does not recognise the number '0' as a valid response. Equally, it does not accept zero as part of a statement like '0 ms-1' as a valid response. In the first case I have tried match(0) and in the second I have tried match_mow(0 ms-1). Any ideas?
  • Picture of Phil Butcher
    Mon, Sep 22, 2014, 4:47 PM
    That's a bug. Maybe one we've introduced recently. I'll look into it.
  • Picture of Phil Butcher
    Tue, Sep 23, 2014, 12:16 AM
    On closer inspection Tim Hunt points out that another correspondent, J Hoopes, has already pointed this out to us and has suggested the solution. We're aiming to fix it for our next release in December. If you want to fix your local system before then J Hoopes sent us this

    "In the pmatch_matcher_number class in the match word function, you normalize the number and then check for a tolerance. If the word to match is 0, the tolerance can't validate as 0 < 0 will always be false. so changing it to 0 <= 0 fixes the problem.""
  • Picture of Alan Kmiecik
    Thu, Oct 30, 2014, 9:06 PM
    So pmatch shows up in my plugin check, I get to this site and there are no install instructions. How about what folder does it go in?
  • Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
    Thu, Oct 30, 2014, 10:22 PM
    Have you read

    Since this is a question type, it goes in question/type/pmatch, as it says at the bottom of
  • Picture of Derek Howden
    Sat, Dec 6, 2014, 4:03 AM
    I have tried installing this on Moodle 2.7 and it reports no spellcheck available. I have enabled the TinyMCE spell checking but doeesn't make any difference. I've searched the plugins for one. Any ideas please? I'm stumped
  • Picture of Phil Butcher
    Mon, Dec 8, 2014, 7:37 PM
    Pmatch works with either pspell or enchant spell checking. These are backend systems. Google 'php spelling checker'.
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