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 Andrea Gregory (Gordon)
    Thu, 29 Aug 2013, 6:57 PM
    Hi Joseph

    We are using the latest 2.5 version of this with the two question behaviours but there is an issue with saving the answers if the user goes back to revisit any questions. All of the sudden the answers have disappeared.. I found this post from a few years ago where someone was having the same issue. -
    We're using the latest versions... any ideas?

    Many Thanks

  • Picture of Bob Puffer
    Fri, 4 Oct 2013, 2:52 AM
    This is what one of my computer science professors is saying about the newest version of regexp:

    1. Its not matching as correct, things it should.
    2. Wherever I had [ ] to match a whitespace it replaces that with ()
    3. If I try to do [ ]+ to match one or more whitespace or some other potential character class [abc]+ I get the message that I cannot have an unescaped metacharcter + * ? $ in a question with a value of more than 0! This is crazy and kind of defeats the purpose of having regular expressions!

    It worked in the previous version, 2.3.
  • Picture of Joseph Rézeau
    Thu, 17 Oct 2013, 6:00 PM
    Further to private exchange with Bob, the problem is dismissed.
  • Picture of Sebastian H.
    Tue, 17 Jun 2014, 11:23 PM
    Hello Joseph,

    will there be a Moodle 2.7 version?

    Best regards
  • 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.
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