Short Answer Questions in Moodle

Quizzes in Moodle can help assess student learning. They can be used as a formative exercise that includes feedback and multiple attempts or a summative test with a strict time limit and shuffled questions. Learn how to create short answer questions in quizzes with this article.

For more information on quizzes, adding questions, and the question bank:

For information beyond these articles, please visit Moodle documentation here and here.

1. Navigate to the course in which you would like to create questions. Locate your desired quiz or open the question bank, and add a question.

  • If you are unsure of how to add questions to quizzes or to the question bank, please visit the articles listed at the top of this page.

2. You will be immediately directed to a window to choose your question type. Select "Essay", and then click "Add" at the bottom of the window.

3. Select the category in which you would like to place this question.

  • Category: Select the category you would like the essay question to go into. For example, you may with to categorize questions by subject, unit, use in a midterm or final exam, etc.

4. Enter the question name and question text.

  • Question name: Give the essay question a descriptive name. You will use the name to track your questions later, so "Question 1" is not a good idea. The name will be used in the question lists on the quiz editing page or in the lesson as a page title. It will not be shown to the students, so you can choose any name that makes sense to you and possibly other teachers.
  • Question text: Create the question text. This is where you might write prompts, include relevant links, photos, etc.

5. Enter the question status, points, and general feedback.

  • Question status: This allows you to set the question as a draft, or one that is ready to be used.
  • Default points: Set the default question mark (grade).
  • General feedback: If you wish, add general feedback. This text will appear to all students after they have answered the question, if you have allowed immediate feedback in the quiz settings. This is different than specific feedback, which will depend on the question type and response. For example, you might use this to provide students a fully worked example and links to resources about the material.
  • Case sensitivity: Indicate if case sensitivity is important or not. This will apply to students as they are typing in their answer.

6. Enter Answer information for the question.

  • This will help you streamline grading and feedback. Moodle will attempt to match student answers to the answers you have preformatted here, and provide feedback based on those answers. You can enter most common answers, apply grades to these answers, and give feedback. Remember, none of the answers you enter here will be shown to students or made available to them in any way. This is solely for instructor/grading purposes.
  • Answer 1: Enter the first accepted answer(s).
  • Grade: Using the drop down, indicate how much this answer is worth. If it is the only answer, you should set this to 100%, if it is completely wrong, you should set it to None. If it is partially correct, you can choose what percentage to associate with this choice.
  • Feedback: If you wish, you can give feedback with this answer. This text will appear to the student after they have answered the question.
  • Please note: You must provide at least one possible answer. Answers left blank will not be used. The first matching answer will be used to determine the score and feedback.
    • ​​​​​​​An asterisk (*) can be used as a wild card to match any characters. This option can be added for questions that should be automatically graded as "correct," regardless of the response. 
  • Click "Blanks for three more answers" if you would like to input other correct or partially correct answers.


7. Enter any necessary settings for multiple tries


  • When you run your questions using the 'Interactive with multiple tries' or 'Adaptive mode' behavior, so that the the student will have several tries to get the question right, then this option controls how much they are penalized for each incorrect try. This can be changed in the settings for the quiz.
  • Penalty for each incorrect try: The penalty is a proportion of the total question grade, so if the question is worth three marks, and the penalty is 0.3333333, then the student will score 3 if they get the question right first time, 2 if they get it right second try, and 1 of they get it right on the third try.
  • Hint 1 and 2: Enter the text you want students to see when they ask for a first or second hint.
  • Add another hint: If you need more than two hints for your multiple choice question, select this button.

8. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the "Save changes" button. This will add the question to your quiz or Question bank.

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Article ID: 78933
Wed 5/22/19 4:32 PM
Wed 5/1/24 4:35 PM
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