Best practices: Three tips for making the most of Moodle™'s Question Bank

Creating quizzes can be a time consuming task but is most often a necessary one. Utilizing Moodle™’s Question Bank to its fullest is the best way to get that “bang for your buck” we are all after. Using the Question Bank effectively will create organization give you the ability to re-use questions and save you time in the long run. Take a look at these three simple tips for making the most of the Moodle™ Question Bank in your courses!

Tip #1: Add questions directly to the Question Bank

Although you can create and add questions directly into a Quiz after you create the module and attend to all its settings this is really not the best place to do so. Yes it is tempting but don’t do it! By adding questions directly into a Quiz they are automatically stored in only that quiz. Therefore they cannot be reused in any other quizzes in your course. The best place to add your questions is to the Moodle™ Question Bank. When you access the Question Bank (Settings > Course Administration > Question Bank) you will notice that there is a default Course Level category for your quiz questions to be placed in. The title of this category will be something like “Default for Music 101.” Note: If you are logged into the Question Bank with Site Administrator rights you will see additional levels called Default for Category and Default forSystem. You do not want to use these as they cannot be accessed by teachers. By adding questions to the Course Level you can use and re-use them in multiple quizzes. This is where the importance of creating categories comes into play.

Tip #2: Use categories to organize your Question Bank

Instead of keeping questions in one long list in your Question Bank first create Categories (Settings > Course Administration > Question Bank > Categories) before creating questions. Try organizing your questions by topics chapters units or any grouping that fits your course. To create a more defined grouping of questions subcategories can also be created. As an example you may have several top level question categories and then subcategories under each of those.

Categories can easily be added by going to the Question Bank then scrolling to the bottom of the page and entering the name and location you would like the category or subcategory. Category info can be added as well however this information is for the instructor’s reference only and is not visible to students.

By organizing and categorizing quiz questions they can be used in multiple exams; saving you time and allowing for students to take pre-tests quizzes and final exams with questions pulled from the same Question Bank. One key to make this work effectively is for you to ensure that each course topic contains a variety of good questions; allowing you to randomize questions asking different questions to each student about the same topic(s).

Tip #3: Add multiple questions to a quiz at a time

Once questions have been added to the Categories and Subcategories in the Question Bank you are ready to add questions to your quizzes. Questions can be added to quizzes in Moodle™ individually in bulk or randomly. By adding questions individually you are selecting a specific question that you want to be asked in the quiz. To add questions to your quiz individually navigate to the Editing quiz area show the question bank contents select the category from which you would like to choose a question(s) and choose the question(s) to add by clicking the Select box next to them. When you have chosen all questions from that category click the Add to quiz button. If you’ve organized your questions per topic you can make use of the Select All check box and move large numbers of questions into the Quiz in one fell swoop. If you want to add more questions from other categories repeat the above steps after choosing the new category.

By adding questions randomly you can select a specific number of questions from a category that you would like to be pulled and added to a quiz. This will ensure that every student receives a varied list of questions but by creating multiple questions that reference each course topic you can ensure that they are being tested on everything that has been covered. To add randomized questions to your quiz navigate to the Editing quiz area show the question bank contents select the category from which you would like to randomly pull questions and choose the number of questions to randomly add to the quiz. Click the Add to quiz button.

Understanding how to utilize the Moodle™ Question Bank will save you time in quiz creation and ensure well organized questions which are easy to find and use more than once. To learn more about implementing these strategies enroll in our Advanced Course Building online course today!

- Janelle Gieseke



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