DOWNLOAD:  Using Moodle Quizzes
 Using Moodle Quizzes

A. What is a Moodle quiz?

In this section you will find out what Moodle quizzes look like and how people use them. If you decide to use a quiz for your teaching, it will be helpful to know some basics.

Particularly in distance learning, independent study and blended teaching contexts, the frequent self-assessment of progress is invaluable. Online quizzes are an easy and sound way of offering students a tool for self-assessment. More and more, online quizzes are also used as an integral part of course assessment.

Moodle is a free, open source software, used for course management, it can even build a whole course or series of courses online. For more information on Moodle see the DOTS activity Using the Moodle platform in class (available at: http://moodle.dots.ecml.at/).
Moodle offers various modules (“activities”) with different functionalities for online teaching and learning. One of these modules is called the “quiz module”. In the quiz module, you can write questions, provide answers and give feedback on the learner’s performance. Learners can be given various levels of support to increase  their chances of coming up with the correct answers. The quiz questions can be combined in sets to form a complete “quiz”.

Moodle quizzes are fully integrated into the Moodle VLE and can be presented as part of it. There are other quiz formats, e.g. HotPotatoes, that allow you to design and present stand-alone quizzes for your own website. The general, pedagogical principles of this activity will still be relevant for these types of quizzes, however, any technical information would need to be adapted for different applications.

The content of a Moodle quiz depends entirely on you and can be as light-hearted or as serious as you make it. Some institutions use Moodle quizzes as part of their formal assessment, and learners get marks on their performance. In other cases, the Moodle quiz is an optional activity for students to check their progress independently.

You can download Moodle from http://moodle.org/. If you are already using a Moodle VLE, you can activate the Moodle module when you are in editing mode.

B. Why would I want to use Moodle quizzes in my teaching?

1. Because regular evaluation of progress is important in language study:
Delivering tests on paper and correcting them takes a long time. With an online quiz you can save time and use it for other in–class activities.
2. Because it enables your learners to choose the time and place for checking their progress:
All that learners need is internet access and log-in details for the Moodle workspace. They can take the quiz-test in their own time and receive feedback almost instantaneously.
3. Because it allows you to develop your own questions tailored to the content you are teaching:
    You can write your own questions and feedback and you can upload images or audio files. See Using Audacity for language teaching (available at: http://moodle.dots.ecml.at/) for a simple way of creating your own audio.
    You can re-assemble existing questions into new quizzes and adapt them if necessary.
4. Because you can check your learners’ progress at a glance:
You can set the Moodle quizzes so that a summary of results for all your students is visible to you.
5. Because it encourages learners to become more skilled in self-evaluation:
You can set the Moodle quizzes so that your students can also see a summary of their results and get a sense of their own progress.
6. Because you can share questions with other teachers:
Moodle is widely used, and you can export and import sets of Moodle quizzes if you want to share your resources with colleagues.
7. Because Moodle is built along constructivist principles and encourages students’ exploratory learning.
    For the theoretical basis, see:

As with any other teaching material, you need to keep the pedagogical considerations in mind when creating a useful quiz for your learners. To find out more about these pedagogical considerations, please refer to section D.

This initiative is carried out within the framework of a cooperation agreement between the European Centre for Modern Languages and the European Commission, entitled INNOVATIVE METHODOLOGIES AND ASSESSMENT IN LANGUAGE LEARNING   www.ecml.at/ec-cooperation