Moodle 1.9 Testing and Assessment: Advanced Options in Quiz

Jason Myrick

December 2010


Moodle 1.9 Testing and Assessment

Moodle 1.9 Testing and Assessment

Develop and evaluate quizzes and tests using Moodle modules

  • Create and evaluate interesting and interactive tests using a variety of Moodle modules
  • Create simple vocabulary or flash card tests and complex tests by setting up a Lesson module
  • Motivate your students to excel through feedback and by keeping their grades online
  • A well-structured practical guide packed with illustrative examples and screenshots


        Read more about this book      

(For more resources on Moodle 1.9, see here.)

Adding images to multiple-choice questions

You are not going to always want simple text-based questions or answers. One common type of question that instructors frequently use is the image-based question. This item incorporates an image into the question.

These questions are easy to create and can offer new dimensions for questions, as well as make the questions and test much more interesting to students. You can add images to any question or any field that allows you to use the rich-text editor, but we are going to use a single-answer, multiple choice question. We will follow the same basic steps as before.

Step 1

We need to create a new multiple-choice question. When we are editing the question, we need to add the question name. We then need to add the question text. The question text we will be using for ours will be Which holiday is this girl celebrating?

Step 2

We now go to the toolbar and click on the Insert Image icon. It is the icon that looks like a framed picture of a mountain, located two places to the left of the smiley face icon.

Once we click on this icon, a pop-up menu will appear, as shown in the next screenshot:

Moodle 1.9 Testing and Assessment: Advanced Options in Quiz

Here we have a few options in regards to how to use images and how they will be displayed in the question.

Image URL & Alternate text

If we use this option, we are able to take images directly from the Internet and use them for our tests.

To use it we first need to have the address where the image is found. We are not looking for the address of the site here, but just the image. If you simply link to the web page, it will not work. To get just the image address, click on the image and you should get a menu with one of the options being View Image. Select View Image and you will be taken to a different page with only that image. This is the address you want to use.

Once you have the image address, you copy and paste it to the Image URL text area.With the image address entered, we need to give the image a title in the Alternate text area. You can use anything you'd like here, but I tend to use the image name itself if it describes the image. If not, I create a short descriptive text of the image, something like "Girl celebrating Halloween".

After you have entered text in both the Image URL and the Alternate text, click on the OK button and the image will be added to your question. It is important to note that if the website you pulled the image from removes it or changes its location, it will not be available for the question. It is therefore advisable to download the image, so that it will always be available to you.

When you have finished adding responses and saving the question, you will see something like the following screenshot:

Moodle 1.9 Testing and Assessment: Advanced Options in Quiz

Source: Image: Tina Phillips /

Now, looking back at the options available in the Insert image pop-up, you see three formatting options directly under the Image URL and Alternate text box where we were just working. They are called: Layout, Spacing, and Size.


In this fieldset, we are given ways to alter the Alignment and the Border thickness. Note that the image may be displayed differently on different browsers, although the CSS of the theme you are using will usually provide the appropriate margins and padding


There are several options available here that show how the text and the image will be displayed. The full list is shown in the next screenshot:

Moodle 1.9 Testing and Assessment: Advanced Options in Quiz

Most of these options are self-explanatory: Left will place the image to the left of the text, Right will place the image to the right of the text, and so on. However, there are a few possibly new terms. Texttop, Baseline, and Absbottom are HTML terms that many people might be unsure of. Texttop simply means that the very top of the tallest text (for example, l, b) will be aligned with the top of the image. This function works same as Top with some browsers. Baseline means that the imaginary line that all letters sit on will be aligned with the bottom of the image. In most browsers today, this functions the same as Bottom. Absbottom means that the letters that go below the baseline are aligned with the bottom of the image (for example, g, j). The top option, Not Set will place the image wherever the cursor is, without any special guide as to how it should be displayed.

Border thickness

The image you put into the question should look identical to the image you chose to use. If you are placing this image inside of text, or the edges are indistinct, or you simply want to frame it, use Border Thickness

By placing a number in the Border thickness box, we will create a black border around the image. A small number will give a narrow border and a bigger number will give a thicker one.

Here are three images showing the difference in borders. The first is set with a border of 0, the second has a border of 5, and the third with 10. You will notice that the image size itself is the same, but the border causes the viewable area of the image to compress

Moodle 1.9 Testing and Assessment: Advanced Options in Quiz Moodle 1.9 Testing and Assessment: Advanced Options in Quiz Moodle 1.9 Testing and Assessment: Advanced Options in Quiz

Source: Images courtesy of:


There are two spacing options available, Horizontal and Vertical. The larger the number entered, the more space there is between the text and the images.


This setting allows you to set the horizontal distance between the image and the text surrounding it. This option can be useful if you need to have the image set apart from the text in the question or explanation.


This setting is like the horizontal setting. It allows you to set the vertical distance between text and the image. This option can be useful if you need to have set distances between the text or have multiple images in a list with text surrounding them.


The two options here are Width and Height. These two settings allow you to alter the size of the image; smaller numbers will make the image smaller and probably easier to work with. Note that the actual images are not resized. For the best result, first resize the images on your computer to the size you want them to be.


This setting allows you to alter the width of the image. Altering this setting without altering the height will produce narrow or wide images, depending on whether you adjust the value up or down.


This setting allows you to alter the height of the image. This option functions just like Width, and will allow you to produce images that are vertically stretched or shrunk.

File Browser

In this space, you will see any images that have been uploaded to the course. As you can see in the previous screenshot, it is empty, which tells us that there aren't pictures available in the course yet. If you look below File Browser, you will see four options for images uploaded to the course. You can Delete, Move, Zip, or Rename any images that have already been uploaded into the course.


This is where you can view any images that have been added to the course. This feature can be useful if you have a lot of images and tend to forget which images are which.

        Read more about this book      

(For more resources on Moodle 1.9, see here.)

Browse & Upload

This button, located underneath File Browser, is how we find images already on our computer. On my computer, this button automatically opens up My Pictures, which allows me to access all my images stored there. Your computer may be different, but most likely, it will do the same.

  1. Once you are in your image collection folder, you need to select the image you want, click on Open, and the image location will be copied to the textbox beside the Browse button.
  2. When the location of the photo has been added, click on the Upload button and the image will be added to the course.

Course Images

If you are planning on using a lot of images in your course, you might want to create a course pictures folder to hold them all in. By creating a folder, you can reduce the clutter and keep yourself better organized. To create an image folder, simply enter a name in the Create Folder textbox located in the Insert Image menu, in the bottom-left, and click on the Create Folder button. This will add the folder to the File Browser area.

The next question is going to be about a fruit, so I'm going to upload the photo of an apple. Here is what we have after it is has been added.

Moodle 1.9 Testing and Assessment: Advanced Options in Quiz

Now I am free to use this image in any question I want. There are two ways to do this.

The first and simplest method is the go to the question editing page and under the Question text, you will find a drop-down menu called Image to display. In this menu, you will see all the images currently available for the question. It will use the default settings to place the image. The screenshot is as follows:

Moodle 1.9 Testing and Assessment: Advanced Options in Quiz

The second way we can add the image to our question is by simply clicking on the Apple Photo.jpg in the File Browser of the Insert Image window. This action will cause the image to appear in the Preview box on the right, and the directory location will appear in the Image URL at the top. We will also see the image Size and Type underneath the image Preview| Properties. We must add an Alternate text> entry to the image, as well. Here is what the dialog box looks like before we click on OK and the image is added to our question.

Moodle 1.9 Testing and Assessment: Advanced Options in Quiz

Source: Image Courtesy of:

I have already prepared a question, and now adding this image to it produces the same outcome as the girl witch question, a question with an image. Here is what the question looks like, as shown in the next screenshot:

Moodle 1.9 Testing and Assessment: Advanced Options in Quiz

Source: Image courtesy of:

Pretty nice, huh? Actually, I don't think so. I don't like the placement of the image in the question and I don't think the size is appropriate. Let's fix it!

Manual adjustments

When you first add the image to the question, it probably won't look exactly like you wanted it to, so you'll need to manually adjust it. This is a very simple process.


The first thing you need to make sure of are the actual dimensions of the image. Is it too large? Too small? If it is, you need to go back to the question, open it for editing, and go to the Insert Image dialog window. Alternatively, you can re-enter this dialog window by first clicking on the image and then on the Add Image button in the rich-text editor. Change the numbers in Width and leave the Height blank, or vice versa. The program will automatically determine the other value and not stretch the image. It is best to use this method unless you have specific dimensions you want to use.

Once the dimensions are in place, save and preview the question.

If you first select the image, you will be ready to move on. If you did not first select the image, you will be creating an additional image in the question. You may want to delete the old image.


The actual location of the image on the page may not work or it may not look how you thought it would. This isn't a problem. The first thing you may want to do is switch to the full-screen editing mode, as your screen is more likely to have dimensions closer to those of your site.

You can see the image in the question. You are able to click and drag it to a different location in the question. You can also use the Spacebar or Backspace and enter to adjust left/right/up/down locations. However, reinserting is probably a faster route to altering the image location. When you have the image where you want it, preview the question to make sure you like the look of it.

Now, I have adjusted the previous image using my mouse to click and drag it to where I wanted it. The question looks better now. It took me about 30 seconds to make the changes to the previous item. Here is what we have now. Looks better, right?

Moodle 1.9 Testing and Assessment: Advanced Options in Quiz

Source: Image courtesy of:

Adding multiple images

Now, I mentioned earlier that if you didn't first select the image before adjusting the size, you will create an additional one and you will want to delete the old one. However, occasionally you may want to add more than a single image to a question.

The first thing you need to do is find the images you want. I have gone ahead and added a few more images to the course.

Create Folder

Now that we have uploaded several images to the course, I can show you about this function. Create Folder allows us to make different folders to hold our images. We now have several images related to fruits and vegetables, so we are going to create a folder titled Fruits and Vegetables.

The first thing we need to do is enter the name of our new folder into the textbox beside the Create Folder button. Once this is done, we click on the button and a new folder will appear above the images in the course, as seen in the next screenshot:

Moodle 1.9 Testing and Assessment: Advanced Options in Quiz

To place our images in the folder, we need to check each of the boxes and click on the Move button. This will bring up a message stating # files selected for moving. Now go into the destination folder and click on Move files here. Now we need to check the Fruits and Vegetables link. This action will open up a directory with the Move files here button. Click on the button and the files will be moved.

Now when you go back to the Insert Image menu, you will no longer see the images, you will only see the folder containing them. This is a very useful function if you are working with different image types.

Now, I create a new multiple-choice question and go to the Insert Images menu. I select the image I want and add the Alternate text, make any adjustments to the Size (here, I will be using 150x150), and click on OK.

We repeat this process as many times as necessary to add all the images we want to our question. When you are adding new images, make sure the previous image is not selected or that image will disappear and the new one will take its place. Switching to the full screen editor really helps.

After writing the question and manually adjusting the image locations, add a letter next to each image and the result will be as shown in the following screenshot

Moodle 1.9 Testing and Assessment: Advanced Options in Quiz

Source: Images courtesy of:

For this particular question, I have turned off numbering, because it would be redundant to have the options numbered, as well as having single letter responses.

I have turned off the answer shuffling option, because it would be more confusing to students if the A, B, C, and D responses were in a different order than the images associated with the letters.

You can also use a table in the rich-text editor to keep the images looking good and in the right position. Just create a new table and set rows, columns, and spacing to look the way you want, then insert the images inside the cells.

Multi-image multi-response

If you want to include a question with multiple answers and with multiple images, you can. Make sure to change the One or Multiple answers drop-down menu from One answer only to Multiple answers allowed. This action will change the radio buttons to checkboxes and allow you to create multiple responses. I'm not going to give an example because of space constraint and the fact that I'm sure you can figure it out. If you decide to use this style, remember to make sure that you have given each of the responses a score!

        Read more about this book      

(For more resources on Moodle 1.9, see here.)

Adding a Web Link (Hyperlink)

If you want your students to do some long reading comprehension assignments or if you want them to view a website or something else online, it is possible to insert a Web Link into the question text. While it is called a Web Link, this function can link to files online. This feature is especially useful for long passages or large images.

To add a link, you first need to write the text associated with the question. If you have no text, you can't create a link. So, first, we will write our question text. While we are writing the text, we will also fill in the answers and assign scores.

Now that we have our text, I select the word or words to be the link to our external information, image, web page, and other destinations. Once the words are highlighted, click on the Insert Web Link icon. When you click on it, an Insert Link window will appear.

Here, you need to enter the link to the URL you want to use. You also need to give the entry some kind of title, which will appear as a tool tip in standard-compliant browsers and can be used by screen readers for the visually impaired. Giving the link some kind of name to recognize where it will take you to is also a good idea. You can also choose the Target. There are several options here: new window, same window, and others. If you decide to use Target, choose one that works best for your needs. However, it may be better to let the user decide since setting a target goes against web-interface standards

There is also the option for using an Anchor, if you have created any. An Anchor is a link within a page, and it allows you to jump quickly to an area by clicking on it. Top and Bottom are two common anchors, which quickly bring you to the top or bottom of the page you are viewing. These anchor spots first need to be defined by you before using the Anchor options.

Now, we are going to create a question about Brazil. We've found a web page we want our students to read over before they answer the question. We'll add the address to the reading in the URL line. For the Title, we are going to call it Brazil Reading, so the students, when hovering their mouse over the link, will see what it leads to. We are going to set a target here. For Target, we are going to select New Window, so the reading and test will be on two different pages. Do not forget to use New Window. If you do, the quiz will effectively end when the page changes. This mistake is a No! Because we have not set an Anchor, there is no option for selecting anything in this box.

Moodle 1.9 Testing and Assessment: Advanced Options in Quiz

Scan the Wikipedia article about Brazil and then add the hyperlink to the Wikipedia article about Brazil. The question is now ready. The text I highlighted to be the link is now a link that will open a new window with the reading about Brazil. The students will click on the this article link, which will open the Brazil Reading, find the information, and then answer the question. Here is what the final product looks like.

Moodle 1.9 Testing and Assessment: Advanced Options in Quiz

You can also link to files on your computer. Looking at the Insert Link window, you will see a Browse button to the left-hand side of the OK button. If you click on this button, you will be brought on the Insert Link File Browser. In this browser, you will see a list of files you have uploaded to the course. You can select one of these files to use, or you may upload a new file. If you want to use any of the files already in the File Browser, then simply click on one and it will be added as the URL. If you want to use a file not already uploaded, then you need to go to the Browse button at the bottom of the menu and find the file you want to upload. Click on the Upload button and the file will be added to the main course files directory. You will want to upload your files well in advance so that you can make good decisions about where you want the files located. Once the file is uploaded, you will be able to click on it and its location will be added to the URL. Then follow the same steps as before to make the question work the way you want it to.

Creating the Test

Now that we have created several multiple-choice questions, we simply need to move them to the test. To do this, we just repeat the process we used with the True/False questions. Back in the Editing Quiz page, click on the Move icon next to the question to move it from the Question bank to the Questions in this test. We have created six multiple-choice items, so there should be six in our test at this point. Note that for book spacing issues, I have eliminated one of the single image items.

Once we have all the questions added to the test, we need to go in and take it. I have gone through everything, and the test is functioning properly. Here is what our final test looks like as shown in the following screenshot:

Well, that's it. We have created a variety of multiple-choice items and created a test. I'd just like to point out one issue that I feel needs to be addressed: feedback.

General feedback issues

Feedback is usually helpful and something that can help us grow as students or instructors. However, sometimes the different types of feedback that can be delivered with Quiz can be too much. Giving General Feedback, Item feedback, and Feedback for each correct or incorrect response puts a lot of information on the student's test, some of it too general to be of any real use. Look at this question, which is the same one we used in our first multiple-response question, and look at the Before feedback and After feedback screenshots:

Before feedback:

Moodle 1.9 Testing and Assessment: Advanced Options in Quiz

After feedback:

Moodle 1.9 Testing and Assessment: Advanced Options in Quiz

You can see all three feedback areas displayed here. Next to the answers, you can see the response feedback. This feedback is fairly useful, because it gives the correct meaning for each word. Under the responses, you can see the feedback for an incorrect response. "Trying to review more before the next test" might not be as useful as the concrete feedback given previously. Finally, under the Submit button, you can see the general feedback. This is the feedback all students receive and something that, by its very nature, must be general. This seems like a lot of feedback for a single item, and doesn't include the Quiz feedback based on score, which we haven't looked at yet.

You might note that there is no feedback for a correct response, or a partially correct response. Why do you think this is? You probably guessed it, but to get correct response feedback, the question needs to be 100 percent correct. To get a partial score, some percentage needs to be correct. For incorrect feedback, the result must be 0 percent. If you recall, in the question I used here we gave 50 percent for correct responses and -50 percent for incorrect responses. Therefore, the score on this question is 0 percent, giving me the incorrect response feedback text.

If you are the type of instructor who likes to give a lot of feedback, this approach may work for you. If you are the type who doesn't want to give too much feedback, then I would recommend using only what you feel you need. General feedback might be an overkill in many situations.

Often, a single piece of useful feedback to a student is worth more than many pieces that are vague. You need to decide how much you want to put there for your students, and also estimate how much they will absorb from each question. Remember that the feedback is available for each question, so a page full of feedback will likely be glanced at but not really absorbed.

Your turn

Now it is time for you to give this a try. What I want you to do now is to try and make each of the question types that we have talked about in this article and create a test. Your test should include:

  • Single-response item
  • Multiple-response item
  • Item with an image
  • Item with multiple images
  • Item with Web Link

I'm going to walk you through creating the first one, but you will need to do the others on your own. If you get stuck, look back at the article to find out why. When you finish, preview each of your questions and the test.

Step 1

Create a new quiz and title it Multiple Choice Quiz. Use the same words for the Introduction.

Scroll down to the Attempts section and turn Adaptive mode to No.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the Save and display button.

Step 2

Click on the Edit tab. Change the Question Category to Default for Multiple Choice Quiz. Then go to the Create new question drop-down menu and select Multiple Choice.

Step 3

Now we are in the Adding a multiple choice question page. For Question name and Question text, please enter Who was the first person to travel to the South Pole? If you ever have a name that is too long, and this one is pretty close, simply use keywords that will help you identify it, something like: Identify first person South Pole.

Scroll down and make sure that the One or multiple answers drop-down is set to One answer only. Then make sure there is a check in the Shuffle the choices box. After that, change the numbering to No numbering. I usually use No numbering to keep my tests looking clean, but you may want to have letters or numbers next to your answer choices.

For Choice 1, enter Amundsen and give the Grade as 100 percent. In the feedback text add That's right! He arrived at the South Pole December 14, 1911.

We want to have a total of four possible responses, so for the remaining three choices enter: Wilson, Scott, Ross (all members of early South Pole expeditions). For each of these grades, leave the setting at None. For feedback, enter Sorry, but it was Amundsen. He arrived at the South Pole on December 14, 1911.

When you have finished, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click on the Save changes button.

Step 4

Now lets click on the Preview icon next to the question. Answer the question correctly and you should see something like the image shown in the following screenshot:

Moodle 1.9 Testing and Assessment: Advanced Options in Quiz

Step 5

If everything is correct, add the item to the test. If not, go back and fix any mistakes.

Now go back and create the remaining questions and add them to your test.

Just one final note on numbering before you make your test. I used all of the numbering systems available to give you an idea of how they looked. I would not recommend doing the same thing on a test. Choose one system, (personally, I prefer no numbering) and stick with it.


As you can see, the multiple-choice question format offers a lot of options. From simple text-based questions to multi-image ones, from single to multiple responses. There is a lot you can do with Quiz's multiple-choice question type. You will probably be using these questions a lot, so make sure to get used to them early.

Don't forget to make full use of all the options available in the rich-text editor and to review all your questions and answers multiple times. Once you have finished creating the test, take it to make sure it does what you want it to and the scoring comes out correctly.

Further resources on this subject:

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