For Consulting and Contact Information

For Consulting and Contact Information

If you'd like to contact me, or learn more about my Moodle, e-learning, and Blackboard consulting services, please make a quick trip to my new website at

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Using different kinds of feedback in a Moodle quiz

Moodle quizzes enable you to create different kinds of feedback. Let's define the different types of feedback, and then, let me suggest some best uses for each kind.

Types of Moodle Quiz Feedback

Different Feedback for Each Answer

You can have feedback for each of the answers in a question, so if the student selects answer "A" the feedback is different than if the student selected answer "B." Let's call this kind of feedback "choice specific," because it changes with each answer that the student chooses.

Different Feedback for Right and Wrong Answers

A less specific type of feedback is using one feedback message for the correct answer to a question, and another for all of the wrong answers to the question. Let's call this type of feedback "right/wrong," because the feedback changes according to whether the student got the answer right or wrong.

General Question Feedback

General question feedback gives the student the same feedback no matter what answer they chose.

Different Feedback for Different Quiz Scores

You can also have feedback based on the student's score for the quiz. For example, if the student scored greater than 90 percent, the feedback might congratulate the student on a great score. Let's call this "overall feedback," since that's the term Moodle uses.

Uses for Moodle Quiz Feedback

Best uses for different types of feedback in Moodle quizzes.
Type of feedbackUsage

choice specific



For right answers, tell why that choice is correct, in case the student selected the correct answer by guessing.

For each wrong answer, there's a reason the student would think that it is correct. In the feedback for that choice, I address that specific reason. For example, take the question "Which is the smallest planet?" If the student selects "Pluto," then my feedback will state something like "A few years ago, your answer would have been correct. Pluto was considered the smallest planet, until it was downgraded to a pluton. Now Uranus is the smallest planet." The challenge for me is in creating feedback that addresses the probable reason the student chose that answer, without assuming that reason. If I can't do that, then I fall back on just using that same feedback for all wrong answers.

general question feedbackGive students background about the knownledge the question was testing. Or give a link to more information about the knowledge that was tested.
overall feedbackWhole-quiz feedback is difficult for me to make meaningful. If I want to tell the student anything more than, "You passed with flying colors," the quiz needs to be very very focused on a narrow topic. For example, what if the student scores low on a quiz on the American Revolution because (s)he missed all the questions on dates? And what if the student answered every other question correctly? The computer doesn't say, "You did great with concepts and names, but you seem to have a problem memorizing dates." But if I break that quiz up into mini-quizzes, and one of them is "Dates of the American Revolution," then I can say something meaningful in the whole-quiz feedback.

Articles About Using Feedback to Help Learning

Since we're talking of using question feedback as a learning tool, you might be interested in these articles that I found online: "Effects of immediate self-correction, delayed self-correction, and no correction on the acquisition and maintenance of multiplication facts by a fourth-grade student with learning disabilities." Also, "Effects of immediate and delayed error correction on the acquisition and maintenance of sight words by students with developmental disabilities." If you use question feedback, and make the quiz short so there's not a long delay between answering question number 1 and submitting the quiz, then I think that qualifies as "immediate error correction." Even more immediate would be to use a lesson, with one question per page, which the student answers before moving on to the next page in the lesson. That's my preferred way of creating immediate error correction. Partly because a lesson page is more flexible than a quiz question. And partly because each lesson page is "submitted" before moving to the next, making the feedback/error correction truly immediate.