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, September 14, 2011

The Fastest Way to Create a Course Review in Moodle

Students who read a passage, then took  a test asking them to recall what they read, retain about 50 percent more of the information a week later than students who used two other methods to study the material. That research was published in the journal Science.

Fortunately, Moodle makes it easy to create a quiz that you can use for review purposes. A Review Quiz in Moodle will enable you to re-use a log of the work that you do while creating the course, and, increase your students’ retention of the material. The keys to successfully creating a Review Quiz in Moodle are:

  • using feedback in your quiz questions.

  • creating a separate category of questions for each topic in your course.

  • creating one-page review for each topic in your course.

First, let’s look at the feedback for Moodle questions.

Feedback in Moodle Quiz Questions

In a previous post, I wrote about the various kinds of feedback that you can create in a Moodle quiz. I wrote about how to use feedback that is display when:

  • the student selects a specific answer.

  • the question is completed, no matter what the student’s answer.

  • the student achieves a specific score on the quiz.

  • the quiz is completed, no matter what the student’s score.

These four types of feedback give you the ability to make a Moodle quiz into a teaching tool. Instead of using a quiz to just test the student, you can use it to teach.

If you create quiz questions for every topic in your course then you can use a fast, easy method to create a course review. This method assumes that each question in your course includes feedback to teach the student why (s)he is right or wrong, and to help the student remember the correct answer.

Creating a Review Quiz in Moodle

With this method, you will use four phases to create a review quiz:

  • Create a category of quiz questions for each topic.

  • Create a quiz for each topic.

  • Create a one-page review for each topic.

  • Assemble the one-page reviews and questions into a review quiz.

Let’s step through each phase below.

First: Create a category of quiz questions for each topic

Here’s how to prepare your questions for a review quiz:

  • For each topic, create a category of quiz questions.

  • For each of the categories that you just created, create several quiz questions. Now, you have several quiz questions for each topic.

  • For every answer in each question, create feedback that teaches them why that answer is right or wrong. Now, every answer of every question is a teaching tool.

  • For every question, create general feedback that explains why that question is relevant. Now, no matter which answer the student selected, (s)he will learn where that question fits into the bug picture.

  • Make sure that each quiz question can stand alone. Do not refer to or depend upon any other questions.

Now your question bank for the course looks like this:

Topic 1 Questions

Question 1

Question 2

General Question Feedback: “This question relates to the concept of…”

Answer A

Answer Feedback: “This answer is correct because…”

Answer B

Answer Feedback: “This answer is incorrect because... The correct answer is…”

Answer C

Answer Feedback: “This answer is incorrect because... The correct answer is…

Question 3

Topic 2 Questions

Topic 3 Questions

Now every answer, and every question, is a teaching tool. And, every question can stand on its own. You are ready to create a quiz for each topic.

Second: Create a quiz for each topic

For each topic, create a quiz. You can make the quiz appear in the gradebook, or, make a practice quiz that doesn’t affect the student’s final grade.

Third: Create a one-page review for each topic

For each topic in the course, create a one-page review. This can be a simple bulleted list of key points, an infogram, a video, or any other technique. Keep the review short enough so that it can be read, viewed, or listened to in a few minutes.

Fourth: Assemble the one-page reviews and questions into a review quiz

Finally, you are ready to create the review quiz. In the review quiz, you will assemble the one-page reviews and teaching questions.        Â

  • Create a quiz, and add instructions that look like this:

This quiz is practice for the final quiz. Your grade for this quiz will not be used to calculate your final grade.

This quiz will present one page of bullet points for each topic that we covered. These bullet points are reminders of what you studied in the topic.

Then, the quiz will present some random questions from that topic's quiz. Do your best on these questions. Feel free to refer back to the topic's presentation while attempting the questions. As before, the questions will give you feedback if you answer incorrectly.

The reminders before the questions, and feedback after the questions, are designed to help you learn the material.

You can attempt this practice quiz as many times as you like. When you're ready, proceed to the final quiz.

There are two things that make creating a review quiz in Moodle easy. Moodle enables you to add Descriptions to a quiz, and to add manual page breaks.

In a Moodle quiz, a Description is just a question that consists of nothing but a Web page. You can put anything into a Description that you can put on a normal Web page. The student doesn’t need to answer anything, and the Description doesn’t get scored. Usually, you use a Description to explain a section of the quiz. In this case, you will use the Description to display the one-page summary of the topic.

  • Add a Description to the quiz, and name it something like “Topic 1 Review Page.” Then add the one-page review for the topic to the Description.

  • After the Review Page, add a page break.

  • After the page break, add several random questions from the topic. To do this, you will select the topic’s question category, and then instruct Moodle to add a certain number of random questions from that category.

  • After the random questions, add a page break.

  • Repeat steps 2 through 5 until you have a Review Page and random questions for each topic in your course.

Congratulations! You’ve created a review test for your course. Because you re-used questions from your previous quizzes, you made efficient use of your work. Because you alternated a brief review of a topic with questions about that topic, you used the learning principle of Immediate Feedback to improve retention.