How do I assess student learning in Moodle?

Moodle has various features that allow you to determine how well students are understanding your course content and satisfying the learning outcomes you have developed for your course.  They fall into two general categories: assignments that students can submit to the course (in multiple forms) and quizzes/tests to assess student learning.

Assignments in Moodle

Moodle allows for students to submit written work to your course through the Assignment activity (link opens in new window).  Moodle records the time when the student submits the assignment, and it allows you to grade the assignment by providing inline feedback, a final comment, and a grade.  You can create an assignment in Moodle by following these instructions.  If you have students work in groups, you can also create a group assignment.  With group assignments, one student from the group uploads the assignment, and every member of the group can see the grade and feedback you give on the assignment. 

Moodle also has a feature called the Turnitin assignment that not only accepts student file submissions, but also checks those submissions against Turnitin's database of previously submitted student work, online sources, paper mills, etc.  Turnitin provides an "originality score" that indicates how much the language of the student submission matches other sources.  In addition, Turnitin has a feature called Feedback Studio that allows you to add comments to the student file submission, provide a final comment, and add a grade. 

If you want students to submit an audio or video recording, you can add a Kaltura Media Assignment to your course.  Students upload the recording via Moodle, and you can also view it and grade the audio/video submission within Moodle. 

Additional information related to assessing written work:


Testing Student Learning with Tests/Quizzes

The Moodle Quiz activity is highly flexible and appropriate for both high and low stake assessments.  It allows for multiple question types, including the typical multiple choice questions, true-false questions, fill-in-the-blank questions, essay questions, matching questions, etc.  If you choose questions for which you can provide the correct answer in advance, Moodle will grade the quiz for you, providing a final grade for the students and displaying any feedback that you entered while creating the quiz.  As you build quizzes over time, you can create a bank of questions, and you can have Moodle pull questions randomly from that Question Bank (or from a particular category of questions) to create different exams for each student.  Here are several help sheets related to the Quiz activity in Moodle:

We also have some additional best practices for delivering assessments with the Quiz activity in Moodle:

  • Create a practice quiz/exam worth a few participation points so that students can familiarize themselves with the quiz process before taking a higher-stakes quiz.  When taking a quiz, students need to answer the last question and save their responses, but then they are taken to a new screen, where they have to submit the quiz.  Occasionally, students don't read that second screen carefully, and they forget to submit the quiz.  Giving students the opportunity to practice on a quiz/test that has little value allows them to learn the process in an environment where a mistake is less costly.
  • For longer exams, divide the exam into multiple parts, so that students don't spend too much time working on the exam and not interacting with the server.  After about two hours of inactivity, Moodle can actually end a student's session behind the scenes, and when the student tries to submit the exam, the attempt is not submitted successfully.  When you are giving an exam, it's important to break the exam up into multiple pages, so that students are submitting their answers to questions frequently during the exam session.  If you have (for example) one section with multiple-choice questions and another section with long-answer (or essay) questions, you should consider diving the exam into two separate exams, which can each be completed in a shorter period of time.  If you do include long-answer questions on your Moodle exam, we recommend that you put just one of those questions per page, so that student work is saved each time the student clicks on the "Next page" button to move on to another question. 
  • If you are worried about cheating on the exam, consider randomizing the order of the questions and even the order of choices within questions.  With a single click, you can randomize the order that questions are presented to the students, so that each student attempt presents the questions differently.  You find that check box in the top-right corner of the screen when you are editing the quiz (adding questions to it): 

    Shuffle Question Order

    For multiple-choice questions, you can also shuffle the order that the choices are presented to students by clicking on the "Shuffle the choices" box just under the "General feedback" section, before you enter the first possible answer:

    Shuffle choices within question

  • If you are worried that students might have connection problems, you could choose to allow more than one attempt for the quiz.  You set the number of attempts when you initially add the quiz to the course and edit its settings.  You need to expand the Grade section and change the "Attempts allowed" setting from 1 to another number.  For high-stakes exams that contribute a high percentage to the overall course grade, you could consider allowing only one attempt and dealing with problems individually if/when they arrive, or you could choose an assessment type (for an example, an Assignment) that doesn't have a very specific time limit. 
  • You should assume that quiz attempts will be open-book, because you can't really prevent students from looking at their textbook as they take the quiz.  If you want to limit a student's ability to consult his/her textbook or notes, you can set a time limit for the quiz in the "Timing" area when you first create the quiz.  If that time limit is short enough and you have a sufficient number of questions to provide a sense of time pressure, then students will be dissuaded from searching for answers.  Under this scenario, you want to allow only a single attempt for the quiz.

If you have any questions about assessing your students using Moodle, please use this link to return to our Information Technology home page, and please click on the "Submit a Tech Ticket" link.


Article ID: 396
Mon 3/23/20 10:50 AM
Tue 12/5/23 4:09 PM