Sunday, February 3, 2013

The best way to create Moodle quiz questions for Microsoft users. Period.

What do you use to create Moodle quiz questions? Moodle's built in quiz engine? If you're an expert user, you may be using Notepad (I kid you not!) and the GIFT format of quiz questions. Like so.

// true/false
::Q1:: 1+1=2 {T}

// multiple choice with specified feedback for right and wrong answers
::Q2:: What's between orange and green in the spectrum? 
{ =yellow # right; good! ~red # wrong, it's yellow ~blue # wrong, it's yellow }

// fill-in-the-blank
::Q3:: Two plus {=two =2} equals four.

// matching
::Q4:: Which animal eats which food? { =cat -> cat food =dog -> dog food }

In my humble opinion, the advantage of the GIFT format is that it allows the casual to expert user to quickly create quiz questions which are then imported into Moodle's quiz engine. It shouldn't take a teacher too long to get used to the text-based method and notation.

I have used the GIFT format in the past to create quiz questions. So, I am not knocking it when I say that the disadvantage, in my humble opinion, is novice users (teachers new to Moodle) may find it too cryptic and will want something closer to home. Another drawback is, how do you insert graphics and image files into a GIFT format file?

Creating quiz questions with Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010


I want to now share with you what, in my humble and honest opinion, is the best way for Moodle newbies and novice users, who use Microsoft Word 2007 or 2010, to create Moodle quiz questions. Here it is,  Daniel Scheidegger's Word Template version 20, which Lael Grant modified into version 21. Others from the Moodle community have also contributed code to it. This forum explains a bit.

Now isn't this a sight for sore eyes for the Ms Word user?

I'm using this excellent Ms Word quiz template to create Moodle quiz questions. It saves the Ms Word 2007 or 2010 content as an XML file. It works and saves me time when creating quiz questions.

Here are FIVE reasons why I like it. No, love it.
  1. Great tab and icon interface. Blends in seamlessly with Microsoft Word's menus.
  2. It uses Ms Word 2007 or 2010 which is what many users at my college are familiar with; if you and your colleagues already use Microsoft Word, then using the Word quiz template will allow them to start from familiar ground;
  3. It's a WYSIWYG way of creating quizzes - you can see all the questions within the same document;
  4. You can easily paste images into the quiz document, and those images will be embedded into the XML file. So your quiz questions will show those images as part of the questions that they belong in;
  5. Instead of importing the questions into Moodle's question bank, you can always edit and print the Winword file that contains the questions as a question paper.
You can download it from Make sure you login as Guest. Alternatively, you can get it from here as well. from the bottom of this post!
(updated on 19th January 2017)

Here are some screenshots of my quiz document. I'm using Ms Word 2007.

The Mini Cooper dashboard image
was pasted using the Paste Image icon

Using the matching items quiz question
is a bit challenging when you reach the last item.

True and False statement
questions can also be added.

More Multiple-Choice questions.

Don't you just love images
within your quiz questions? 

How to use the Quiz template? Here's an abbreviated guide (read: I'm lazy).
  1. Download and extract the contents of the zip file. 
  2. Double click on the file named Example.docx. 
  3. Modify accordingly. Make use of the Moodle quiz tab icons on the ribbon.

    Two useful buttons.
  4. When ready, click the Check Layout icon to check for any formatting errors. 
  5. If all is well, then click the Export to XML button to create an XML file.
    Any images you pasted into the questions will be automatically embedded into the xml file. Isn't that wonderful?

So have I convinced you, dear Microsoft Word user, that Daniel Scheidegger's Word quiz template is a God-send? Is anyone else using a template similar to this? What's your best practice when it comes to creating quiz questions for Moodle? Just use Notepad and create GIFT format questions? Or use Excel templates? Moodle's native Quiz question form and interface?

What about non-Microsoft users? What quiz question creator tool do you use?
Please share your tool and experience.

Frankie Kam

UPDATE: 19th January 2017
Please follow the evolution of this plugin here:

The latest version of moodle_quiz_v21 works well on MS Word 2007, MS Word 2010 and MS Word 2013. It is found here:

If you like this post or site
a small donation would be nice but would last only a day,
otherwise leaving a comment (or a compliment) below will last me a month!


  1. Hi Frankie. I remember this from years ago and I haven't played with it since. I will download and take a look - I think for teachers who are used to Word I agree with you; it could be a God send :)

  2. thanks!Do you have a user manual?

  3. Hi Nguyen. Nope. I was kinda hoping that you'd write one for us! :-)

  4. "Export to XML" --> "save" --> Microsoft VB (run-time error '13' type mismatch) --> "Debug" --> Set objStream = CreateObject("ADODB.Stream") ????

    I user office 2010 & win7

  5. Hi Nguyen
    Best if you post a message on a forum seeking help on the above error message. You can also google "Microsoft VB (run-time error '13' type mismatch)" for some ideas. Do you have Visual Basic installed on your PC?

  6. I have some error of "run-time error '13' type mismatch".

  7. I test and found it only work in MS Office 2007. I have the same error in 2010. Also, I found that it can only attach image in Questions, but not Answers.

  8. I have found an alternative to the Word template that gave me grief.
    It is called "Question Machine" and it is available (free) here:

  9. Crikey, Craig! You are absolutely brilliant! Thank you for sharing this.

  10. I'm not the brilliant one. The brilliant person is the person (people?) who designed it.

  11. That question machine tool is great!!!!!

  12. The best way to create Cloze questions: a VERY handy Cloze question creation tool available at


Ratings and Recommendations by outbrain