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Home LIBRARY Articles BOOK REVIEW - MOODLE Testing and Assessment

BOOK REVIEW - MOODLE Testing and Assessment

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Piecture of front cover of book - Moodle 1.91 Testing and AssessmentJason Myrick,

Moodle 1.9 Testing and Assessment - Develop and evaluate quizzes and tests using
Moodle modules

Most course designers need to consider how to check that the objectives of a course, or its parts and modules, have been met (summative assessment). Often we need to consider whether learning can be supported using testing style activities (formative assessment) and so break out of the 'presentation' or 'telling' style of subject delivery. Out of the box Moodle provides a wealth of Quiz types which can be used to create rich and meaningful tests and assessments for both summative and formative purposes. However, whilst the available documentation for Moodle quizzes is thorough from a technical point of view I have not yet found a source of good practice on how I might apply the Quiz types to different learning needs and situations. This latest book from Packt goes a long way to filling the gap.

Published by Packt Publishing Ltd. 32 Lincoln Road, Olton, Birmingham, B27 6PA, UK - ISBN 978-1-849512-34-3, First published: December 2010

HOW TO BUY - PACKT publishing, Amazon ,(Amazon reviews)

Who will find this article useful?
  • e-learning designers and authors
  • Moodle teachers
  • Syllabus and programme managers
  • Moodle novices and experts
  • Those looking to build P3 learning and support portals


This new book addresses many different needs from several perspectives - and that means great value no matter what my personal interest, skill or position in the 'great scheme of things'.

It looks at using Moodle modules for testing and assessment at 2 levels of interest- technical "how do I do it?" AND application/outcome "how can I apply it to my course need?"

In addition I get the feeling having read it that it's really 4 'mini-books' brought together as one - even better.


It's 4 books in 1!

Part 1 answers the question “What are Moodle Quizzes and Question types and how do I set them up?” chapter 1 introduces the general Quiz module, its options and an overview of setting up a Quiz in your course, it introduces the True/False question type as a simple example to build confidence, Chapters  2-3 introduce all of Moodles other question types, and chapter 4 wraps up by guiding the reader through the creation of a complete quiz. Each quiz type is covered in a simple yet thorough style, step by step technical guidance is given - and the bonus of many small real-world 'best practice' tips and trips offered all the way through.

Part 2 answers the question “What other Moodle modules can be applied to develop test and assessments?” -  Specifically chapters 5 and 6 look in detail at the Lesson and Workshop modules. Okay, so you thought you knew al lbout Moodle Quizzes? Well, perhaps you do- but did you know that  there are other means to test and assess without using the Quiz module? I think it is good news to at last find a (very) thorough description of setting up and using the Lesson module - great if you want ot build rich event and condition driven learning paths without resorting to complex web 'technologies' (e.g. extra Flash and Scorm elements brought together in a Moodle course but not linked or dependent)

Part 3 answers the question “How can I use Moodle to test and assess ‘skills’ – specifically Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing – chapters 7-10 cover these by applying the stuff covered in the previous chapters AND introducing specific modules, and sometimes novel use of them, to address these and other areas. Most notable non-Quiz modules referenced are: the in-built multi-media player for assessment of audio and video content, Forums with grading, Flash cards, Glossary for checking meaning comprehension, Quizport to create a single 'set' of multiple but disparate test activities, Hot Potatoes quiz types, VoiceBoard, VoiceShadow and Skype for speaking tests, Mindmap for idea capturing,

Part 4 answers the question “How do I use the grades from Moodle’s assessment modules” and “How do I customise and add my own assessment, outcome and scoring method?”. New Moodle users often overlook the fact that the software comes with one standard grading 'scheme' already set-up - but it may not reflect the needs of your learners or organisation. So, matching Moodle courses and activities to your own competence framework or learning outcomes is possible - and this section shows you how.

Table of contents, although a bit on the long side, is useful as it gives a view of the scope of topics covered. Helpful perhaps for those using the book as a reference and needing to locate appropriate guidance, technical detail or steps to follow.

The top of the Preface section (after TOC) gives a chapter summary – very useful to ‘home in’ on an area of interest – and rapidly – it’s only a just over a page


The section on Lessons could be better. The Lesson module is complex and to describe it and teach how it works needs a lot of thought. For me I would have benefitted from a bit more ‘step by step’ instruction on how to do some of the things the author said are possible. For example…where the author covers the CLUSTER feature of the module they stated what they had done to setup up some content but not exactly how to do it…there was only a final screen shot showing the end result but not the detailed instructions of how to achieve this. Still, it is useful to know what is possible with the module…maybe I need to take some time out to find out more detail. It should be remembered that the focus of the book is on using Moodle features to support testing and assessment, NOT to give a detailed practical guide to the Lesson module. The author summarises the pros and cons of using the Lesson module beautifully in the last section of this chapter.


  • Covers a lot of scope – what’s possible in Moodle, how to do it, practical technical tips well outside ‘core’ Moodle features (e.g. how to use Audacity to create audio files etc.)
  • Rich in ideas and strategies.