Moodle has a number of activities that can be used to gather data from students. 

The simplest of these is the Choice activity which can be used to ask a quick multiple choice question.

The Feedback and Questionnaire activities allow you to ask multiple questions and gather multiple data types from your students. The Feedback activity allows you to hide the results from students, but the Questionnaire activity does not.

There is also a Database activity that can be used to collect more advanced data (unlike the previously mentioned activities, the purpose of the database is not just about asking questions). It can be used to collect any number of data points including collecting files from students.

Please refer to the table below for a summary of the differences between the activities:

FeatureChoice activityFeedback activityQuestionnaire activityDatabase activity
Allows Multiple QuestionsNoYesYesYes
Allows Anonymous AnswersYesYesYesNo
Allows results to be hidden from StudentsYesYesNoPartially (increase the number of entries required before viewing to maximum)
Allows Grading of ResponsesNoNoYes (Percentage grading only)Yes


 Choice activities

The Choice activity module enables a teacher to ask a single question and offer a selection of possible responses. Choice results may be published after students have answered, after a certain date, or not at all. Results may be published with student names or anonymously.

Example of a Choice activity

A Choice activity may be used:

  • As a quick poll to stimulate thinking about a topic
  • To quickly test students' understanding
  • To facilitate student decision-making, for example allowing students to vote on a direction for the course


 Configuring a Choice activity

To create a new Choice activity:

  1. Navigate to your Moodle page.
  2. Click Add an Activity or Resource in the appropriate section.
  3. Select the Choice activity and then click Add.

  4. Once you are on the Adding a new Choice page, you can customise it using the settings listed below.
  5. When you have finished configuring the Choice activity, click Save and return to course.

Adding a new Choice page

Activity settings

General

Name: sets the name of the Choice activity.

Description: outlines what the students are making a choice about. If you impose any limits when setting up the Choice activity (e.g. only 5 people can choose each option), you should make note of them in the Description.

Display description on course page: ticking this box will show the Description on the course page below the link to the activity itself.

Display mode for the options: choose whether to have the options Display horizontally or Display vertically across the page.

Options

Allow choice to be updated: select Yes if you want to allow students to change their selected option after submission.

Limit the number of responses allowed: select Yes if you want each option to have a maximum number of students allowed to select it.

Option 1, Option 2, Option 3…: input each option in a different Option field. If you need to add more options, click Add 3 field(s) to form. You are not required to fill out each Option field.

Limit 1, Limit 2, Limit 3…: if you have chosen to Limit the number of responses allowed, enter the maximum number of students allowed to select each option.

Availability

If you wish to restrict responses to a certain time period:

  1. Tick Enable next to Allow responses from and Allow responses to.
  2. Using the drop-down boxes, select a date and time for when you want to Allow responses from and when you want to Allow responses to.

Results

Publish results: choose an option from:

  • Do not publish results to students: students will not be able to see the results of the choice at any point. Staff members can still see them.
  • Show results to students after they answer: results will be hidden from students until they have made a choice themselves. Staff members can always see results.
  • Show results to students only after the choice is closed: none of the students can see the results before the Allow responses to date and time.
  • Always show results to students: the results are always show to the students, regardless of whether they have made a choice themselves.

Privacy of results: if you have chosen to show results to students, you can choose to:

  • Publish anonymous results, do not show student names
  • Publish full results, showing names and their choices

Show column for unanswered: select Yes to display the names of all students who have not yet made a choice.

Include responses from inactive/suspended users: select Yes to show responses from inactive or suspended Moodle users.


 Viewing results from a Choice activity

Staff members can access the Choice activity at any point to see the results.

From the results screen, you will be able to remove a choice if a student wants to make it again or if you want to download the results to your computer in a number of different formats.

To view the results screen:

  1. Navigate to your Moodle course.
  2. Access the appropriate choice activity.
  3. Click View n responses (where n represents the number of responses that have been made).

Results are displayed horizontally regardless of whether you chose to display the choices horizontally or vertically when setting it up.


 Feedback activities

The Feedback activity enables a teacher to create a custom survey for collecting feedback from students using a variety of question types including multiple choice, yes/no or text input. Feedback responses may be anonymous if desired, and results may be shown to all participants or restricted to teachers only.

Example Feedback activity

Feedback activities may be used:

  • For course evaluations, helping improve the content for later participants
  • To enable participants to sign up for course modules, events, etc.
  • For guest surveys of course choices, school policies, etc.
  • For anti-bullying surveys in which students can report incidents anonymously


 Configuring a Feedback activity

To create a new Feedback activity:

  1. Navigate to your Moodle page.
  2. Click Add an Activity or Resource in the appropriate section.
  3. Select the Feedback activity and then click Add.

  4. Once you are on the Adding a new Feedback page, you can customise it using the settings listed below.
  5. When you have finished configuring the Feedback activity, click Save and display to prepare to add questions to the activity.

Adding a new Feedback page

Activity settings

General

Name: sets the name of the Feedback activity.

Description: outlines what the students are giving feedback on. If you have chosen to make the feedback anonymous and/or if you will allow for multiple submissions, you should make note of them in the Description.

Display description on course page: ticking this box will show the Description on the course page below the link to the activity itself.

Availability

If you wish to restrict responses to a certain time period:

  1. Tick Enable next to Allow responses from and Allow responses to.
  2. Using the dropdown boxes, select a date and time for when you want to Allow responses from and when you want to Allow responses to.

Question and submission settings

Record user names: allows you to make feedback submissions Anonymous, otherwise User's name will be logged and shown with answers.

Allow multiple submissions: select Yes to allow students to make multiple submissions.

Enable notification of submissions: select Yes to receive notification of student submissions via email. Every staff member enrolled on the course (including administrative staff) will receive an email each time a student gives feedback.

Auto number questions: select Yes to enable automatic numbering for questions.

After submission

Show analysis page: select Yes to display the analysis page to students after they have submitted their feedback.

Completion message: Enter a message for the student to see after they have submitted feedback.

Link to next activity: If you wish to direct the student to a particular webpage after completing the Feedback activity (by clicking Continue), enter the URL of that page in the provided field. If this field is left empty, the student will be returned to your Moodle course page.


 Adding questions to the Feedback activity

Once you have configured the Feedback activity, you can begin to add questions to it. There are a number of different question types you can setup, including multiple choice, numeric answers and text answers.

To add questions to the Feedback activity:

  1. If adding questions immediately after configuring the activity: click Save and display.
    Otherwise, click the Feedback activity link on your course page to be taken to the Feedback activity page.
  2. Click the Edit questions tab.
  3. Under the Add question drop-down list, select a question type or other page feature:
    1. Add a page break: breaks the course into multiple pages. This is useful to make longer feedback forms easier to read.
    2. Captcha: asks the user to type out some distorted text displayed on screen to make sure they are a real person.
    3. Information: displays the time of responding, the course and/or the category where the feedback is located (this feature does not allow the user to make a choice).
    4. Label: allows you to add arbitrary text, images and videos between questions allowing for extra explanation or to divide the Feedback form into sections.
    5. Longer text answer: creates a text box which the user can write a long form response in.
    6. Multiple choice: gives the user a series of options they can choose from.
    7. Multiple choice (rated): as Multiple choice, but only single answers are allowed and you can allocate a numerical value to each answer as well for quantitative analysis.
    8. Numeric answer: asks the user a question that must have a number as an answer within a specified range.
    9. Short text answer: specifies a single line answer with an input box containing a specified maximum characters.
  4. Fill in the form for the question type you selected.
  5. Click Save question.
  6. Repeat for each additional question or page feature.


 Saving and using Feedback templates

Once you have configured your feedback questions, you can save them so they can be reused in the future — either in the same Moodle course or a different one. If you have a template saved, you can import it into the Feedback activity and it will configure the questions for you.

To save your questions as a template:

  1. From the Feedback activity's page, click the Template tab.
  2. In the Name field, enter a name for your template.
  3. (Optional) Tick Public to make your template publically available on Moodle.
  4. Click Save as new template.

To use an existing template to configure your questions:

  1. From the Feedback activity's page, click the Template tab.
  2. In the drop-down menu underneath Use a template, select the template you wish to use from the list.
  3. Select if you want to Delete old items (removes existing questions from activity and replaces with template questions) or Append new items (leaves the existing questions in place and adds the template questions to the end of the activity).
  4. Click Save changes.


 Viewing analysis from a Feedback activity

Staff members can access the Feedback activity at any point to see the collected feedback results.

To view the results screen:

  1. Navigate to your Moodle course.
  2. Access the appropriate choice activity.
  3. Click the Analysis tab.

You can export the results of your feedback to Excel by clicking Export to Excel.


 Questionnaire activities

The Questionnaire activity is like a survey. It allows teachers to create a wide range of questions to get student feedback. The goals of the Questionnaire module are quite different from those of the Moodle Lesson or Quiz modules. With questionnaires you do not test or assess the student, rather you gather data from them.

Example Questionnaire activity


 Configuring a Questionnaire activity

To create a new Questionnaire activity:

  1. Navigate to your Moodle page.
  2. Click Add an Activity or Resource in the appropriate section.
  3. Select the Questionnaire activity and then click Add.

  4. Once you are on the Adding a new Questionnaire page, you can customise it using the settings listed below.
  5. When you have finished configuring the Feedback activity, click Save and display to prepare to add questions to the activity.

Adding a new Questionnaire page

Activity settings

General

Name: sets the name of the Questionnaire activity.

Description: outlines what the students are giving feedback on. If you have chosen to make the feedback anonymous and/or if you will allow for multiple submissions, you should make note of them in the Description.

Display description on course page: ticking this box will show the Description on the course page below the link to the activity itself.

Timing

Specifying an Open Date means users can only start to respond to the questionnaire from a certain date. Specifying a Close Date gives a deadline for users to respond by. You can use either, neither or both of these settings.


If you are setting up a recurring questionnaire, these dates refer to the first date and the very last date that users can complete the questionnaire. These dates should not be changed week by week.


If you wish to restrict responses to a certain time period:

  1. Tick Use Open Date and/or Use Close Date.
  2. Using the drop-down boxes, select a date and time for the Use Open Date and Use Close Date.

Response options

Type: specifies the type of questionnaire being created (i.e. how many times the user can respond):

  • Respond many: the student can respond as many times as they like until the close date (if specified).
  • Respond once: the student can respond only once at any point up to the close date.
  • Respond daily: the student can respond once per day up to the close date.
  • Respond weekly: the student can respond once per week up to the close date.
  • Respond monthly: the student can respond once per month up to the close date.

Respondent Type: choose whether you want the questionnaire to include the student's full name (fullname) or be anonymous.

Student can view ALL responses: choose whether you want the student to be able to view all other responses After answering the questionnaire, After the questionnaire is closed, Always, or Never.

Exclude inactive users' responses: select Yes to exclude responses from inactive and suspended enrollments (as well as responses from any users with only non-student roles, such as teachers).

Send submission notifications: select Notification only or Full submission to receive notification of submissions via email. All staff members enrolled on the course with a role having "mod/questionnaire: submissionnotification" capability will receive an email each time a student gives feedback.

Save/Resume answers: select Yes to allow a student to save their progress after starting the questionnaire and return at a later point to complete it.

Allow branching questions: select Yes to allow for Yes/No or Radio Button questions to have child questions that change depending on what choices students have made so far in the questionnaire.

Auto numbering: select an option for automatic numbering of pages and/or questions from the drop-down menu.

Submission grade: if you want to assign a grade to a student's response, select the passing percentage grade required from the drop-down list. Otherwise, select No grade.

You can only use percentage grading for a questionnaire. It does not support LU letter grades or Pass/Fail.


 Adding questions to the Questionnaire activity

Once you have configured the Questionnaire activity, you can begin to add questions to it. There are a number of different question types you can setup.

To add questions to the Questionnaire activity:

  1. If adding questions immediately after configuring the activity: click Save and display.
    Otherwise, click the Questionnaire activity link on your course page to be taken to the activity page.
  2. Click Add questions.
  3. In the drop-down menu under the Add questions section, select a question type or other page feature, then click Confirm question type.
    1. ----- Page Break -----: breaks the course into multiple pages. This is useful to make longer questionnaire forms easier to read. If a page contains questions that require a response, the user will not be allowed to navigate to the next page unless they have completed them. This option is not available until you have added a different page element first.
    2. Check Boxes: gives the user a series of options they can choose several options from.
    3. Date: for responses that require a correctly formatted date (e.g. date of birth).
    4. Dropdown Box: asks the user to select an option from a drop-down list of possible options.
    5. Essay Box: allows the user to provide a freeform answer in a plain text box.
    6. Label: allows you to add arbitrary text, images and videos between questions allowing for extra explanation or to divide the Feedback form into sections.
    7. Numeric: for responses that are required to be a number.
    8. Radio Buttons: asks the user to select a single option from a multiple choice list.
    9. Rate (scale 1..5): sets up a multiple choice question using radio buttons that can also be rated with a value for quantitative analysis.
    10. Text Box: specifies a single line answer with a specified maximum character limit.
    11. Yes/No: provides the user with a simple question that can only be responded to with Yes or No (or optionally, if no response necessary, No answer).
  4. Fill in the form for the question type you selected.
  5. Click Save question.
  6. Repeat for each additional question or page feature.


 Previewing the Questionnaire activity

After you have added all of your questions to the questionnaire, it is highly recommended that you preview it to make sure everything is behaving as expected.

  1. On the Questionnaire activity page, click the Preview tab.
  2. Test the questionnaire – check all questions look correct and are behaving as you expect.
  3. Click Submit preview.
    • If everything has been accepted, you will see a confirmation message – This submission would be accepted as correctly filled in. – at the top of the page.
    • If there are any errors, go back to the Question tab and correct them.


 Viewing responses to the Questionnaire

Staff members can access the Questionnaire activity at any point to view the responses that enrolled students have made.

To view the results screen:

  1. Navigate to your Moodle course.
  2. Access the Questionnaire activity.
  3. Click View n responses (where n represents the number of responses that have been made).

To view a summary of responses:

Click the Summary tab to see a collation of all responses to the questionnaire.

To view individual responses:

  1. Click the List of responses tab.
  2. Choose a participant from the list.

You can also view a list of users who have not yet responded to the questionnaire by clicking the Show nonrespondents tab.


 Database activities

The database activity enables participants to create, maintain and search a collection of entries (i.e. records). The structure of the entries is defined by the teacher as a collection of fields. Field types include checkbox, radio buttons, dropdown menu, text area, URL, picture and uploaded file.

Example Database activity

Database activities have many uses, such as:

  • A collaborative collection of web links, books, book reviews, journal references, etc.
  • For displaying student-created photos, posters, websites or poems for peer comment and review


 Configuring a Database activity

To create a new Database activity:

  1. Navigate to your Moodle page.
  2. Click Add an Activity or Resource in the appropriate section.
  3. Select the Database activity and then click Add.

  4. Once you are on the Adding a new Database page, you can customise it using the settings listed below.
  5. When you have finished configuring the Feedback activity, click Save and display to prepare to add fields to the activity.

Adding a new Database page

Activity settings

General

Name: sets the name of the Database activity.

Description: outlines what the purpose of the database is. You should make note of what students will need to submit, what the availability of the database is and how the data will be used in the Description.

Display description on course page: ticking this box will show the Description on the course page below the link to the activity itself.

Entries

Approval required: select Yes to specify if a staff member is required to approve of a record submitted by a student before it is viewable by everyone.

Allow editing of approved entries: If you have selected Yes to Approval required, you can select Yes to allow the submitter to edit them after they have been approved or No to prevent this.

Allow comments on entries: select Yes to allow users to make comments on entries.

Entries required before viewing: You can customise the minimum number of entries a user is required to submit before they can view entries submitted by other users. If you do not want to require this, select None.

Maximum number of entries: You can customise the maximum number of entries a user is allowed to make. If you do not want to add this limitation, select None.

Availability

If you wish to restrict submissions to a certain time period:

  1. Tick Enable next to Available from and Available to.
  2. Using the dropdown boxes, select a date and time for when you want to make the database Available from and when you want to make it Available to.

If you want the database to be available to be viewed by students before and/or after the Available from and Available to dates:

  1. Tick Enable next to Read only from and Read only to.
  2. Using the dropdown boxes, select a date and time for when you want to make the database viewable (Read only from) and when you want to stop making it viewable (Read only to).


The Read only from and Ready only to dates should occur before and after the Available to date.


 Adding fields to the Database activity

Now that you have a Database activity configured, you need to add some fields to it so that people can submit data. You can import existing fields into the database should they already exist. Otherwise you can create the fields from scratch.

Example of Database fields

To add new fields to the database:

  1. If adding fields immediately after configuring the activity: click Save and display.
    Otherwise, click the Database activity link on your course page to be taken to the activity page.
  2. Click the Fields tab.
  3. Under the Create a new field drop-down list, select a field type:
    1. Checkbox: allow the user to select multiple answers from a list of options.
    2. Date: for responses that require a correctly formatted date.
    3. File: allows users to upload a file from their computer. If you require the user to upload an image file, use the Picture field type instead.
    4. Latlong: for responses that require a geographical location using latitude and longitude.
    5. Menu: presents a drop-down menu allowing the user to select an option from a list of possible options.
    6. Multimenu: presents a box containing multiple options that the user can select multiple items from.
    7. Number: for responses requiring only a number.
    8. Picture: allows users to upload an image file from their computer.
    9. Radio button: allows the user to select a single answer from a list of options.
    10. Text area: allows the user to provide a freeform answer in a plain text box.
    11. Text input: allows the user to enter a textual answer that is less than 60 characters in length. If you require the user to type an answer longer than 60 characters, use the Text area field type instead.
    12. URL: for responses requiring a web address URL.
  4. Fill in the form for the question type you selected.
  5. (Optional) If the user must fill out this field as part of a submission, tick the box next to Required field.
  6. Click Add.
  7. Repeat for each additional field.

Making fields visible to users

Once you have added your desired fields, you will need to make the database fields visible to other users. This is done by saving the template used for presenting database entries as a list.

  1. Click the Templates tab.
  2. Click List template.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page, then click Save template.

You can also customise how the list template looks before saving by adding a header and footer, as well as using the available tags listed in the side panel to specify what content should be listed alongside each repeated entry.


 Using Database presets

Once you have created your database, you can save it as a preset. This allows you to reuse it on other Moodle courses. If you already have a preset, you can use it to populate your database with fields.

Saving your database as a preset on Moodle

  1. From the Database activity's page, click the Presets tab.
  2. In the Name field, enter a name for your preset.
  3. Click Continue.

Saving your database as a ZIP file

  1. From the Database activity's page, click the Presets tab.
  2. Under the Export as zip section, click Export.

Using a preset stored on Moodle

  1. From the Database activity's page, click the Presets tab.
  2. Under the Use a preset section, select a preset.
  3. Click Continue.

Using a preset saved as a ZIP file

  1. From the Database activity's page, click the Presets tab.
  2. Under the Import from zip file section, click Choose a file…



  3. Click Choose File.
  4. Locate the ZIP file on your computer. Select it, then click Open.
  5. Click Upload this file.
  6. Click Import.
  7. If you have any fields in your database, you will be given options that will allow you to merge fields together or create new fields.
  8. When ready, click Continue.


 Viewing entries made to the Database activity

As a staff member you can access the database and view all of the entries at any time. Student’s access to the database entries depends on the settings you configured when setting up the database (i.e. you may have set it so students can only see entries after they have made their own entry).

Viewing single entries

From the Database activity's page, click the View single tab.

Use the page links below the entry to move to the previous and next entries.

Viewing a list of entries

From the Database activity's page, click the View list tab.

This will show multiple entries at a time. You can customise how many entries are shown per page, what order they are shown in or make advanced search queries.






Frequently Asked Questions

 What kind of question types can I use with each activity?

The following table details the different types of fields and question types that you can use within each activity.


Data/Question typeChoice activityFeedback activityQuestionnaire activityDatabase activity
Multiple choice questionsYesYesYesYes (via radio buttons)
Rated multiple choice questionsNoYesYesNo
Text questionsYesYesYesYes
Numeric questionsNoYesYesYes
Yes/No questionsYes (via multiple choice)Yes (via multiple choice)YesYes (via radio buttons)
Captcha inputNoYesNoNo
Checkboxes inputNoNoYesYes
Drop-down box inputNoYes (via multiple choice)YesYes (via menu)
Radio button inputNoNoYesYes
Date inputNoNoYesYes
File inputNoNoNoYes
Picture inputNoNoNoYes
URL inputNoYes (via text box)Yes (via text box)Yes




 How can I use Quiz activities to gather data?

You can also gather data using the Moodle Quiz activity.

The Quiz activity enables a teacher to create quizzes comprising questions of various types, including multiple choice, matching, short-answer and numerical. The teacher can allow the quiz to be attempted multiple times, with the questions shuffled or randomly selected from the question bank. A time limit may be set. Each attempt is marked automatically, with the exception of essay questions, and the grade is recorded in the gradebook. The teacher can choose when and if hints, feedback and correct answers are shown to students.

For more information on the Quiz activity, see the Quizzes in Moodle online course.






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