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Looking for advice: OER software for creating tests

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Looking for advice: OER software for creating tests

Started by Roland Treu May 20, 2020 - 10:29pm Replies (3)

Hi All:


I just joined this group and I have a very specific query: are there any OER software tools that would allow me to create my own tests? (MCQ and others). I am looking for something basic, along the line of what Western University is using for their faculty:

(it looks straightforward and makes me wonder why we don't (cannot?) create this at AU, but this would be a separate discussion!).

I am aware of the numerous commercial options for creating tests, but I hope someone in the group has come across OER test development software.

Looking forward to any responses.





  • Jon Dron May 25, 2020 - 4:04pm

    Hi Roland

    The example you provide is almost identical to what we have here at AU - they are using Sakai, but the Moodle approach is very similar indeed. All you need is edit access to your Moodle course. This is easy to arrange though, of course, you won't be allowed to edit the live course. Our learning design team should be able to furnish you with a copy of your course to edit, and they should be able to import your changes back into the live version when you are done. Just ask them! Questions can also be exported to other Moodle courses very easily so, once you've created them, they are very reusable.

    In case that's a problem, Moodle has the unusual facility to import Aiken format quizzes that are just plain text and fine for simple MCQs. The format is along the lines of:

    What is the correct answer to this question?

    A. Is it this one?

    B. Maybe this answer?

    C. Possibly this one?

    D. Must be this one!


    The format is very basic and you get none of the smart assistance of Moodle itself, but it's enough for many uses.

    Alternatively, our learning design team is quite keen on H5P, which is an open source toolkit for creating rich content, including quizzes, and which is already supported in our Moodle installation (it's a standard content type that you can create like any other once you have edit access to a course). It lets you do smart stuff like drag and drop answers, etc. The quizzes it makes are pretty, mobile friendly, and *fairly* accessible, but would only be suitable for self-tests as you can find the answers (with a little difficulty) by looking at the code. IMHO, this is the only good use for any automated quiz anyway, so it doesn't worry me at all! I am more worried by portability, though - it relies on having the H5P framework installed so it is a very poor format should you wish to convert it to some other format. In fairness, for rich media, there are not that many better options.

    Moodle does have support for SCORM and IMS content packages (can't recall what else) so, if you can find a toolset that generates such things, including quizzes, then they can probably be added to a Moodle course. I'm not a fan. I love standards, but hate those that make decisions about how I teach. There are quite a few free (but not open source) services out there that will generate quizzes. I've never used them so could not comment on them. Easily found with Google, though - if you find any that are any use, do please share!


  • Roland Treu May 26, 2020 - 9:40am

    Hi Jon:


    Thank you, this is helpful, I should have talked to you before my course revisions.

    Rather than just quizzes, my aim is to create whole assignments that can be randomized from test banks.

    Do you have any insights whether the new learning management system that will be imposed on us (D2L Brightspace) will support all these packages you mentioned?




  • Jon Dron May 26, 2020 - 11:00am

    You could certainly do this within Moodle and I am almost sure that you will able to do the same with Brightspace - there's really not a lot of difference between the two, especially in such basic functionality. Once you have set up a test bank there are all sorts of ways to use it, and randomizing is certainly available on both. I'd be very surprised if the new Brightspace system did not support H5P because our learning designers have integrated it in a fair number of courses and it certainly is integratable. I'm not sure about its import capabilities. It will undoubtedly support the industry standards like SCORM etc, but I don't know about its support for Aiken. Anything you produce in Moodle now *should* get imported more or less intact, though - that's one of the basic requirements for the new system.

    It might be worth looking into the adaptive features of Moodle: you can set up rules that give each student a customized path through the course, typically depending on success in answering questions or reading particular stuff. It's not exactly state of the art adaptive hypermedia (such things were common in the 90s) and it tends to be used in horrifically controlling, teacher-centric ways, but it can be used creatively. Brightspace also has adaptive features - I've not used its LeaP tool, but its capabilities appear to be very similar to Moodle's.