Review of Packt’s Moodle Quiz Module by Joan Coy

Packt Publishing’s latest Moodle offering is one of their new, “Instant” series: short, downloadable books which are quick to read and focus on one particular issue. This book came out in February and I bought it  and read it straight away but have only just been able to find the time to review it. Written by Joan Coy, a Canadian teacher involved in the Canadian Moodle Moot this year (the tweets of which I read with interest) the book sets out in clear way how to create quizzes in Moodle. Although Joan uses an earlier version of Moodle, the book is still perfectly relevant to the latest 2.4 and soon to arrive 2.5.

At only 85 pages, it can be digested in one sitting and will prove a useful tool to those who like to read books as opposed to watch tutorials or simply experiment. I am assuming Packt’s “Instant” series only appear in e-book form, which to me is a shame, as I actually like to hold “real” books. The chapters are divided into “Must know”, “Should know” and “Become an expert”. In the “Must know” sections we find out about, for instance, creating categories and questions, while the “Should know” section includes adding feedback to questions and quiz security. The “Become an expert”  is reserved for quiz reports. Joan’s style is very readable and she includes useful screenshots along the way.   We are directed to more detailed information on Moodle docs, which is also most helpful. (On a personal level, I’d just point out for future Packt Moodle authors that if you refer to Moodle documentation then don’t include the version number (2.1, 2.4 etc) in the URL. That way, a new reader will be directed to the latest version, whenever they read the book. Credit to Helen Foster for teaching me this!)

I like how Joan also shows us the quiz from the student’s point of view, how they see their results and feedback. And I particularly appreciated the detailed section on quiz reports, a vital and very powerful feature of the Moodle quiz module. However,  what I  would really have liked, but didn’t get, was  an explanation with examples of Certainty Based marking – I don’t know which version of Moodle Joan was using (2.2? but I would have thought it was available then and it’s a great feature pedagogically) That said, there’s plenty in this mini – book to get you familiar and confident with the Moodle quiz. And don’t forget the Moodle docs :) You can also buy the book from the Moodle books database here, and contribute to Moodle.

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