23 July 2021

Kenny McCormack

Senior Solutions Architect

How we built new Moodle question types to help German non-profit the Goethe Institut create the language learning experience it wanted to deliver.

Moodle LMS is full of great features, including a variety of different options for assessing your learners. But sometimes the type of learning you want to provide isn’t included as standard — that’s when our bespoke development and extensive online learning experience come to the fore.

The Goethe Institut is a not-for-profit German cultural association that promotes German language learning and cultural exchanges from 159 locations worldwide. We’ve been working with the organisation since 2011 and, in that time, we’ve created custom Moodle question types for a variety of different projects.

We held workshops with stakeholders at the Goethe Institut to establish what they needed from their Moodle quiz questions. We used that information to develop custom question types to deliver the learning experiences the Goethe Institut wanted for its learners.

Regardless of the format or use of the new question types, the reason for undertaking the process has always been to provide a better user experience and increased interactivity for people who are learning German.

Let’s take a look at some of the new Moodle question types we developed.


Pronunciation question type

This custom question type helps learners to perfect their pronunciation of German phrases. The course author provides a written version of the phrase or phrases the learner needs to pronounce and, if required, an audio sample of the correct pronunciation.

The pronunciation question type can then be published and used in a quiz. The learner is prompted to indicate their mother tongue (to help with speech analysis) and can then view the question and listen to the sample audio, if provided.

They are prompted to record their own pronunciation of the phrase and submit it. An external speech analysis API validates the pronunciation and returns feedback to the learner indicating whether or not the pronunciation was correct.

All of the audio data gathered is also used for analysis and for the development of new learning apps.


Category drag and drop with text question type

This bespoke question type allows learners to drag an item of text and drop it into one of the category ‘buckets’. If they drop the text in the correct bucket, it will stay there when they drop it. If the answer is incorrect, the text item will return to its previous position.


Text reorder with drag and drop question type

Learners drag and drop a selection of words and phrases so that they are displayed in the correct order. This quiz question type allows for any number of statements to be added to be reordered by the learner. We also developed an audio version of this question type in which the learner can listen to an audio file of the statement being spoken before reordering the text to match what they heard.


Statement match with drag and drop question type

We created multiple versions of a Moodle question type that allows the learner to drag and drop from a list of statements to match with a corresponding statement. Depending on the version, the matched pair of statements either stay in place, move below the list of remaining options, or stay matched where the learner dropped them.


Fixed match with drag and drop

In this question type, the learner drags and drops text from a list of statements to match with a corresponding image, video or text item from a fixed list.


Catch the word

This custom question type involves a moving carousel of words scrolling across the learner’s screen. The learner has to drag and drop the correct word or phrase from the carousel and into a bucket.


What’s your big question type idea?

Have you got an idea for a new question type that would help your learners to better engage with content and courses? Get in touch for a chat about how that might work.

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