Importing questions from Microsoft Word

Tags PSU

Depending on the situation, it may be easier to insert new quiz questions into Moodle by creating them one by one. However, if a publisher has provided a list of questions in Word format, it is possible to import them into Moodle automatically. Unfortunately, most of the time, the publisher's file does not have the appropriate Moodle formatting. To import these questions, you have to change the questions' formatting so Moodle can recognize them. Please refer to the instructions below to import multiple choice questions into Moodle using the Aiken format.

Creating your quiz questions

  1. Open up Notepad or TextEdit on your computer.
    • If you have received a Word file from a textbook publisher containing quiz questions, open this file, copy all of the text, and paste it into either Notepad or TextEdit.
    • Alternatively, you can edit the questions in Microsoft Word, click "Save As," and select "Plain Text (txt.); on the next screen select Other Encoding and Unicode (UTF-8).
    • Make sure that auto-formatting is not being applied to your question answers. i.e. if Word is making A, B, C, D into a list and tabbing it over, this formatting will interfere with the question import process.
  2. Moodle requires a specific format when importing multiple choice questions (for more information on the Aiken format please click here). See the image below for the correct formatting:
    • Arrow 1 - Title: the title of your question must appear as the top line without any formatting. If the question extends to two lines, that is ok.
    • Arrow 2 - Choices: the question letters must be capitalized with a period or parenthesis following the option choice. There should be a space after the period/parenthesis, followed by the answer choice. Each answer should be listed on its own line.
    • Arrow 3 - Answer: the answer text must be completely capitalized, followed by a colon, and . The actual answer choice should be capitalized as well.
  3. After you have finished writing your first question, leave an empty line before starting your next question.
  4. When you have finished typing out all of your questions (or modifying any existing questions), it's time to save our file.
  5. In the File tab at the top of the program, select the Save As... option.
  6. Type out your .
  7. In the Encoding section at the bottom of the window, chooses the UTF-8 option (this is a crucial step in the process). See image below for a visual:
  8. Once these options have been selected, select the Save button and save the file to your computer.

Creating a category for your quiz questions

  1. Navigate to the course Administration block, and click the triangle icon next to the Question bank link (located at the bottom of the block).
  2. Select the Categories option underneath the Question bank link.
  3. In the Add category section at the bottom of the page, make sure the class title is listed in the Parent category menu.
  4. In the Name field, type in a name for your category of questions (example: Chapter 1 or Exam 1).
  5. Select the Add category button at the bottom of the page. Your new category appears underneath the course category area.

Importing your quiz questions

  1. Navigate to the Question bank area in the Administration block and select the Import option.
  2. In the File format section, select the radio button for the Aiken format option.
  3. Scroll down the page to the General section. Find the option for Import category. Choose the category you created in the previous section.
  4. In the Import questions from file section, select the Choose a file... button. (OR, drag and drop your file into the Choose file field).
  5. Your file picker window now appears. Select the Upload a file link and then Browse your computer for the text file you saved in the first section.
  6. Once you've selected your file, click on the Upload this file button.
  7. To start the import process, click the Import button at the bottom of the page.
  8. The import process should now be successful. Select Continue to advance to your newly imported quiz questions
    • If you have received an error message, there is a strong possibility that there was a mistake in formatting your text file. Please review the steps again to ensure the proper format.


Article ID: 2701
Fri 10/2/20 5:10 PM
Wed 10/14/20 8:11 PM
Applicable Institution(s):
Plymouth State University (PSU)