A LibreOffice-based Moodle XML Import File Generator for Creating Randomized Multi-Part Numerical Questions – MoodleMoot Global 2024 Skip to content
Day 3 Presentation

A LibreOffice-based Moodle XML Import File Generator for Creating Randomized Multi-Part Numerical Questions

LibreOffice Calc was used to develop a platform that creates numerical analytical questions written in a style that is typical of comprehensive quantitative problems used in undergraduate engineering education. Since its original development in 2018 and though its several improvements, the platform has been used in assessing engineering undergraduate students at the University of Technology, Jamaica.

The tool creates a MoodleXML import file containing ten randomized variations of a question written using the versatile Cloze question format. To use the program however, the question writer requires knowledge of neither the MoodleXML file format nor the Cloze question format. Each question comprises a main question body where the randomly-varied parameters for each question are given. The user can also insert a related graphic along with the question body. Below the main question body, the student is guided through an analysis procedure involving a sequence of numerical calculations, and are asked to indicate their numeric answers at each step along the sequence.

In addition to the upper and lower limits of each randomly-generated input parameter, the user is also able to specify how each input parameter is rounded, including specifying the allowed numeral for the least significant digit. The user can also establish the acceptable error for each answer, as well as bands of partial credit depending on the proximity of a student’s answer to the correct answer. A custom spreadsheet function called MYTABLE(), created using LibreOffice BASIC, can also be used in conjunction with the Calc generator file, allowing the students’ use of custom tables and graphs to be assessed.

A review of student performances combined with their anonymous feedback indicates that the question design along with the randomization feature has contributed to students who improve their problem-solving skills and engage in more constructive group work.

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