Ask Mister Moodle: creating quizzes with reference materials that stay on the page

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This question comes from an old Moodle acquaintance.  Moodlenews has covered a lot of quiz related materials and questions over the past year, but here’s one that all teachers might find interesting,

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I know how to add images to Quiz Questions, but I would like to know if it is possible to add an image that stays on top of the quiz (as a header?) the whole time for students to refer to? I added an image to the Quiz Info (update quiz), but that image is only shown in the beginning and not the whole time the student is taking the quiz. Can you help?

As an example, I can remember taking many standardized tests way-back-when for reading comprehension.  At the top of the page there was a short paragraph or reading and the bottom part of the page was filled with questions which asked pointed questions about that reading assignment.  Reading on top, questions on bottom.

This popular format though might not be obvious in a Moodle based quiz.  Here’s how to set one up.  Based on that example reading comprehension quiz (for more example quizzes check out http://www.teacherneedhelp.com/readingquizzes/.

First create your quiz with the parameters you want.  Next create your quiz questions which will accompany the reading, image or even video which will stick at the top of the page.  To do that, go to the quiz update/edit page where you can add/create questions.  Using the drop down select “Description”.

This is what the Moodle docs have to say about the Description question type,

This is not a real question. It simply prints some text (and possibly graphics) without requiring an answer. This can be used to provide some information to be used by a following group of questions, for example.

Exactly what we want.  Add a description and add to that any information you want.  In this case we’re going to add the text which students will read first to answer the questions below.  Once added you can see that we have several MC questions and one Description.

I’ll add each to my quiz and then it’s a matter of setting up how your quiz will display questions.  Please note that with this setup we’re assuming that you are not randomly generating quizzes and you are not providing quiz questions to students in random order.  Below you’ll see that you can change where the page breaks occur in your Moodle quizzes, this will allow you to guarantee that your description sticks to the same page as all relevant questions.  If you think there are two many questions on one page with the description, consider making a copy of that description and keeping it pinned to two pages of questions.

Here’s what the final quiz might look like: