Quiz: Importing Questions in Aiken Format  Moodle ISU


Importing quiz questions allows instructors to create questions outside of Moodle ISU and quickly upload them into the Moodle ISU question bank. Because the same questions may be used in multiple Moodle ISU courses or quizzes, this import function maximizes the instructor’s time by eliminating the need to recreate quiz questions from course to course and year to year.

Note: Aiken format is only compatible with multiple choice or true/false questions. For all other question types, use the GIFT format. For more information on GIFT please see GIFT.

This guide will help you to:

Additional guides for more information about quizzes:

Creating Questions Using the Aiken Format

  1. To avoid errors, use only text-editing programs such as Notepad on Windows or Text Edit on Mac.
  2. The questions must be saved in a .txt file with UTF-8 encoding.

  1. Each question along with the answers must be followed by pressing the Enter key on the keyboard. You cannot press enter within a question.
  2. Each answer must start with a single capitalized letter character followed by either a
    period [ . ] or a parentheses [ )] and a space.
  3. The answer line must follow immediately starting with ‘ANSWER’ (in all capital letters), a colon, a space and then the letter corresponding to the correct answer (see example below).
  4. Any question numbers and other formatting has to be removed.
  5. One document can contain multiple questions. To do this, leave an open line between the previous question’s ‘ANSWER:’ line and the question line of the next question. The same
    format applies for the True/False question type.

To save the file using Notepad:

  1. Click on the File > Save As option.


  1. Click on the Encoding dropdown menu and Select UTF-8.

To save the file using TextEdit:

  1. Click on Format > Make Plain Text
  2. Then, when you are saving the file, Click on the TextEdit> Preferences.

  1. Check the Add “.txt” extention to plain text files check box 
  2. Click on the Ecoding dropdown menu and Select Unicode (UTF-8).

Importing Questions Using the Aiken Format

  1. From your Moodle ISU course, go to the Administration block and Click on the triangle next to the Question bank option
  2. Click on the Import option. This will take you to the Import questions from file page.

File Format

  1. In the File format section Click on the Aiken format option.


  1. In the General section, Select your preferred settings:


  1. Import category: This setting determines the category into which the imported questions will be placed within your Question Bank. Certain import formats, such as GIFT and Moodle XML, may include category and context data in the import file. To make use of this data, the appropriate boxes should be checked. If categories specified in the import file do not exist, they will be created.

  1. Match grades: Imported grades must match one of the fixed list of valid grades. If not, there are two options:
  1. Stop on error: This setting determines whether the import process stops when an error is detected, resulting in no questions being imported, or whether any questions containing errors are ignored and valid questions are still imported.

Import Questions From File

  1. In the Import from this file section, Click the Choose a file... button.  The File picker window will appear.


  1. Click on the Upload a file option.


  1. Click on the Browse… button to Locate the file on your computer.

  1. Find the file on your computer.
  2. Click Open to select the file.
  3. Click on the Upload this file button.

  1. Click on the Import button.
  1. The next screen will show that the questions and answers have been imported into Moodle ISU.
  2. If the process encounters any errors, you will see an error notice or you will see only a portion of your questions imported. If you have an error, please contact the ITRC.

  1. Click on the Continue button. This will take you to your Question Bank where you can view the new questions.

For more information on Aiken format, please see http://docs.moodle.org/2.5/en/Aiken_format

This work was done by Instructional Technology Resource Center at Idaho State University and is licensed under the Creative Commons Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit Attribution Noncommercial 3.0 United States or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.