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.

This guide will help you to

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 Format:

For more information regarding Moodle quizzes, see:

This guide will help you to:

Creating Questions Using the Aiken Format

To create questions using Aiken Format:

  1. Open Notepad or TextEdit.
  2. Type the text of your first question on line one.
  3. Press Enter.
  4. Type the answer options.
  1. Only one answer per line
  1. Press Enter after the last answer.
  2. Type ANSWER: followed by the correct answer.
  3. Press Enter twice before starting the next question.

Note: The letters listed for your answers, as well as the answer itself,  must be capitalized.

  1. Save the file after all of the questions have been typed out correctly.  

To save the file in Notepad:

  1. Click File.
  2. Select Save as.

3.  Select a location for the file that will be easy to find in later steps.

4.  Type a name for the file in the File name text area.

5.   Select UTF-8 from the Encoding dropdown menu.

6.   Click Save.

To save in MAC using TextEdit:

  1. Click Save.
  2. Click Format menu.
  3. Select Make Plain Text.
  4. Click on the TextEdit menu.
  5. Select Preferences.
  6. Check the Add “.txt” extention to plain text files check box
  7. Click on the Encoding dropdown menu.
  8. Select Unicode (UTF-8).
  9. Type the name you wish to give the file.
  10. Select a location for the file it would be easy to find in later steps.
  11. Click Save.

Importing Questions Using the Aiken Format

  1. Login to Moodle.
  2. Click the triangle next to the Question bank option to reveal more options in the Administration block.
  3. Click Import.
  1. This will take you to the Import questions from file page.

File Format

  1. Select Aiken format in the File format section.


  1. 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.
  2. Match grades - Imported grades must match one of the fixed list of valid grades. If not, there are two options:
  1. Error if grade not listed -  If a question contains any grades not found in the list, an error is displayed and that question will not be imported.
  2. Nearest grade if not listed - If a grade is found that does not match a value in the list, the grade is changed to the closest matching value in the list.
  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. Click Choose a file from Import from this file.
  1.  The File picker window will appear.
  1. Click Choose File.
  2. Find the file on your computer.
  3. Click Open to select the file.

  1. Click Upload this file.

  1. Click Import.

import 2.png

Note: The next screen will show that the questions and answers have been imported into Moodle ISU. 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, contact ITRC.

  1. Click Continue after the import process is finished.
  1.  This will take you to your Question Bank where you can view the new questions.

For more information on Aiken format, see Aiken format. 

For additional information, contact ITRC - (208)-282-5880 or email itrc@isu.edu.

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.