Allow Your Students to Add Feedback to Quiz Questions

The Startprep project.

Allowing students to add feedback to quiz questions

STARTprep is a year-long online micro-learning course designed to prepare anesthesia residents for competency in the anesthesia basic sciences.

STARTprep was developed by the AIM Lab, an award-winning innovation laboratory based in the Department of Anesthesia at Stanford University.

An important element of the Startprep courses is the usage of the Moodle Quiz module. Residents can login to Moodle daily to practice questions using the Flashcard module, Learn theory from the Lesson module and test and enhance their knowledge on the Quiz module.

Student feedback can allows teachers to increase the content quality.

The Quality of quizzes are of great importance and student feedback on quiz questions can prove very useful. Users can inform the teachers on errors in the questions asked or explain their choices.

Since the quiz module uses a renderer to build the quiz pages a theme can change the way the quiz behaves providing a Hack-free stable solution without locking Moodle to a fixed version (jay!).

The user interface for adding feedback should be simple and intuitive without disruption the quiz, or requiring the page to reload.

"A StartPrep Quiz page"


When zooming into the question there are 2 new input boxes added by the theme.

"Zoom into the question info box"

The user can simply add some text and click on the save button or press enter.

"Zoom into the question info box"

How the teacher manages comments.

A teacher can see all comments provided by students. This list of comments makes it very easy to find questions that have lots of comments.

"The Quiz Comments Interface"


When the teacher clicks on the question having 15 comments the question content can be viewed allowing the teacher to understand what this is about. In the comments tab all student comments can be read.

"The Comments Question content"

Clicking the Comments tab opens a Tab that shows all the student comments.

"The Comments for a Question"

How it all works

The quiz comments have been build into the Moodle theme uising some smart renderes and a Yui Module. The comments are stored in a separate table. The report has been build as a sub plugin for the quiz module.

The results

Building these customizations have been a nice learning experience and I would very much like to build them in a way so they can easily be reused. If you’re want to learn more on this plugin do not hesitate to contact me!

Saint Patricks Day Shamrock Moodle Theme

Saint Patricks day Moodle theme.

Together with David Scotson, Joby Harding and Gareth Barnard I am working on a new version of the Moodle bootstrap theme, the theme that was the foundation for the bootstrapbase theme / clean theme now in Moodle core.

Today I prowdly present the Bootstrap Shamrock theme for Saint Patricks day! The idea for releasing this today was from Gavin Henrick

"Bootstrap Shamrock"


Download it now

How this theme was build

I did not create the Shamrock look for Moodle myself. All credits go to Thomas Park how maintains the free bootswatches for Moodle project.

Our Moodle bootstrap theme fully supports bootswatches, and thanks to Joby Harding it is now super easy to switch bootswatches in the Moodle bootstrap theme. All I did for this theme was issue the command.

grunt swatch --name=shamrock

Have Fun!

Creating a Moodle Bootstrap 3 Theme

Theme Bootstrap 3 for Moodle

August 2013 version 3 of the Twitter Bootstrap CSS framework was released. This post explains how this framework was used to create a new Moodle theme.

"Bootstrap 3"

A little history: If you are using Moodle version 2.5 or newer you can select a theme called Clean from the Moodle theme selector. This theme uses a base theme called bootstrapbase which makes the theme called Clean a child theme. The bootstrapbase theme is build using version 2.x of the Twitter Bootstrap framework. Last year Moodle Head Quarters descided to adopt the bootstrapbase theme and the Clean theme into it’s core distribution. It has become a popular theme especially for usage on Mobile devices.

The bootstrapbase theme was created using the bootstrap theme which I created together with David Scotson. This new version of the theme is a theme on it’s own. Perhaps at some time it will be used to upgrade the Moodle core theme. for now it is there for you to use and enjoy.

So what is Twitter Bootstrap?

Twitter Bootstrap is a framework used for building the user interfaces for web-based applications. When implementing Bootstrap a developer can choose to use elements of the Bootstrap framework to build a user interface. With version 3 developers can now create a better Grid, faster load times and most importantly have a better Mobile experience.

Coding for fun

This Christmas brake I simply could not sit down and enjoy Christmas carols and shopping. So instead I took some time creating a new version of the bootstrap moodle theme based on Twitter Bootstrap version 3. The new version is still a work in progress but it is already working quite well. It works for Moodle versions 2.5 and 2.6, you just need to download the right branch.

Get it now!

The new version can be downloaded from my Github theme bootstrap repository. You can test this theme on Sonsbeekmedia theming or download and install it on your server.

Click the read more link to learn more about the new features.

Moodle Google Analytics

Get the new Google Analytics Moodle plugin



Back in 2012 Me and Gavin Henrick published blog posts about using Google Analytics with Moodle. Now a year later I spend some time improving it and turning it into a Moodle plugin that can you can download from Github

I am still using my Google Analytics code and enjoying the results it gives me. The most important feature it offers is the improved URL’s that are send to your Google Analytics Dashboards.

The problem with Moodle links in Google Analytics is the link format:

Using this Local plugin you can transform these URL’s into:

Moodle Developer Meeting

Recently the Moodle HeadQuarters organized a Moodle Developer meeting. These Meetings are held to keep all Moodle experts, Developers and Power users up to date on the most recenten changes and updates.

This Meeting was organized using Youtube for Video and Audio and Jabber for comments and Chatting.

This post describes some of the notes I took during the meeting.

Building With Bootstrap


Recently the Twitter Bootstrap Framework has been added to Moodle version 2.5. Adding Twitter Bootstrap to Moodle can change the way Moodle developers work and develop for Moodle. Over the last year HTML5, JavaScript and CSS frameworks and Bootstrap have gained a lot of popularity amongst web designers and developers. The main reason why Bootstrap has gained its popularity is because it is easy to use and allows non designers to create high quality websites.

This post has been written for the iMoot online conference.

Moodle Moot Ireland and UK

This years Moodle moot in Dublin, Ireland has been very successful, again. Situated in the Crowne hotel near the Airport surrounded by parks and a bus stop that connects you to central Dublin. It was organised by Moodle guru Gavin Henrick and Mark Glynn. Gavin is well known in the Moodle community and owns a company that focuses on Moodle consultancy and development, he is also an excellent gamer. Mark Glynn work at the DCU and IOTI and is an excellent dancer to 80’s music.

My Favorite Talks on Fosdem 2013

Saturday and Sunday 2-3 February I attended the yearly Free and Open source Software Developers’ European Meeting (Fosdem). There are 5000+ people that visit this free congress that is organized in the ULB campus buildings by a team of volunteers and sponsoring from some big companies like Redhat, Google, HP, O’Reilly and others.

The reason I visit Fosdem is to get inspired and to re-fuel my enthusiasm for open source software and technology in general.  There are over 450 speakers and many parallel sessions to choose from. The atmosphere is very friendly and relaxed, the level of knowledge of technology is usually very high amongst the visitors and most have active jobs in IT as developers, systems operators and researchers.

Browserinfo Block

When developing themes or plugins for Moodle displaying the Browser info can be a nice tool. Creating this block only took a few minutes. I will not share it on because it is really too simple. If you want, download it from: