Frequently Asked Questions

Technical and/or pedagogical issues raised

Existing solution

Batch download

This is enabled. However where batch download is being done to hand-mark assessments and then to later scan and attempt batch upload, this functionality is not good practice and presents other tech and budget problems such as printing costs and printer queue/block

"Blind marking"

"Blind marking" is known as "anonymous marking" in Turnitin. Where a discipline wishes to maintain the practice of "blind marking" then Turnitin is recommended as the tool of choice

Students can’t tell who has marked their work - could the ability to add a signature be added?

Functionality exists in both Moodle and Turnitin and needs to be selected by the subject coordinator

Can students be grouped according to campus location? re group assessments possible?

Where a subject wishes to assess group work then Moodle or Mahara are recommended as the tools of choice

Where a subject wishes provide unique groups for satelline/regional campuses, groups can be manually created by the Subject Coordinator

I want to be able to assess group work

Where a discipline wishes to assess group work then they should be referred to tools within the learning platform that afford these practices

Accessibility standards

Accessibility standards are already built into both Turnitin and Moodle (Moodle 2.9 upgrades functionality). However, subject coordinator’s editing practices can undermine these standards . In addition, accessibility standards have yet to be implemented in the context of assessments (eg accessible standards for e-exams)

Online gradebook: Double handling if all marks are to be entered in Moodle, then uploaded to SMP

Harvesting marks into SMP is a simple automated function done by Subject Coordinator


Mahara is part of the Learning Platform and interoperable functionality exists with Moodle.

Turnitin is not interoperable with Moodle


Quizzes have glitches

A quality assurance process exists via the ITMS e-Learning team. Build staff capacity to use quizzes. Respond to features requests concerning quizzes.

Work health and safety concerns

The advice of the WHS unit is that current approaches to WHS re computer use are relevant to the adoption of online marking practices, and that hand marked assessments also have WHS issues.

Online marking can reduce WHS issues in reducing writing/typing time with the use of, for example, online assessment rubrics, feedback statement banks or audio feedback[2]

Practicum logbooks and practicum workbooks

Functionality exists within Mahara and Wordpress to make available templates such as practicum logbooks and practicum workbooks. Mahara is interoperable with Moodle.

Opportunities for marking moderation in Moodle

Functionality exists in Moodle and needs to be selected by Subject Coordinator

Authentic learning and assessments

Functionality exists within Mahara and Wordpress to create authentic learning activities and assessment. Mahara is interoperable with Moodle.

Authentic learning where handwritten practices still exist in the industry

In these instances, a rationale exists to either:

  1. Not use OSA
  2. Require the student to scan and upload the hand-written evidence via Moodle, and the assessor to make use of the pdf annotation tool on the digital evidence

Currently the standard pdf package for academics does not include provisions for additions, editing and comment

Functionality for pdf annotation in the tool boxes are in-built to Turnitin and Moodle. However, Acrobat has superior functionality. Consideration should be made concerning the minimum software standards on all existing and new hardware.

My assessments involve a range of social media tools

Students can be asked to upload a document into Moodle with the cover sheet and a link to the relevant url

We need more flexibility and the ability to alter the default settings

Functionality already exists within the tools in the Learning Platform for the Subject Coordinator to alter the default settings (within parametres). It may be that greater training is needed to improve practices associated with choosing settings.

Flexibility is important, but cannot always be solved within the affordances of a particular tool. For example, where an assessment involves reflection, digital storytelling, or video files, the best choice might be Mahara or Wordpress (or whatever the student has chosen to use), with Moodle as the administrative portal for the submission of the cover sheet with a link to the web resource.

Advice about the most appropriate tool, or tools, within the Learning Platform can be gained via the Ed Team [or via a recommended development of a tool that allows academics to make that choice using a decision tree or typology).


UOW Calculated Quiz Question Fixes


Several of our subject coordinators have reported some issues with how calculated quiz question’s display and how an acceptable answer is calculated.

There are three enhancements to Moodle which will alleviate the issues in part. The first improvement details the display of specified decimal places in wildcard values which is causing a misunderstanding in between what the site coordinator (creator of the question) and the student expects.

The second improvement correctly aligns the minimum and maximum calculated values with the calculated answer and stops forcing the user to enter a tolerance.

The third and most ambitious allows Moodle to dynamically determine how many significant figures or decimal places the answer should be calculated to.


Display of specified decimal places in wildcard values

If a wild card value has been specified to be up to n decimal places it should show for all n decimal places when displaying the question to a student or when developing the calculation question itself.


The question:

FAQ 001

The wildcards:

FAQ 002

The asked question:

FAQ 003

It appears that Moodle will show number of decimal places based on the number generated as opposed to aligning to the number of decimal places. In chemistry and other disciplines 10 != 10.0 as 10.0 specifies that this number is accurate to 1 decimal place whereas 10 is not accurate to any decimal places. The number of decimal places a variable is shown to can change how many significant figures the answer is displayed to.

In the above example the answer should be 2 significant figures (the variable is written as 0.32) but if the variable were written as 0.320 (as it was originally intended) it means the lowest number of significant figures is now 3 and so the answer will be in 3 significant figures.  

Minimum and maximum answer range

The generated minimum and maximum answer range should adhere to the rules specified by the "Correct answer shows" and "Format" fields as the calculated answer does. Without this we have

Example (note I have manually change 0.24 to 0.240 as it should be displayed):

FAQ 004

Here the answer equates to 0.020208 but we need to apply the rules of significant figures (for accuracy) so we get 0.0202 as the correct answer. This is the only correct answer and so the Tolerance should be 0. Moodle won’t allow this as technically 0.0202 isn’t within 0.020208 – 0.020208 but if we change the way the min and max are calculated to align it with the desired answer format this will work. So the min and max would be 0.0202.

FAQ 005

Sig Fig & Decimal Point Calculation rules

If a calculation contains multiplication or division operations the answer will adhere to the lowest number of significant figures of all the variables included in the equation (not just wildcards).

E.g. FAQ 006 - equation  =12.2 as the smallest number of significant figures of any variable is 3.

If a calculation contains addition or subtraction operations the answer will adhere to the lowest number of decimal places of all the variables included in the equation (not just wildcards).

E.g. (24.1574+15.234)-30.1=9.3 as the smallest number of decimal places is 1.

Calculations involving multiplication or division and addition or subtraction operations each rule should be applied based on the individual operation and should adhere to order of operations.

E.g. (24.1574×15.234)+30.1=368.01+30.1=398.1

Dynamic calculation rules

Not all calculations can be determined to have their answer in n number of significant figures or decimal places. In the previous example the number of significant figures required for a truly correct answer is always 3 as the variable with the lowest number of significant figures is 3.

If we change the number of decimals of the Y variable to 4 then the minimum number of significant figures for any given X and Y is either 3 or 4 (as X now dictates which number of significant figures is relevant) which will change the answer. This is because can range between 20.0 (3 significant figures) and 100.0 (4 significant figures).

FAQ 007

Therefore there is a desire to allow the calculated answer to follow the rules outlined in the heading "Calculation rules" in addition to being able to specify the exact number of significant figures specified.

This calculation method is complex and requires all variables to be written to the correct number of decimal places without removing all trailing zeros.

FAQ 008

Last reviewed: 4 August, 2015