Quiz Activity 1.3: Importing Questions in Aiken Format [Faculty]


Importing questions allows instructors to create questions outside of Moodle ISU and quickly upload them to their question bank. This feature saves the instructor time by cutting out the need to recreate questions within Moodle.

[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 the GIFT Format, see:

For more information regarding Moodle quizzes, see:

This Guide Will Help You to:

  • Create questions using the Aiken format

  • Import questions using the Aiken format

  • Seek further assistance

Create questions using the Aiken format

  1. Open Notepad (PC’s) or TextEdit (Apple/Mac)

  2. Type the text of your first question on line one

  3. Press Enter

  4. Type the answer options

    • Only one answer per line

    • The answer letter must be capitalized (ie. A not a)

    • Follow the letter answer with either a parenthesis or period. Use one format or the other. AIKEN will not accept questions mixed with periods and parentheses

    • Add a space after the parenthesis/period and input the answer

  5. Press Enter after the last answer

  6. Type ANSWER: followed by the correct answer

  7. Press Enter twice before starting the next question

Notepad file with two quiz questions, answers listed in A, B, C, D format and correct answer indicated

  1. Repeat steps 4-7 until all questions have been added

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

To save the file in notepad

  1. Select 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. From the Encoding drop down menu at the bottom of the “Save as” box, select UTF-8

  6. Select Save

Windows files in a list with .txt file selected

To save the file in MAC using TextEdit

  1. Select Format 

  2. Select Make Plain Text

  3. Select the TextEdit menu

  4. Select Preferences

  5. Select Open and Save

  6. Select the Add .txt extension to plain text files checkbox

  7. From the Encoding drop down menu, Select Unicode (UTF-8)

  8. Type the name you wish to give the file

  9. Select a location for the file that will make it easy to find in later steps

  10. Select Save

New Document and Open and Save buttons at top center, checkboxes selected next to Add ".txt" extension to plain text files beneath When Saving a File heading and next to Preserve white space beneath HTML Saving Options

Import questions using the Aiken format

  1. Login to Moodle ISU. See Overview: Access Moodle ISU [Faculty & Student

  2. In the course navigation menu, select More and then select Question bank.

  1. In the top left drop down, select Import

    • This will take you to the Import questions from file page.


File format

  1. In the file format section, select Aiken format


  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:

    • 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

    • 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

  3. 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 section, select Choose a file


  1. In the File picker, select Upload a file and then select Choose File


  1. Find the file on your computer

  2. Select Open to select the file

  3. Select Upload this file

  4. Select Import

Choose a file button appears in the center of screen; quiz question file titled Aiken Format Example is in the file are beneath Choose a file button; Import button is beneath the file area with an arrow pointing to it

[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, check the formatting of your text file. If the error continues, contact the ITRC - (208) 282-5880 or email itrc@isu.edu]

  1. Select Continue after the import process is finished

    •  This will take you to your Question bank where you can view the new questions

Seek Further Assistance

For additional assistance, please contact the ITRC at (208) 282 5880 or itrc@isu.edu

For more information, please visit Moodle.org: Aiken format

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This work was created by the Idaho State University Instructional Technology Resource Center and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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Article ID: 53123
Wed 5/2/18 10:10 AM
Sat 11/4/23 9:53 PM