Question Bank :Preparing Questions for Importation using Aiken/Plain Text

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Preparing Quiz Questions for Importation using the Aiken Format

While there are different ways you can import questions into Moodle for use in your course, the process outlined here can be viewed as a baseline approach that works when other options are more problematic.

NOTE:  this process works only for Multiple Choice and True/False questions.

An similar method is covered by video: FacultyWorkshop – How To Import A Quiz From Word Document To Moodle.

We’ll now use a plain text editor to collect and/or compose quiz questions while arranging them in the “AIKEN” format.

Open a plain text editor such as Notepad on Windows (or TextEdit on Apple OS)

NOTE:  this text editor will need to be able to save files using “UTF-8” encoding (see Step 3)

Finding Notepad in Windows

Either after you copy-and-paste your questions or as you compose them, make sure the questions are in the AIKEN format.  The AIKEN format is as follows:

Question text. Each component of this question must be followed by single line break. There should be NO numbers in front of question Text.
A. First Answer
The answers all being with a capital “A, B, C, etc.” followed by a period and a single space before the answer text begins.
B. Second answer
C. Third  answer
D. Fourth answer
ANSWER: A “ANSWER” is in all caps, followed by colon, with a single space between the colon and the letter of the correct answer.  There will need to be a double line break before the next question.


Which of the following was a common nickname for President Abraham Lincoln?
A. The Abemeister
B. Tricky Rick
C. The Humongous
D. Honest Abe

Here is a plain text file you can use as a template if you’d like.  You will need to unzip it to view the pre-formatted text file (AIKEN_tempate.txt).

NOTE: if copy and pasting questions from a Word document look out for fancy characters like these: “ ” à ü —
They are NOT plain text and may cause the import to fail or will instead show up in quizzes with a serious of letters instead of the intended symbol

Once you’ve finished entering and formatting your questions, save the the documents as a plain text document with UTF-8 encoding

Click the File > Save As option in your text editor

Near the bottom of the Save As… window, select the “UTF-8” encoding option from the “Encoding:” drop-down menu

Click the Save button and note the location you’re saving the text file to