Managing question banks in Moodle can be a challenging endeavor fraught with several pressure points for users. From difficulties in organizing and categorizing questions to issues with importing and exporting, users often find themselves grappling with the platform’s limitations. The process of creating, editing, and assessing questions can be hindered by clunky interfaces, limited functionalities, and compatibility issues with various question types. These hurdles not only impede the efficiency of educators in generating assessments but also compromise the overall user experience within the Moodle environment. Here are some of Moodle’s question bank issues and how to navigate through them.

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Outline

 

 

Unable to Load the Question Bank

Unable to Load the Question Bank

If your Moodle version is an early version 4 (i.e., 4.1 – 4.1.5), this may apply to you. The issue within the early version 4 Moodles was the question statistic feature though disabled was still running a task that would also run everytime when trying to load a question bank. This bug would throw the database into error or timeouts, hence unable to load the question bank. Instead of upgrading to version 4.2 or higher, the recommended fix for this is to upgrade your Moodle to any of the newer upgrades after 4.1.6 staying on the long term support version.

 

Growing Question Bank Causing Loss in Storage Space / Performance Issues

Growing Question Bank Causing Loss in Storage Space or Performance Issues

IF YOU COPY COURSES, DON’T USE QUESTION BANKS. IF YOU USE QUESTION BANKS, DON’T COPY COURSES.

At Mindfield, we’ve learned that this has become our mantra to keeping question banks or courses from causing problematic issues for storage or performance. What does this mean? Let’s break it down.

Question banks are useful when you have courses that use the same questions. For example: Course A and Course B both use question 1 from the question bank. You would create different quizzes but pick questions for that course quiz from the same question bank.

Here’s the problem as to why storage space becomes an issue and affects the performance of your learning management system. Often time, the mistake of taking a backup of a course (copy) and restoring is the way many have taken to recreate new copies of a course. What this does in it’s process is usually also make copies or all the question banks associated to said course. Backing up and restoring courses should not be used unless something detrimental is expected could happen and is needed for restoring and not for copies of the same course in the same instance.

When you “copy” (not the same as duplicate) and use question banks, what this does is creates the question banks backed up and makes copies at the course level that’s being restored. So each time you repeat this, all those question banks are then copied again.

Using a school term e-learning lms as an example, you may have a winter, spring, summer and fall version of the same course. There’s need for archiving multiple terms or years of courses. We’ve seen clients use the copy method and this created a colossal library of the same question bank. Questions can be very heavy on your storage space. You’ll feel this when you take server backups or in your day to day operational performance. Errors that often occur with question banks being duplicated on multiple levels, are timeouts or invalidrecordunknown.

We like to remind our Moodle clients of our question bank/course building mantra.

IF YOU COPY COURSES, DON’T USE QUESTION BANKS. IF YOU USE QUESTION BANKS, DON’T COPY COURSES.

Here’s some great reading material on how to minimize the question bank: read here.
 

Question Bank Looping / Disappearing

Question Bank Looping or Disappearing

Have you encountered the phenomenon of the disappearing question bank? This unfortunately is still an unresolved bug. The problem mainly stems from the user’s ability to assign a question bank as it’s own parent. The current solution is going into the database and manually correcting this so another category is it’s parent. To follow this issue: follow the moodle tracker here.

 

Benefits of hiring Moodle experts for question bank issues

Benefits of hiring Moodle Expert Developer

As Moodle experts, we can provide efficient help to clients by leveraging a deep understanding of Moodle’s technical intricacies and operational challenges, such as those involving the question bank. By offering customized solutions, Moodle experts can directly address specific issues like storage inefficiencies, version-related bugs, and interface usability, thereby enhancing the Moodle experience for educators and learners alike. With Moodle expertise, it allows us to implement preventive measures, optimize existing systems, and provide strategic advice that aligns with best practices in course and content management. Clients benefit from expert services by experiencing fewer disruptions and more reliable system performance, which in turn allows them to focus on delivering quality educational content.

 

 

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