The Aiken format is a very simple way of creating multiple choice questions using a clear human-readable format in a text file. (The GIFT format has many more options and perhaps is less prone to errors, but doesn’t look as straight-forward as AIKEN. ) The question must be all on one line. Each answer must start with a single uppercase letter, followed by a period ‘.’ or a bracket ‘)’, then a space. The answer line must immediately follow, starting with “ANSWER: ” (NOTE the space after the colon) and then giving the appropriate letter.
- You have to save the file in a text format. Don’t save it as a Word document or anything like that.
- Non-ASCII characters like ‘quotes’ can cause import errors. To avoid this always save your text file in UTF-8 format (most text editors, even Word, will ask you).
- The answer letters (A,B,C etc.) and the word “ANSWER” must be capitalised as shown below, otherwise the import will fail.
Here is an example of the format:
What is the correct answer to this question? A. Is it this one? B. Maybe this answer? C. Possibly this one? D. Must be this one! ANSWER: D Which LMS has the most quiz import formats? A) Moodle B) ATutor C) Claroline D) Blackboard E) WebCT F) Ilias ANSWER: A
Both these examples imported into Moodle gave questions looking like:
Which LMS has the most quiz import formats? Choose one answer.
- a. Blackboard
- b. WebCT
- c. ATutor
- d. Moodle
- e. Claroline
- f. Ilias
When importing there are many options, but these do not influence Aiken Format import:
- Get category from file [_]
- Get context from file [_]
- Match grades [Error if grade not listed/Nearest grade if not listed]
- Stop on error [Yes/No]
Hints and Tips
- Use a text editor, like PSPad, (Windows “notepad” may not save with right encoding) to write the file with questions and save as a TXT file in UTF-8 format. Use only simple ‘ not slant ones ´ ` ! Avoid other exotic characters like … HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS (http://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/2026/index.htm, three dots as a single character).
- Moodle XML Converter – more extensive version of AIKEN format. Supports almost all Moodle questions types – multichoice, shortanswer, cloze, essay, order, matching, numeric, truefalse