Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Using Hot Potatoes with Moodle

I’ve never used the quiz module in Moodle both because it’s hard to use, and because multiple choice isn’t something I use a lot.  As an English teacher, I usually want my students to write. 

But I still want to be able to use quiz-type activities, especially for review.   So I was delighted to see that my Moodle host, GlobalClassroom, supports Hot Potatoes, which provides matching, multiple-choice, cloze, and similar activities, with very minimal effort on my part.

Here’s how it worked for me.

First, I downloaded Hot Potatoes to my PC, available from the University of Victoria at http://hotpot.uvic.ca/ .  It will also work on Mac and Linux.

Then, using the Hot Potatoes program that is now on my desktop, I created a matching exercise to help students review what they know about homophones, with the words on the left and short definitions on the right.  Students drag the correct definition to the word and then check their work.  You choose the type of quiz and enter the questions next to the correct answers (students will see the answers scrambled).  You can use the default directions or add your own.   And you can set the number of tries as well as a time limit for each try. 

After saving the Hot Potatoes exercise on my PC, I opened Moodle, and clicked on Add an Activity and then on Hot Potatoes Quiz.  Then I uploaded the file I just created and voila, there it is. 

Today my students practiced with the new quiz in class, some several times until they got it right (or at least better).  Some asked, “Can I try this some more at home?”  which is just what I want to hear.   
I learned to use Hot Potato from the Moodle eAssessment course I took through LearnNowBC http://www.learnnowbc.ca/educators/MoodleMeets/default.aspx


  1. After reading this post I'm definitely going to have to give Hot Potatoes a try. It's been on my 'to do' list for a while now and you make it sound so easy! Do you know if it is possible to put together a test bank in Hot Potatoes? It's a feature that I really like about Moodles in house quiz maker.

    Thanks also for the shout out to the LearnNowBC Moodle Meets. I'm going to be helping out at the next one on Authentic Global Collaboration which is being put together by Phil Macoun and Brad Ovenellcarter; their putting together some great stuff!


  2. I don't know about a test bank with HP. That's definitely a strength of the Moodle quiz. I think HP is more for quick quizzes, which is exactly what I was looking for.

    I'm so pleased you're working with LearnNowBC. I got so much out of the class I took there, and am now signed up for one or two other classes. I've been wanting to work with Hot Potatoes for several years, but could never figure out the steps I'd need to follow - so glad I finally know how.