Using moodle quiz to assist listening assessment: Efl students' perceptions and suggestions

This study investigated the perceptions of EFL students at University of Foreign Languages,

Hue University, about the use of the Moodle Quiz in listening tests and the benefits as well as problems

they had when taking Moodle-based listening quizzes. A mixed method was adopted to collect data

from 73 first-year English majors. The findings showed that more than half of students liked taking

listening tests on the Moodle Quiz while the rest of the students were not really keen on this method of

testing. It is also indicated that more students preferred Moodle Quiz for formative assessment than for

summative assessment. In comparison with paper-based tests, Moodle Quiz was said to provide the testtakers with clear sound, better concentration, and quicker feedback. It was, however, revealed that the

unfamiliarity with the tool, time pressure of the tests and facility-related trouble were students’ common

problems in using this test delivery mode. Some suggestions were then made in order to improve the

effectiveness of using Moodle Quiz in the listening assessment.

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USING MOODLE QUIZ TO ASSIST LISTENING ASSESSMENT: EFL 
STUDENTS' PERCEPTIONS AND SUGGESTIONS 
Cao Thi Xuan Lien*; Le Thi Hong Phuong 
University of Foreign Languages, Hue University 
Received: 10/01/2020; Revised: 15/02/2020; Accepted: 28/04/2020 
Abstract: This study investigated the perceptions of EFL students at University of Foreign Languages, 
Hue University, about the use of the Moodle Quiz in listening tests and the benefits as well as problems 
they had when taking Moodle-based listening quizzes. A mixed method was adopted to collect data 
from 73 first-year English majors. The findings showed that more than half of students liked taking 
listening tests on the Moodle Quiz while the rest of the students were not really keen on this method of 
testing. It is also indicated that more students preferred Moodle Quiz for formative assessment than for 
summative assessment. In comparison with paper-based tests, Moodle Quiz was said to provide the test-
takers with clear sound, better concentration, and quicker feedback. It was, however, revealed that the 
unfamiliarity with the tool, time pressure of the tests and facility-related trouble were students’ common 
problems in using this test delivery mode. Some suggestions were then made in order to improve the 
effectiveness of using Moodle Quiz in the listening assessment. 
Keywords: Moodle Quiz, EFL students, listening assessment 
1. Introduction 
There is no doubt that technology plays a significant role in education, especially in language 
teaching and learning. Not only does the advent of technological advances significantly support teachers 
and learners in acquiring new languages, but it also facilitates the process of language testing and 
assessment. At the University of Foreign Languages, Hue University, traditional paper-based tests have 
been long used to assess students’ learning progress. More specifically, in assessing students’ listening 
comprehension ability, tests are always created in paper-and-pencil format and delivered to students who 
are normally arranged in a brick-and-mortar setting. While the listening audio file is usually played by a 
CD player or a cassette, students attentively listen and provide the answers on the test paper. This way of 
test delivery has posed many difficulties to students as the quality of the sound is low, so it is hard for 
students to perform well in the test. Moreover, the traditional test takes teachers a great deal of time to mark 
and students a long time to receive their results and feedback. In order to eliminate these difficulties as well 
as innovate the way listening skills are tested, in this study, the researcher has applied Moodle Quiz to 
convert paper-based listening tests into web-based versions and deliver listening tests to students through 
computers in computer labs and personal devices. The research, therefore, aimed to discover what students 
thought about Moodle-based listening quizzes and what advantages as well as disadvantages they had when 
taking listening tests on Moodle. 
This study, therefore, aims to seek the answers to the following questions: 
 1. What is students’ perception of the use of Moodle Quiz in assessing listening skills? 
 2. What advantages and disadvantages did Moodle-based listening tests offer students? 
* Email: ctxlien@hueuni.edu.vn 
2. Literature review 
2.1. Computer-assisted language testing 
The conception of CALL - Computer Assisted Language Learning has come as an essential result of 
the computer invention and the Internet development. In fact, no one can deny the obvious benefits that 
technology advances have brought to the field of language education. In addition to facilitating the 
language teaching and learning process, technological advances also plays a significant role in the language 
testing procedure. 
According to Chapelle and Voss (2016), assessing learners’ language competence is an important 
part of language teaching and learning process. They defined language assessment as a process of collecting 
data systematically from the learners to understand their language ability; hence, decisions related to their 
study can be made. These days, language assessment has been facilitated thanks to the technological 
development, especially computers and the Internet (Winke & Isbell, 2017). The emergence of the term 
CALT - Computer-Assisted Language Testing shows the inevitable role that technology plays in language 
teaching and learning in general and in language testing in particular. 
Noijons (1994), Suvorov and Hegelheimer (2013) shared a similar definition of CALT when they 
regarded CALT as the application of computers to elicit and assess the test-takers’ performances. Therefore, 
computer-assisted or computer-based language tests were regarded as any kind of tests which are created 
and delivered to the testees through computers and other devices. Noijons also clarified that the process of 
CALT involves the generation of the test, the interaction with test takers, and the evaluation of responses. 
Among these three stages of the process, Noijons emphasized that, in the second stage when the testees 
interact with the tests on the computer, the differences between computer-based tests and paper-based tests 
can be seen most obviously. 
2.2. Advantages and Disadvantages of Computer-Assisted Language Testing 
 In his article, Noijons (1994) admitted that computer-assisted language testing “offers advantages 
over traditional testing” (p. 39). Accordingly, one of the benefits that CALT offers is the ability to measure 
the amount of time students spend completing the tests and track students’ frequency route in taking the 
tests, which cannot be done in traditional methods of testing. This might provide teachers with useful 
information about students’ test-taking strategies. Moreover, the use of computers can also offer testees 
with multimedia stimuli through such inputs as videos, images, texts and audios and help to facilitate 
standardization which guarantees test reliability. Besides these advantages, Pathan (2012) aslo mentioned 
some other benefits of CALT, one of which is to help students become more active in test-taking process. 
Specifically, computer-based tests canbe individualized, so students are allowed self-pacing. Additionally, 
he mentioned that students can receive immediate feedback and results when taking tests on the computers 
, which is far more advantageous than paper-based tests. 
 One the other hand, studies have also showed that computer-based tests pose some challenges for all 
the stakeholders including administrators, teachers and students. First of all, for the school administrators, 
Noijons (1994) said that the implementation of CALT usually requires compatible technology infrastructure 
such as computers, testing software, and the Internet access which are often costly. Moreover, he mentioned 
that when using CALT the test designers who, in many cases, are the teachers, need to have expertise in 
not only language proficiency but also in testing and testing programs or software. This, therefore, often 
demotivates the teachers because their teaching workload is already heavy. Pathan (2012), added that 
students who take the computer-based test also need to have some technical knowledge and skills, so this 
mode of test delivery may have some negative wash-back on the test takers due to their novelty to the test 
tools. 
2.3. An overview of Moodle and Moodle Quiz 
The emergence of technological advances has generated a range of tools that can be utilized to 
develop and deliver language proficiency tests. Marczak and colleagues (2016), in their study about web-
based language assessment, mentioned Moodle and Webclass as two of many applications that teachers can 
use to assess students’ learning in the virtual learning environment. Meanwhile, Milliner et al. (2017) 
suggested using Blackboard® Tests and Google Forms in language assessment in general and English 
language assessment in particular. Among the aforementioned tools, Moodle (https://moodle.org/), 
developed by Martin Dougiamas in 2002, is “a course management system that is used by educators 
worldwide for teaching and learning purposes” (Sebae et al., 2019, p. 369) . Moodle offers a wide range of 
functions to help teachers create and deliver online lessons, manage students’ learning process as well as 
evaluate their progress. 
Furthermore, Moodle provides many functions which can assist teachers in assessing students’ 
learning outcomes such as Workshop, Assignment, Wiki, Forum, Quiz, and so on. Among these functions, 
Moodle Quiz can be seen as a suitable tool for testing and assessment as it offers a variety of question types 
(multiple choice, True/False, gap-fill, short answers, essays, etc.), grading methods (highest grade, average 
grade, first grade or last grade in different attempts) and feedback options (immediately or later) (Coy, 
2013). Teachers can also set how much time and how many attempts students can have in each test. Moodle 
quizzes can be used to test different aspects of language such as grammar, vocabulary, and four skills. 
Students can easily take Moodle quizzes on any devices including computers, laptops, mobile phones or 
tablets, at any time and anywhere. Sebae et al. (2019) claimed that “Moodle is a great platform where tools 
such as Quiz can be easily deployed for improving and measuring students’ engagement” (p. 369). 
2.4. Designing Moodle Quizzesfor the assessment of listening skills 
In Listening 1 Module, which is designed to improve first-year English majors’ listening skills, 
listening quizzes, were created on Moodle and used for both formative and summative assessment purposes. 
Specifically, to assess students’ on-going progress in listening comprehension, eight Moodle-based 
listening progress quizzes were opened for students to take every week after each unit they learned in class. 
Meanwhile, for summative assessment, during the semester, students had to take two mid-term listening 
tests: one was a paper-and-pencil test and the other was a Moodle-based test. The purpose of using the two 
different types of mid-term tests was to help students experience and compare two different test delivery 
modes. 
About the quiz format, because Listening 1 Module aimed at developing listening skills for students 
at B1 level, the format of PET listening test was adopted to create the listening quizzes. Each of the eight 
listening progress quizzes often included 2-3 listening tasks with 10-15 questions while the mid-term 
listening test fully consisted of 4 parts with totally 25 questions. There were a range of question types used 
in these listening quizzes including multiple choice items with visuals, multiple choice items with options, 
True/False items and gap-fill items. About the quiz content, the listening resources used to create the quizzes 
were based on PET listening materials so that the difficulty of the listening quizzes could be guaranteed to 
suit the B1 level. 
Image 1. Examples of different question types in Moodle-based listening quizzes 
3. Methods 
3.1. Instruments 
A mixed method approach was employed in this study in order to collect both qualitative and 
quantitative data from the participants. To specify, aquestionnaire including both closed and open questions 
was designed and delivered to students who participated in the Listening 1 Module. The questions were 
clustered into three categories in order to collect data for the intended research questions: students’ attitudes 
towards Moodle Quiz, students’ comparison between Moodle-based listening tests and paper-based 
listening tests, students’ opinions about advantages and disadvantages that Moodle Quiz offered. 
The quantitative data collected from multiple choice questions and check-list questions were 
calculated and presented in the percentages whereas the qualitative data collected from students’ responses 
to open-ended questions were coded and categorized based on the similarities. 
3.2. Participants 
Although there were 77 students participated in the Listening 1 Module, only 73 participants 
responded to the survey. These students were first-year English majors at Faculty of English, University of 
Foreign Languages, Hue University. The percentage of female students was 89%, and male students 11%. 
They were 18-20 years old and had learned English for at least 5 years and admitted that their computer 
skills such as accessing the Internet, logging into the course platform, and solving technical problems were 
good or normal. 
Table 1. Demographic information about the participants 
Categories Response results 
Age 18 years old: 93% 
19 years old: 4% 
20 years old: 3% 
Gender Female: 89% 
Male: 11% 
Years of learning English Under 5 years: 8.2% 
Between 5 and 10 years: 60.3% 
Over 10 years: 31.5% 
Computer skills Good: 27.8%; Normal: 59.7%; Not good: 12.5% 
4. Findings and discussion 
4.1. Students’attitude towards the use of Moodle Quiz in listening assessment 
The first cluster of the questionnaire aimed to collect information about students’ attitudes towards 
the use of Moodle Quiz in listening assessment. Specificially, the questions were related to students’ 
interests in Moodle Quiz, students’ opinions about the difficulty level of the tool, and their 
recommendations for this tool in the listening course. The findings are presented as follows. 
Chart 1. Students’ interest in Moodle-based listening tests 
First of all, in terms of students’ interest in Moodle Quiz, the findings show that over a half of the 
students had a positive attitude towards Moodle-based listening tests and this number was nearly fourfold 
more than that of those who had a negative feeling. This indicates that Moodle Quiz was positively 
52%
36%
12%
Do you like to take Moodle-based listening tests?
Like Neither like nor dislike Dislike
appreciated by most students who experienced it during their course. However, it is noticeable that a quite 
large number of students (taking up 36%) showed an indifferent attitude as they neither liked nor disliked 
taking this kind of tests. This considerable proportion means that these students only took the Moodle 
quizzes as part of the listening course requirement without resistance or support. Therefore, more 
improvements related to the use of Moodle Quiz should be done so that it can arouse these indifferent 
students’ interest and change their attitudes towards the tool. 
Chart 2. Students’ opinions about the difficulty level of Moodle Quiz 
Regarding the tool’s difficulty level, nearly a third of the participants said that they had no difficulty 
in taking listening tests on Moodle as they found the tool user-friendly and easy to use. However, there 
were 22% of students who admitted that it was difficult for them to take Moodle-delivered listening quizzes. 
Especially, around a half of students said that they found it normal (neither difficult nor easy) to do the tests 
designed with Moodle Quiz. In fact, it was found that there was a relationship between students’ responses 
to this question and their self-assessment of their computer skills. Specifically, most of the students who 
had assessed their computer skills at normal or not good level found it difficult or normal to use Moodle 
Quiz to take listening tests. Therefore, it can be inferred that students’ lack of confidence in technical skills 
might have an influence on their use of Moodle Quiz. 
22%
49%
29%
Is it difficult to take Moodle-based listening tests?
Difficult Neither difficult nor easy Easy
 Chart 3. Students’ recommendations about the use of Moodle-based listening tests 
 In addition, when asked about the possible use of Moodle listening tests in Listening 1 Module, 
students’ preference was showed quite clearly through their responses. Specifically, as the above chart 
reveals, most students (accounting for 82%) suggested using Moodle Quiz in self-assessment practice 
throughout the semester. Meanwhile, over a half of the students said that this method of test delivery could 
be applied in mid-term listening tests. Most noticeably, only a third of students thought end-of-semester 
listening papers should be delivered through Moodle. It seems that students would like Moodle Quiz to be 
used for formative assessment more than summative assessment. 
In order to understand students’ preferences in the use of Moodle Quiz, their performances in 
listening quizzes delivered on both Moodle Quiz and on paper were compared. As showed below, among 
three types of listening quizzes including Moodle-based progress tests, Moodle-based mid-term test and 
paper-based mid-term test, students achieved the highest results in progress tests and their performance in 
paper-based mid-term test was slightly higher and the one on Moodle Quiz. 
Chart 4. 
Students’performances in listening quizzes delivered in different modes 
It can be seen that students’ preferences of the Moodle Quiz use in different test types were in inverse 
proportion to the influence levels of these tests on their final learning outcomes. Specifically, students most 
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
Self-assessment
Mid-term tests
End-of-semester exam
What should Moodle-based listening tests be used for?
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Mid-term test on Moodle Quiz Mid-term test on paper Progress tests on Moodle Quiz
highly recommended Moodle Quiz to be used for self-assessment, i.e. progress listening tests, which only 
accounted for 10% of their total mark. Meanwhile, the smallest number of students preferred that Moodle 
Quiz could be used for the end-of-course exam because it took up 60% of the final mark. Therefore, it can 
be concluded that students were quite cautious about taking listening tests on Moodle Quiz, especially those 
high-stakes ones like mid-term tests or final exams. The reason for this caution might be that they were 
afraid that their unfamiliarity with the tool can affect their study results. Students’ caution was 
understandable as this was the first time they had done listening tests in an unconventional way. 
4.2. Advantages and disadvantages of taking Moodle-based listening tests 
During the Listening 1 Module, students were provided with both paper-based assignments/tests and 
Moodle-based assignments/tests so that they could experience both ways of delivering listening quizzes 
and have a clear insight into the pros and cons of each test type. The following was the result collected from 
students’ responses to the question “What advantages and disadvantages did Moodle Quiz offer you?”. As 
students provided their answers in Vietnamese, all of their responses which are cited as examples below 
have been translated in English to make them more understandable. 
4.2.1. Advantages of Moodle-based listening tests 
The most popular benefit that Moodle-based tests offered students was that they could concentrate 
on the tests more easily. 19 students mentioned this in their answers with some responses like “I had better 
concentration”, “I can concentrate better on listening”, “I can concentrate on doing the tests”, “it helps me 
concentrate better”, “it is easy for me to concentrate”, etc. This was because students took the tests on their 
own computer or device with listening output delivered to them through the headphone; therefore, the sound 
quality was much better than delivered through loudspeakers or CD players in a large room. Moreover, 
distracting factors such as background noise or other students’ behaviors were also eliminated, which 
contributed to students’ better concentration. 
The second benefit which students pointed

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