M22 - Questionnaire

Keywords: survey, student feedback, module, programme, lecture

What is it?

Moodle questionnaires enable staff to obtain anonymous feedback from students. To help with consistency and reduce repetitive tasks, template questionnaires can be constructed and deployed across any number of modules.

Why use it?

Responses are available electronically and can be downloaded to Excel and shared amongst staff. Compared to hand written feedback, there is no delay in getting feedback, it is legible and it doesn't require someone to spend time transferring the hand written results into an electronic format.

Who can use it?

  • Students can respond to questionnaires.
  • Staff can create, edit, and view responses of questionnaires (unless a public questionnaire is used, in which case only staff enrolled on the course where the questionnaire originates can edit it and view the responses).

Before I start...

Decide whether you will use a Questionnaire or a Feedback activity.


  • allow students to save and resume answering later.
  • can collate feedback into a single questionnaire, meaning an entire programme can collate student responses in one place.

The Feedback activity:

  • can automatically insert information about the course into the responses.
  • has better anonymity, however, there are ways to make Questionnaire responses anonymous too. See Caution below.

Decide the type of Questionnaire you want to create

If you would like to use a Questionnaire, there are three questionnaire types which define how response data is collated and who can edit and view responses. Decide which best meets your needs:

  1. Public questionnaires can be shared among courses.
    If a questionnaire has already been created (in another course on the same Moodle site) with the "public" setting, then you may use that "public" questionnaire in your own course(s). The number of settings available to such questionnaires is limited and you cannot edit its questions nor view the responses.
    Example: If a public questionnaire has been created in course A, it can be "used" in courses B, C, ... All the responses from courses A, B, C, ... are collected in the public questionnaire created in course A (the original course where it was created) and are viewable there by the person (admin or teacher) who originally created it.  
    If you construct a public questionnaire template remember that all UCL Moodle editors will see it so it's best to give it an unambiguous title to prevent other users from inadvertently using it – e.g. 'feedback questionnaire' is too vague – 'Module feedback for all 1st Year ChemXXXX courses' is better.


Please note that when you delete a Public questionnaire, you also delete the links to its "dependent" questionnaires in the other courses on your moodle site. If a Public questionnaire is no longer used, the normal procedure is to go to all the other courses that "use" that Public questionnaire and delete them first.

  1. Template questionnaires can be copied to any number of courses and then edited in the course as a Private questionnaire.
  2. Private questionnaires belongs to the course it is defined in only. This is the standard Moodle questionnaire. You create a questionnaire and its questions for the course it is defined in. Editing staff of that course can change the questionnaire and all staff can review the results.
    They allow course owners and administrators to see the data collated and also tailor the questions to a specific module or programme. 
    This is useful where some new activities/resources have been introduced to a specific module and tutors are keen to get feedback on these. One disadvantage is that Private questionnaires make it harder (but not impossible) to collate and analyse data across a number of modules. This can be done by exporting each questionnaire's feedback to Excel and collating manually. We recommend using this type of questionnaire when undertaking individual module feedback.

Meeting the baseline

The  UCL Connected Learning Baseline  suggests the following for Quality Assurance :

  • 10.1 Students can evaluate the module anonymously, including its online elements, e.g. via an End of module questionnaire.
  • 10.2 All stakeholders, including tutors, administrators and support staff, can contribute to the module/programme evaluation, including its online elements, at regular intervals (e.g. yearly, or at major reviews).

How do I set one up?

1. Add a questionnaire

  1. To add a new questionnaire, turn edit mode on via the toggle button at the top-right of your course page.
  2. Hover your mouse over the topic area where you wish the questionnaire to appear, then select the '+' plus symbol (or go to the bottom of the section and click Add an activity or resource).
  3. Choose Questionnaire from the activity list.
  4. Fill in the Name field which is compulsory. We also recommend adding information to the Description field.
  5. Set the dates in the Availability section to determine when the questionnaire will be available to students. You should only add a Date in the Restrict access area if you want to impose activity completion on the questionnaire. For instructions on how to do this, please see M34 - Activity completion
  6. Respondent Type: full name or anonymous.

  7. Students can view ALL responses: this can be set to 'after answering the questionnaire' / 'after the questionnaire is closed' / 'always'  / 'never'.

  8. Allow branching questions: choose Yes if you want the answer from one question to determine whether the following question is asked or not (they must be on separate pages).

  9. Save/Resume answers: choose Yes if you want to allow students to save and then resume later (recommended for long questionnaires).

  10. Auto numbering: choose whether to auto-number the questions and/or pages.

  11. Submission grade: if you want to assign a grade for completing the questionnaire select this here - the default is No grade.

  12. Under content options (located under the 'Advanced Settings' menu) you can choose the questionnaire type:
    1. Private - belongs to the course it is defined in only. 
    2. Public -  shared among courses. Using an existing public questionnaire (all results from other courses will feedback on this);
    3. Template - which you can personalise for your course.
  13. The remaining settings are standard across Moodle activities.
  14. At the bottom of the page click 'Save and display'.

2. Configure the questionnaire type.

  1. Click on the Advanced settings tab to take you to the Questionnaires settings page.
  2. Choose the relevant Questionnaire Type:
    • Private. This will ensure the questionnaire will be available to your students.
    • If you choose Template students in this course will not be able to respond, but it can be added to other Moodle courses for students to answer. This is useful for providing a uniform questionnaire across multiple courses within a department, while still enabling staff to tweak the survey for their own course. 
    • The Public option is used to allow questionnaires in other Moodle courses to be linked to this one, so all the data feeds back into the Public questionnaire.
  3. **Note: if you are using a Public questionnaire (rather than creating a new questionnaire), you will not be able to select a questionnaire type.

3. Add questions (if relevant).

If you are using an existing public questionnaire you will not be able to add or edit questions, but if you are creating a new public, private or template questionnaire you can edit or add questions.

  1. To add questions go to the Administration Block
    Select Questions
    Select Question Bank
    Select Create a New Question
  2. Choose the type of question you would like to add from the drop-down menu. The most common question types are:
    1. Essay Box - allows students to submit multiple lines of text (good for obtaining general feedback).
    2. Text Box - allows students to submit a single line of text (good for names, email addresses etc.).
    3. Radio buttons - allow students to choose a single response from multiple options.
    4. Check boxes - allow students to choose multiple responses from multiple options.
    5. For details on the other question types click the question mark icon alongside Question.

4. Preview the questionnaire.

  1. You should preview the questionnaire before releasing it to students to check you've chosen the correct template or public questionnaire, or if creating a new questionnaire it displays as intended.

Further help

Further guidance on questionnaires is available from Moodle Docs.

If you find any inaccurate or missing information you can even update this yourself (it's a communal wiki).

If you have a specific question about the tool please contact the Digital Education team.


Although questionnaire responses can be set to anonymous, Moodle records when a student answers a question in the course log, so you may wish to use the Feedback tool instead, as this doesn't record when a student responds in the Moodle logs. Using the Feedback tool ensures staff cannot see who responded at a particular time using the Moodle course reports. The alternative is to set the questionnaire up in one centralised course as a public questionnaire and then link to it from the courses where students will answer the questions. The responses will only be available from the centralised course where the questionnaire was initially set up and therefore, only staff with access to this course will be able to see the responses, meaning they will be anonymous, providing the staff on the course where students answer the questionnaire, don't also have access to the course where the questionnaire data is held.

Another option is to use Qualtrics, which is a survey tool separate from Moodle.

If you use a public questionnaire make sure you include a question that captures which Moodle course the responses refer to e.g. by asking students to select or fill in the module code and/or name.

Examples and case studies

None at this time.

Questions & Answers

Q. How can programme leaders view student feedback from multiple modules in one place?

A. Staff can create a public questionnaire in a Moodle course with those programme leaders assigned - students won't be able to answer directly in this course.

Student feedback can then be collected by creating questionnaires in each module's course that point to the public questionnaire. Staff in these courses will not be able to edit the questionnaire or see results unless they have tutor (or course admin) access to the Moodle course where the public questionnaire originates.

Note: you will need to ensure a question captures which Moodle course the responses refer to. E.g. by asking students to select or fill in the module code and/or name.

Q. How can I encourage students to complete a questionnaire electronically?

A. A common problem with electronic questionnaires is low response rates compared to handing out paper copies. Some proven ways to encourage students to complete questionnaires online include:

  • Ask them to complete it in class, using their mobile device or laptop.
  • Use the conditional release feature in Moodle to release extra information that students will value - e.g. exam tips, study guide etc. However, avoid withholding essential information.
  • Send reminders to those who haven't completed the questionnaire using Moodle's course participation report .

Further information

  • There are a number of different options available within the questionnaire visible to staff via the tabs including view All responses, access Advanced settings, edit the Questions and Preview.
    • If you are linking to a public questionnaire you may not have all of these options (such as viewing responses and editing questions).
  • You may wish to use groups to filter the feedback submissions or groupings to show different surveys to different groups of students on the same course. See Moodle Miniguide M13: Groups and groupings for more information and instructions on how to do this.