Moodle’s Essay question type provides the option of answering by entering text online, or uploading one or more files.
Before we start looking at the Essay question, it’s worth noting that for longer essays, or file uploads, you may wish to think about using the Assignment activity instead? The Essay question tends to work best within a Quiz when the text required is relatively small.
After this, perhaps the most important thing to bear in mind is that although Essay questions are created in the same way as other quiz questions, Essay questions must be marked manually by the Teacher, and so the Students will not get a final grade until the Teacher has manually marked this question. Until that happens, the Student’s grade will be zero for any Essay question.
That could be a deal breaker if you want to use a Quiz as a completely self-marking activity. If you do, then don’t use the Essay question type!
This post assumes you know how to create a Quiz and add a question type in Moodle already, and use the Gradebook. If not, head over to https://docs.moodle.org/36/en/Quiz_quick_guide.
‘Response format’ allows you to choose what is available for the Students when typing their essays, for example the regular Atto editor with or without the option to upload files, or a plain text editor (with no formatting). No online text means they cannot type any text. (You cannot select this if you don’t allow attachments, as the students will have nothing to submit).
‘Require text’ allows you to decide if Students must add text into the editor when they take the question. If you only want them to upload a word-processed file as an essay, then you can set this to ‘Text input is optional’. (Note that this setting does not force the Student to type text into the text editor; they can still leave it blank and continue to another question).
It is possible for the Teacher to create a template to give Students extra support. The template is then visible in the editor when the Student starts to answer the question. It’s also possible to include grading information for Teachers to refer to when grading the essay.
Teacher can upload a file (such as an image) or add audio/video in the Essay grading area (Moodle 3.5 or later).