A Moodle question type plugin which extends the 'calculated' question type. Teachers can create questions like "How much is {apples} + {oranges}?" - where the {wildcards} become M and N x images of apples and oranges respectively.
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Calculated Objects question type

This a Moodle question type which extends the 'calculated' question type. Teachers can create questions like How much is {apples} + {oranges}?

  • where the {wildcards} become M and N x images of apples and oranges respectively. It is aimed at pre/primary-school students (approximately age 3-9).

Note, this question type uses the database tables of the 'calculated' question type.

Tested with Moodle 1.9.7, 2.0.2 and 2.2.3.

Currently supported wildcards: apple, redapple, orange, pear, pineapple, tomato, walnut, cookie, cake, cup, car pencil (each with or without an 's', eg. {cookies} and with an optional differentiator, eg. {apples_1} + {apples_2}).


This plugin was initially developed to support the book "Moodle 2 for Teaching 4-9 Year Olds", by Nicholas Freear, published 2011 by Packt Publishing [isbn:978-1-84951-328-9] http://bit.ly/packt-moodle4-9-book



Note, the version number 2.1.x-1.0 indicates that this is version 1.0 of the plugin for version 2.1.x onwards of Moodle (this follows the Drupal model).

There are currently two branches of development:

  • MOODLE_21_STABLE - for Moodle 2.1.x onwards, including Moodle 2.2.x - active development;
  • MOODLE_20_STABLE - for Moodle 1.9.x and Moodle 2.0.x - bug fixes only.

Releases Notes

14 June 2012 / 2.1.x-1.1-beta:

  • Added to README 'install' section; fixed $plugin->requires.

5 June 2012 / 2.1.x-1.0-beta:

  • Added support for the Moodle 2.1+ question engine [CONTRIB-3684];
  • Added HTML5 form validation to the student interface [CONTRIB-3687];
  • Improvements to the popup help for authors.

13 December 2011 / 2.0.x-0.96-rc:

  • Fixed requires bug in version.php [CONTRIB-3301].

24 April-7 May 2011:

  • Moving to Github.
  • Adding Moodle 2 support [CONTRIB-2888];
  • Initial French language pack [CONTRIB-2924].

27 August-2 September 2010:

  1. Renamed language string file, for auto-include (from CONTRIB-2308).
  2. Renamed help file, for auto-include.
  3. Added 2 missing language strings.
  4. Verified that styles.css is being auto-included.
  5. Simplified install instructions.
  6. Fixed missing % modulo operator bug (CONTRIB-2308)
  7. Added support for 'like' objects, eg. {apples_1} + {apples_2} http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=156605)
  8. Added support for arbitrary single-character wildcards, eg. {apples} / {n}.
  9. Support for more textual questions.
  10. Improved layout/styling.


  1. Download and uncompress the archive. The resulting directory may look something like nfreear-moodle-qtype_calculatedobjects-1234567.
  2. Copy the it into the directory {MOODLE}/question/type/ on your server and rename it calculatedobjects (no underscore).
  3. Visit the administrator 'notifications' page, http://moodle.example.org/admin/ - there are no database changes for this question type.

(Note, English language strings, help file, and styles will be auto-included.)


To upgrade from previous versions:

  1. Delete the question/type/calculatedobjects directory.
  2. Delete {MOODLE}/lang/en_utf8/help/quiz/calculatedobjects.html (Moodle < 2.0)
  3. Follow the install instructions above.


TODO/ limitations:

  • Add support for multiple operators (currently only 1 supported).
  • Test with browsers.
  • More testing of backup and restore.
  • Work on validation functions (qtype_calculatedobjects_find_formula_errors).
  • Tidy up.
  • If there's demand, add ability to use custom icons/images.
  • If there's demand, translation.


Calculated Objects question type. Copyright © 2010 Nicholas Freear.

Images. Various,

  • See, pix/acknowledgements.txt