Importing Questions into Inspera

This article explains how questions can be imported into Inspera from an Excel spreadsheet or from existing question banks in Moodle.  Inspera Assessment supports IMS Question & Test Interoperability (QTI) Specification so that questions can be imported from third-party item banks.  However, please note that not all question types are supported and where transferring questions from other systems, such as Moodle, it will not support importing media, audio, image and sound files. If questions contain media, the files will need to be added to the relevant questions directly in Inspera post-import.

Importing questions from an Excel Spreadsheet

This option will be of primary value for preparing large question banks for import, where not currently in Moodle.  It is available for the following question types:

  • Multiple Choice
  • Multiple Response
  • Essay
  • True / False
  • Text Entry
  • Numeric Entry
  • Document

Using this option questions can be authored in Excel ready for upload to Inspera.  This requires use of a standard template with specified fields for question type, the question text, alternatives and specifying correct responses and the use of randomisation.

The table below explains the key fields (columns) that are required in the Excel spreadsheet, with guidance notes.  More detail can be found, along with excel templates, on the Inspera Help Desk Excel to QTI Conversion

Field (column)Explanation
QuestionTypeValues entered in this field specify the question type: multiple_choice  = Multiple Choice mulitple_response = Multiple Response essay = Essay true_false = True & False text_entry = Text Entry numeric_entry = Numeric Entry document = Document   For more information on question types in Inspera see the following sets of articles: Question types – automatically markedQuestion types – manually marked
QuestionNameUsed to identify the question.  Note it is important this clearly identifies the Question so it can be searched for in Inspera.     It is recommended that where questions are part of a question bank this should include an overall label, section and specific question reference.  For example:   Biosciences_Genetics_Ethics_Legal_Q1   Or where questions are specific to modules:   AB1234_Topic_subtopic_Q   Labels (i.e. keywords) can be added to questions in Inspera to help with searching.
QuestionTextThe question text that will be presented to students.  HTML and LaTeX coding can be used in authoring the question text.
RandomizeUsed to specify if options in multiple choice or multiple response questions are to be randomised. Value to be x, X or 1
OptionTextRequired for multiple choice and multiple response type questions; provides an answer option. NB a separate OptionText column is required for each alternative option
IsCorrectRequired for multiple choice and multiple response type questions; indicates correct answer. NB required to go alongside each OptionText column.  Left blank for wrong answers. Where using Randomise having all the correct answers (indicated by x or 1) in the same column will simplify creation of the spreadsheet.
CorrectAnswerRequired for Text and Numeric Entry questions.    For Numeric Questions this field represents the lowest acceptable answer in a range.
CorrectAnswerUpperRequired for Numeric Entry questions.  Provides upper limit of acceptable range.
Other fields which are available include: IsCaseSensitive IgnoreWhitespace ExpandInputField RestrictCharacters ExpectedLengthFor more detail see  
Table 1: Key fields required in Excel spreadsheet

Importing the Excel spreadsheet into Inspera

To import the questions follow the instructions as per Importing Questions and Question Sets (QTI), when selecting your file change the setting to view ‘All Files’, as the QTI import is set to zip files, this will allow selecting of the Excel (*.xlsx) file. 

Importing Questions from Moodle

Questions can be transferred from Moodle to Inspera using the Moodle XML format.  The question types that can be transferred are:

  • Multiple Choice
  • Multiple Response
  • Essay

As Moodle exports Question banks, these will be uploaded into Inspera as a Question Set.

If you have any other question types in Moodle these will need to be manually re-created in Inspera.  Questions can also be prepared for upload using Excel (see above).

Please note that any media files (images, videos etc) will not be exported from Moodle.  The transfer will only include the question text and alternatives. 

Exporting questions from Moodle:

To export questions from Moodle in XML format follow these steps:

  1. From the module page, select the ‘More’ dropdown tab, then select ‘Question bank’.
  2. Press the ‘Questions’ drop down and select ‘Export’.
  3. File format: Moodle XML format
  4. Select the question bank you want to export from the ‘Export category’ dropdown menu
  5. Select the ‘Export question to file’ button
  6. Save file to your computer.

Importing MoodleXML file into Inspera:

To import the questions follow these steps:

  1. When in Inspera, go the ‘Author’ tab and select ‘Questions Sets’ from the drop down menu
  2. Click the drop down arrow left of the ‘Create New’ button
  3. Select ‘Import QTI’
  4. When asked to select file the default is ‘.zip’ , this needs to be changed to ‘All files’ to allow you to select the XML file
  5. Choose the XML file you exported previously from Moodle
  6. Click ‘Open’

See also Import Questions and Question Sets (QTI)

Question Marks

Please note that when questions are imported by default, the different question types have the following mark settings:

  • Multiple choice: 1 mark for correct and 0 marks for the wrong answer.
  • Multiple response: 1 mark for correct and 0 marks for the wrong answer.
  • Essay: maximum 10 marks.

If you want to change the scoring options, this has to be edited in Inspera Assessment after import.

Importing questions from Aula

Aula exports questions using the JSON format and it is not possible to upload these to Inspera.

Further Support

For support in importing questions please contact the Educational Technologists using


Updated on May 7, 2024
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