Highlights from MoodleMoot Japan 2024

29 March 2024 by Marcus Green

MoodleMoot Japan, the annual Moodle user conference organised by the Moodle Association of Japan, was an inspiring event this year. Held at Nagasaki International University in February 2024, it brought together educators and developers passionate about using Moodle to enhance learning. As a longtime Moodle user and the creator of several Moodle plugins, I was honoured to be invited to deliver a keynote presentation on the exciting topic of Automated Feedback with AI/ChatGPT.

The Rise of AI in Education

The Japanese government’s growing interest in AI for education was a prominent theme at the conference. Their July 2023 guidelines promoting AI adoption in schools and universities, while emphasising responsible use to address copyright and privacy concerns, reflect a commitment to exploring the technology’s potential.

Many discussions centred on the role of AI tools like ChatGPT in education. While some view AI as a disruptive force, I believe it offers clear benefits alongside potential challenges. My presentation explored how AI can be harnessed to automate feedback, particularly in language learning.

Automating Feedback with AI

Marcus Green, MoodleMoot Japan 24

Quality feedback is essential for learning, but teachers often struggle with the time-consuming task of providing detailed comments. AI-powered automated feedback offers a promising solution, allowing teachers to focus on more engaging activities.

I discussed how Moodle quizzes with automated feedback can streamline the process. Beyond basic multiple-choice questions, I presented strategies to improve automated feedback, such as setting quizzes to “Interactive with multiple tries” to provide hints to students.

Core Moodle offers powerful “fill in the blanks” question types, but complex syntax can be a barrier. I showcased the Question editor plugin, which simplifies creating these questions within the user-friendly TinyMCE editor.

The highlight of my presentation was the unveiling of a new question type I developed called AIText. This innovative tool leverages Large Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT to analyse student responses and provide feedback tailored to the prompts created by the teacher.

Early Success and Responsible Development

AIText is currently under development but has received positive feedback from language instructors in Japan during its beta testing phase. Recognising the potential biases of LLMs, the tool includes a disclaimer attributing feedback to “ChatGPT” (translated into the user’s preferred language).

While most testing utilised ChatGPT, AIText is designed to work with other systems like the self-hosted Ollama, fostering data sovereignty by ensuring control over student data processing.

Following my presentation, a feature request emerged for teacher moderation of AI-generated feedback before students see it. While not currently on the development roadmap, it’s a valuable suggestion for future exploration.

Learning from Gordon Bateson’s Expertise

Another session that resonated with me was by Gordon Bateson, a Moodle veteran with over 20 years of contributions. His presentation, “Creating quiz question banks with ChatGPT,” introduced the concept of Prompt Frameworks—a novel approach I hadn’t encountered before.

More importantly, Gordon emphasised the potential of AI beyond a simple “chat” function. He showcased using ChatGPT to generate stories with corresponding quiz questions, culminating in a PHP script that automates sending prompts to ChatGPT and importing responses as Moodle questions.


While AI presents exciting possibilities, it’s crucial to maintain a balanced perspective. Throughout history, educational technology has been touted as revolutionary, only to become another useful tool in the educator’s toolkit.

Similarly, AI holds immense promise, but it won’t replace the irreplaceable role of dedicated and inspiring teachers. If AI can free up valuable time for teachers to focus on personalised interaction and deeper engagement, then it will undoubtedly be a positive force in education.

The MoodleMoot Japan experience solidified my belief that the future of education lies in the synergy between human expertise and the power of AI. By harnessing these tools responsibly, we can create a more engaging and effective learning environment for all.

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