The Assessment Tool

In this article:

  1. Assessment Tool Overview
  2. Assessment and Question Types
  3. Grading Options
  4. Containers
  5. The Assessment Wizard
  6. Quick Launch
  7. Creating Questions

Assessment Tool Overview

The Assessment tool is a powerful tool that allows Course Designers (and Instructors in some instances) to offer Students all types of assessments, whether it be a test, quiz, survey, or anonymous survey. There are many settings within this tool that can take some time to learn. This article will take you through choosing question types, how grading works, using containers, using the assessment wizard, and then how to create your questions. Since there are almost endless options on how to design assessments, we will focus on the most common design practices as well as the general use of each feature in this tool.

Assessment and Question Types

To start off, it is important to know what types of questions you can create and what they look like from the Student's perspective. The assessment tool offers many options to allow you to design questions however you would like. These are just some of the commonly used types of questions, but this is not an exhaustive list. Click on the question type to see instructions on setting each one up:

  • Multiple Choice
    • When creating a multiple choice question, Students can choose from answers that contain audio, images, text, or a mixture of the three. Here is an example of how this would look from a Student's perspective (using all three types of responses):
      NOTE: The user can click the gray play button to listen to the audio in the 3rd answer.
  • Fill in the Blank
    • Fill in the blank questions can be created so that Students must drag the given options to the correct location of the given sentence. Here is an example of how this would look from a Student's perspective:
  • Matching/Drag and Drop
    • Matching questions require Students to drag items to the correct answer (or Category). Here is an example of how this would look from a Student's perspective:
  • Typed Responses
    • Typed responses can be set to require Students to type a one word response, a short answer, or an extended answer. Here is an example of how this would look from a Student's perspective:
  • Flashcards (these are not graded, just informational)
    • Flashcards can be displayed to Students to offer them a way to study or review information. Flashcards can have either one or two sides to them. Here is an example of how this would look from a Student's perspective:
  • Upload a File
    • This option allows Students to upload any file as their response, which will then be graded by the Instructor (the System cannot grade uploaded files). Here is an example of how this would look from a Student's perspective:

Grading Options

Before you create your assessments, it helps to understand how assessment grading works and all of the options you have. There are three places where grading happens in an assessment:

  1. In the assessment object itself:
    • At the top of the assessment object, you can turn on "Score" to set the max amount of points the assessment is worth. No matter how many points your questions are worth, students can never earn more than this max score.
  2. Within each container:
    • Containers are what hold the questions, whether you want to have a single question or a group of them. Within a container, you can declare each correct response to be worth a specific amount of points.
    • Example: Let's say you have a multiple choice question with 5 answers to choose from. If you set the point value to 5 and there are 3 correct responses, then a Student can earn 15 points on that question.
  3. Within each question:
    • If you want a question to be worth a different amount of points than all of your other questions, then you can place the question in a container by itself and set its value in the container.
    • Each question also offers the option to turn on Instructor or System grading. Instructor grading requires the Instructor to manually grade assessments, while System grading is all done automatically.
      • System grading is only available for certain question types. It does not work on questions such as extended responses.
      • NOTE: You are allowed to use a mixture of both System and Instructor grading so that, for instance, your multiple choice questions are auto-graded, but short answers are manually graded.

With these options in mind, it is best practice to try and create an assessment that has questions worth the same amount of points the assessment object is worth. For example, an assessment worth 100 points could have 10 questions worth 10 points each. This makes for easy grading and helps students understand their scores better.

If you need to have questions worth a different amount of points than the object, this is perfectly fine. The system will automatically scale each question's point value to make sure students receive the correct score.


Containers are very useful when designing an assessment. They let you group questions by type, score, content, and many other categories. The image below shows what a container looks like and outlines some of the important sections we will focus on. 

Note the Preview button below Section 1. This button allows you to view a Student preview of your questions at any time.


  1. Container Rules:
    • This sections allows you to:
      • Rename the container by clicking on the "Activity" text and entering a new title.
      • Set the point value of each correct response, not for each question. For example, the assessment question above has 3 responses, 2 of which are correct. Since the point value is set to 2, the user can earn up to 4 points on this question. 
      • Set a container as a trigger in Conditional Mode.
      • Require all questions in the container to display. This option only appears if you chose the setting to show Students a subset of questions versus all questions. See more about this setting in the Quick Launch section.
  2. Question Settings:
    • This section allows you to:
      • Choose how the student selects their answers:
        • Dragging
          • This option gives you another option to "Enable Categories". This means students would drag responses to a category versus matching responses to one correct answer. 
        • Clicking
          • This is just the Student clicking the correct response
        • Viewing flashcards (not graded)
          • This option gives you another option to "Enable Two-Sided Flash Cards", so that users can flip cards to quiz themselves.
        • Typing
          • The cog wheel icon next to a question allows you to select between one word, one sentence, and extended responses.
        • Upload a file
          • Students can upload a file for an answer, but this cannot be graded by the System.
      • Choose how the student sees responses listed:
        • Vertically or horizontally
      • Choose to grade responses by Instructor or System
        • Short answer, extended responses, and file uploads cannot be graded by the System.
        • If this option is unchecked, then you will be presented with the option to limit the amount of responses. This can be useful if you want to gather feedback during a test without letting the Student select too many options.
  3. Response Settings:
    • This section allows you to:
      • Create questions using text, audio, or images
      • Assign the correct responses
        • Do this by clicking the checkbox next to a response
      • Rearrange questions
        • Click and drag a question to move it around
      • Create drop down menus
        • Click the "+" sign to the right of a response to add more options (you can see the created drop down in preview mode)
      • Clone a response
        • Click the copy icon to the right of a response to see cloning options
      • Provide feedback comments for certain responses
        • Click the speech bubble next to a question to type in feedback that a Student will see after choosing that answer.

As you can see, containers are critical to assessment design and offer a very wide variety of options. The best way to learn this tool is to just try out some basic options and see what you can do from there. This is a tool that takes time to learn, but once you're there, creating fun and interactive assessments is a breeze.

The Assessment Wizard

Now we can start creating an assessment! The first step is to think about the details of how you want your assessment to behave. The assessment wizard is a tool that allows you to quickly setup a basic test, survey, or anonymous survey. This is highly recommended for anyone who is new to creating assessments or for anyone who just needs the basic features.

To create a new assessment:

  1. Navigate to a Learning Object's page and click the "Assess" switch to turn assessments on.


  2. This will cause the assessment tool to open up at the bottom of the page. From here, you can choose to either use the Assessment Wizard or Quick Launch. The assessment wizard walks you through all of the options that quick launch provides, but as a simple questionnaire. 


  3. Click on "Use Assessment Wizard" to open up a series of questions. Your answers to these questions will help design a template for your assessment. All options can be changed later. This is the first question you will see:


    • Standard Test: Choose this option if you want to create a quiz or test that has right and wrong answers. This option allows the questions to be graded.
    • Anonymous Survey: Choose this option if you want to offer a survey that Students can take without revealing their names. Students receive points for completion.
    • Survey: Choose this option if you want to offer a survey where you can see each Student's name next to their response. Students receive points for completion.

  4. After selecting all of the assessment settings, the assessment will load and you will be able to see all of your chosen settings. Click on these settings to change them at any point.

    Certain settings only apply to certain types of assessments, so you may not have access to all options (like the option with a blue box around it below):


  5. Your assessment is now setup and you are ready to move on to creating questions!

Quick Launch

The Quick Launch option is the alternative method to using the Assessment Wizard. This option takes you straight to a quiz template where you can change the settings by clicking on each option and choosing your preferred setting.

NOTE: Some settings will not be available, depending on the assessment type you have chosen.


Creating Questions

The assessment tool provides many options for creating assessments and it can take some time to learn about how the options affect the design of an assessment. It is highly recommended that all users creating assessments for a course start out by creating practice assessments and previewing how your changes affect the overall design. 

Lets get started on how this process works:

  1. Now that your assessment's template is loaded, you can start to design the assessment's layout and questions. On the right hand side of the blank assessment, you will see "Container/Audio/Image/Text" icons. Drag these icons over to your assessment to create a new object:
    1. Container: Holds one or more questions and allows questions to be separated into categories.
    2. Audio: Upload or record an audio file as your question. 
    3. Image: Upload an image as part of a question.
    4. Text: Create a question that is simple text.

      NOTE: You can click the "Preview" button on the left hand side at any point to preview your assessment.


  2. Here are some examples of how to create the most common types of questions:
      • This is how every type of question is made in the beginning:
        • Step 1: Drag your question type over to the container (audio, image, or text)
        • Step 2: Click "+ add question content" to add your audio, image, or text for your question's content
        • Step 3: Choose how you want responses to appear to Students (you can share audio, an image, or plain text)
        • NOTE: You can preview your changes any time by clicking the "Preview" button on a container.
    • Multiple Choice
      • Settings: 
        • Select "Clicking" as the way Students will select their answer
        • Click the cog wheel in the top right corner to see more options
        • Make sure you select the checkbox next to the correct answer(s).
    • Fill in the Blank
      • Settings:
        • Select "Dragging" as the way Students will select their answer
        • Click the cog wheel in the top right corner to see more options
        • Now the sentence that the Student must fill in will be split up into different sections. Type your sentence in as the first response up until the point where you would like the Student to fill in a blank.
        • When you've reached the fill in the blank spot, type in one possible answer, then click the outlined "+" sign next to your response to add more options. You can add as many options as you'd like. 
        • Then, after the fill in the blank spot, continue filling out your sentence.
        • Make sure you select the checkbox next to the correct answer.
        • This is what the result will look like:
    • Matching/Drag and Drop
      • Settings:
        • Select "Dragging" as the way Students will select their answer
        • Click the cog wheel in the top right corner to see more options
        • Select "Enable Categories" to allow the creation of Categories that Students can drag items to.
        • Categories will now appear on the left of the screen and their matched up answers are to the right. Click on the outlined "+" sign to add more matches for a Category.
        • This is what the result will look like:
    • Typed Response
      • Settings:
        • Select "Typing" as the way Students will select their answer
        • Click the cog wheel in the top right corner to see more options
        • You can select either System or Instructor graded, but it is highly recommended to choose Instructor graded since typed answers can vary so much.
        • Create a text response and make sure to select the checkbox next to your answer. This will show the system that this question is worth points and Instructors can assign the points manually later on.
        • Within the typed response, click the cog wheel to select either: one word, one sentence, or a paragraph response. 
        • If you have an exact word or sentence you want Students to type in, you can type this sentence in to the response's text box and then the System will auto-grade this question if you would like.
    • Flashcards (not graded, just informational)
      • Settings:
        • Select "Viewing Flash Cards" as the way Students will select their answer
        • Click the cog wheel in the top right corner to see more options
        • You can choose to have either one or two-sided flashcards 
        • Responses will not be graded, flashcards or only for sharing info
        • Create the front of your flashcards on the left side of the container and the back of the card on the right side
        • This is what the result will look like:
    • Upload a File
      • Settings:
        • Select "Uploading a File" as the way Students will select their answer
        • Click the cog wheel in the top right corner to see more options
        • Uploaded files must always be graded by the Instructor. Setting the System to grade files will lead to the Student receiving a zero.
        • This is what the result will look like:

  3. If you accidentally choose the wrong format or want to remove a response, simply drag the response (not the question's container) to the right and a trash can will appear like so:


    WARNING: It is possible to accidentally delete an entire question or container. Make sure when you are dragging items to the trash can icon that only the items you want to delete are grayed out, like in the image above. Anything grayed out will be deleted.

Hopefully by now you are getting the hang of creating questions. These are just some of the common types of questions Instructors use, but feel free to play around with the tool and create something new! The assessment tool is meant to be flexible to allow you to create assessments in any way you want. There will be restrictions sometimes, but hopefully this guide gave you some insight into just how many options exist!


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