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Creating multi-short answer questions

Multi-short answer (MSA) questions require respondents to answer a multi-solution question and input their answers into individual input boxes. The answer provided by a respondent in each Input Box is checked against each possible answer stored in the Answer fields.

ExampleThe question "Name 3 state capitals" will display three input boxes to users. Each answer users submit will be checked against 51 possible correct answers stored in the answer fields.

Multi-short answer questions differ from short answer (SA) questions in that the multi-short answer question enables you to create multiple answer boxes which all relate to one answer set; short answer questions also support multiple answer boxes, but each requires a distinct set of possible answers. The short answer question type is ideal if you need to create a multi-part question that cannot share the same answer pool.

Create a multi-short answer question

  1. Enter a Title. Enter a Points value. Select a difficulty level in the Difficulty drop-down list.
  2. Enter your MSA question in the Question Text field.
  3. Click Add a File to upload an image to accompany your question. You can enter a description of the image in the Description field.
  4. Set the number of Input Boxes. Set the number of Rows and Columns to control each inbox box's display size.

    NoteWe recommend that the required number of answers corresponds with the number of input boxes provided.

  5. Click Add Answer to create additional solutions. To reduce the number of possible solutions for an answer, click the corresponding Remove Entry icon.
  6. For each possible solution, enter an Answer and set a weight in the Weight (%) field.

    NoteAn MSA question's maximum points value is reflected by a 100% weight. As a best practice, we recommend that each possible answer's weight calculation equals 100% divided by the number of answers required by the question.

  7. Select an Evaluation method:
    • Case InsensitiveAuto-grading searches for a matching character pattern in the answer text with or without letter case correctness.
    • Case SensitiveAuto-grading searches for a matching character pattern in the answer text that must have letter case correctness.
    • Regular ExpressionAuto-grading uses meta-characters to search for one or more matching strings in the answer text's character pattern. What you set as meta-character parameters helps determine letter case sensitivity. See Understanding regular expressions for more information.
  8. Click Check Answers to validate answer fields with regular expressions.
  9. Provide comments and suggestions in the Question Hint and Question Feedback fields.
  10. Click Preview to view your question.
  11. Click Save to return to the main page, click Save and Copy to save and create another MSA question that retains the copied properties, or click Save and New to continue creating new MSA questions.

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