Now that you've started to build an advanced assessment, you may want to add an Essay question.

➡️ Need help getting started with Advanced Assessments? Click here

There are four types of essay questions:

  • Essay with Plain Text: students will only have basic formatting options: cut, copy, and paste.
  • Essay with Rich Text: students will have additional formatting options, including bold, underline, and italics.
  • Math Essay (this article): students will be able to use the math keypad in conjunction with the regular keyboard.
  • Chemistry Essay: students will be able to use the chemistry keypad in conjunction with the regular keyboard.

The Math Essay question type (best for math assessments) gives students a space to type out their work using a wide variety of math symbols and operations. The student will toggle from using their keyboard to using the math keypad as shown below.

Elementary Example:

Middle School / High School Example:

While in the response area, students have the option of switching back and forth from the math keypad to the use of their keyboard as shown below.


Build the Question

If you are creating a new item, select the + Create button on the assessment builder, title the item, then select the Add New plus sign to add a question.

If you are adding to an existing item, simply select the Add New plus sign (as shown above) to add a question to the item.

Next, select the Math category from the options on the left, then select Math Essay.

Step 1: Compose Question and Choose Formatting Options

  • Compose question: Type your question in the Compose question section.
  • Add additional text formatting: the four default options are bold, italic, underline, and bullet list. You can choose to delete any of those, or replace them with another option. To add additional formatting options, select the blue + ADD button in the bottom-left corner, and choose from the options:
  • You have many formatting options from the Rich Text toolbar, including changing the font size, adding tables, using math symbols, adding multimedia, and more! Click here for more information on the different functions of the Rich Text toolbar.

Step 2: Adjust the Keypad (optional)

  • There are several mathematical keypad options to choose from. You can even "build" a custom keypad to include only certain symbols.
  • In the Keypad section, you can adjust the placement of the keypad, change the default mode (math or text), and change the keypad(s) used.
  • Under the Symbols section (bottom-right of the image below), you can determine which keypads to make available to your students. Remember, the standard numeric keypad is always included, this section is specifically for the mathematical keypad.

Here are a few of the most common keypads used:

Other keypads are also available.


Set the Scoring

The Math Essay question type is not an auto-scored question. This question will be manually scored by the teacher once the assessment has been turned in.

  • Step 1: Expand the More Options section.
  • Step 2: Add a point value into the Max score field.

Student Preview

It's highly recommended to Preview the question as you are building it in the item. This displays the question as the students will see it and also verifies that the answers and scoring work as expected. Since this question is not auto-scored, you are previewing for formatting purposes here.

➡️ Want to preview the entire assessment? Click here for details.


Optional Formatting Adjustments

Each of these options can be found by expanding the More Options menu.

Allowing Spellcheck

  • Found under the Scoring section.
  • This setting is enabled by default. Misspelled words will be underlined in red.
  • If disabled, students will not have any indication of misspelled words.

Keypad Options

1: Place keypad below response area

  • This is disabled by default - which means that the keypad could appear above or below the response area depending on the screen resolution the student is using.
  • If enabled, the keypad will always appear below the response area. Sometimes this is easier for the students, so that it doesn't appear over the question.

2: Show Keypad Hints

  • This is enabled by default. Keypad hints will give the "name" of a symbol as it is hovered over. For example: the image below shows the keypad hint while the student is hovering over the less than symbol.

3: Enable Horizontal Keypad

  • Checking this box makes this keypad the only one available to the students:

4: Maximum Lines

  • This is set to unlimited by default.
  • The maximum number of lines can be set using a numeric value here.

5: Default Mode

  • This is set to Math by default. This means that when the student clicks into the response area, the math (chemistry, in this case) keypad will appear.
  • If changed to Text, the student will be using their keyboard by default when clicking in the response area.

Font Size

  • Found under the Layout section.
  • This is set to Normal by default. There are five total options: Small, Normal, Large, Extra Large, and Huge.
  • Changing this setting will change the font size of both the question and the response area.

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