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Short Text Question for Advanced Assessments

Students compose a short typed response which can be auto-scored

Ethan Kelly avatar
Written by Ethan Kelly
Updated over a week ago

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

In Short text, the student types a short answer (default is 50 characters or fewer) into a field. This item can be auto-scored.


💡 Tip: If you are looking for students to type a longer, essay-style response, check out Essay with Plain Text.

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 Written & Recorded category from the options on the left, then select Short Text.

Compose the Question

  • Type question prompt into this field.

  • 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.

Set Correct Answers and Scoring

  • Point value: Enter the full point value for getting this answer correct (see More options section below)

  • In the "Allow" section, you can choose between Exact Match and Any Text containing.

    • Exact match (default): Response needs to match the text in the Value field exactly (but are not case-sensitive, and will ignore blank spaces before or after responses by default) to be auto-graded for full credit. Misspelled or alternate words will not be awarded credit (see More options section below for more customization options).

    • Any text containing: Response needs to contain the word(s) entered into the Value field.

      • Note: Single-word (or number) responses are the simplest use case here.

        • For example, if "Kennedy" is entered in the Value field, "Kennedy," "John Kennedy," or "John F Kennedy" is marked correct.

      • Note: If multiple words are added to the Value field with Any text containing, the words must be contiguous in the student's response.

        • For example: if "John Kennedy" were entered in the Value field, "President John Kennedy" is correct, but "John F Kennedy" is incorrect.

  • Alternate answers: Click the Add ( + ) button to add alternate answers

    • For example, "JFK" could be added as an alternate answer.

    • Note: By default, Alternate answers receive full credit. The point value can be decreased (to 0.5, for instance), but cannot be increased to a higher value than the Correct answer.

Student Preview

It's highly recommended to Preview the question before adding it to the assessment. This displays the question as the students will see it and also verifies that the answers and scoring work as expected.

  • Step 1: Select the Preview button to go into Preview mode.

  • Step 2: Answer the question with the correct answers, including alternates.

    • Selecting Show Answers will present the correct answers.

  • Step 3: Verify that the auto-score correctly calculates the point value.

Click to see a short clip of this question type from the student's perspective.

More Options

There are additional layout options found under the More Options menu.


Click to see other scoring options such as checking answers and minimum scores.

  • Penalty point(s): use this option if you want students to lose points for giving incorrect answers. Find more information here!

  • Check answer button & Check answer attempts: Find more information here!

  • Ignore leading and trailing spaces: If disabled, extra spaces before or after the student's response will mark the answer incorrect

  • Enable auto-scoring: If disabled, the question must be scored manually

  • Character limit: Default is 50. Maximum is 250.

  • Minimum score if attempted: Students will receive points as long as the question has been attempted (if the question is left blank or is unanswered, the student will not earn those points)


Click to see "Extras"

At the very bottom of the More Options menu, you will see "Extras". These options are not applicable to Otus assessments - they do not have any impact on the questions or the assessment.

Learnosity Resources

You can read more about this question type on Learnosity's Author Guide.

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