Writing an Advanced Assessment can seem like a daunting task, especially when it is a math assessment. At Otus, we're here to help pave the way to becoming a math assessment pro! We have compiled a list of tips from both teachers that have used Otus in their math classrooms, and students that have taken math assessments using Otus.

Advice from Teachers

When in doubt, use Cloze Math

  • This is the most versatile type of math question. The other forms are great options, but if the answer doesn’t need to be anything too complicated, Cloze Math is the way to go.

Showing work (Highlight Image)

  • Make sure the students know that there are three functions available: Clear, Undo, and Redo. There isn’t a way to “spot erase” work. To accommodate, it is recommended that a work page be given to students for questions that involve large amounts of work (see student advice below!).

If the answer involves students to explain their work, and needs the use of special symbols (ex. >, <, or the pi symbol…), use Math Essay

  • This option allows for the students to toggle between the numeric keypad and alpha keypad. If this option is used, it may be helpful to show the students this feature prior to taking the assessment. If the answer involves symbols that can be generated by the computer’s keypad, then you can use one of the Essay options under the Written and Spoken category.

Keep it Simple

  • There are many complex ways for creating and scoring items in a math assessment, but it isn’t always necessary!

Scoring Options: Exact Match vs. Partial Match per Response vs. Partial Match

Penalty points

  • If you want students to lose points for selecting an incorrect answer, you can set penalty points

Not sure if you've set the correct answer?

  • If you aren’t sure if it will score the way you want it to, preview it

  • By selecting Preview in the upper-right corner while editing the question, you can select different answers to see how it will score.


Advice from Students

This is some useful feedback we’ve gotten from students that have taken math assessments in Otus!

If the math keypad isn’t necessary, don’t use it.

  • There is an option to turn off the keypad for a math question. Feedback from students suggested that the keypad just gets in the way if it’s not actually needed.

  • What do we mean by not needed? The math keypad is meant for answers that contain symbols that can’t be generated by the computer. So, if the answer is simply numeric (nothing fancy), the math keypad isn’t needed.

  • What about fractions? If it’s a simple fraction, students can just use the backslash / key on their keyboard to delineate the fraction bar. For mixed numbers, we recommend leaving the math keypad on.

  • How to turn it off: Change the Keypad Type to Native/no symbols.

If there are special directions (such as “refer to your work page for the graph related to this question…”), make them in bold and in a different color.

  • Keep the color consistent for all assessments, so that the student’s know when they see something written in [insert color here], they know to pay special attention to those directions. Example shown below.

Provide a work page with designated workspace for each question, even if work isn’t needed for every question.

  • Students reported feeling more comfortable if they knew they had the option to write down things whenever they felt necessary). Example shown below.

Otus Live Video

Below is a video from our Otus Live series on how to use preview to test your autograding settings with item preview.

Next Steps

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