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Student Annotations on Advanced Assessments
Student Annotations on Advanced Assessments

Tools including a notepad, sticky notes, highlight tool, and drawing tool are available for students taking an advanced assessment.

Monica Burke avatar
Written by Monica Burke
Updated over a week ago

✅ This option is a setting available in Advanced Assessments only. If you haven't created an Advanced Assessment yet, or would like to see the beginners guide to Advanced Assessments, check out the link below.

Student Annotations

One of the optional settings available for assigning an Advanced Assessment is to give students the tools for annotating including a notepad, sticky notes, highlight tool, and drawing tool. When this setting is used, the students will have a mini-menu to choose from while taking an Advanced Assessment. These actions will be available on each item of the assessment.

How to Enable Annotations

When you assign the Advanced Assessment, make sure to check the box for Allow Student Annotations in the Settings menu.

Student Access

When the student begins the Advanced Assessment, they will select the menu In the upper-right corner of the screen to have access to the annotation tools.


The tools available are a notepad, sticky notes, drawing tool, and highlight tool.


The notepad allows the students to take running notes as they complete the assessment.

  • Think of it like an actual notebook. As the student takes the assessment, the notes already taken on other questions remain on the notepad as they move through the assessment.

  • The notepad can be moved around the screen.

  • Closing the notepad does not delete the notes. The student can click on the notepad option again from the mini-menu to access their notes again.

Sticky Notes

Adding a sticky note to a question allows students to attach notes to just a single question, rather than keeping it on the notepad (which takes it from question to question).

  • Notes left on a sticky note are available only for the question the note is left on. They do not move from question to question.

  • The sticky note cannot be moved around the screen, but it can be hidden by selecting Hide sticky notes from the mini-menu.

  • A deleted sticky note is unable to be recovered - a warning message will appear prior to deleting the sticky note.

Drawing Tool

Drawing mode allows the student to make free-hand drawings anywhere on the item.

  • Students can choose from four colors of the pen. They can also erase.

  • Students can hide the drawings by choosing Hide drawings from the mini-menu. This does not delete the drawings though.

Highlight Tool

Students can highlight text.

  • When a student uses their mouse to "click and drag" over a selection of text, the Highlight function will appear just above their selection.

  • They will have four colors to choose from.

  • The highlights stay on the text as the student navigates through the assessment. It does not erase when the student moves from question to question.

Otus Live Video

Click to see a video from our Otus Live series on student annotations in Advanced Assessments.

FAQ and Troubleshooting

Click to see FAQ and troubleshooting details.

Will I be able to see the student's annotations or notes when they submit their assessment?

No - the student annotation features such as the notepad, sticky notes, drawings, or highlights are not visible to the teacher. They are only meant to be a resource to students while they take the assessment.

Do student annotations save if the student exits and returns to the assessment?

No - student annotations do not save when the assessment is exited (even if the assessment is saved). Annotations will re-set if the student exits and re-enters the assessment.

Can I turn this setting on/off after the assessment has already been assigned?

Yes - this setting can be adjusted after the assessment has already been assigned.

Can I enable just one of the features (for example, just the notepad)?

No - student annotations are a package. Each of the features is available if annotations are allowed.

If Allow Post Grading Review is enabled, will the student be able to see their annotations when they view their graded assessment?

No - annotations are not saved when the assessment is submitted.

Do these features work if students are taking the assessment on an iPad?

Yes - all of the features work the same way if used on an iPad.

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