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Beginner's Guide to Advanced Assessments
Beginner's Guide to Advanced Assessments

This is the first stop on your journey to understanding and creating Advanced Assessments in Otus.

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

Advanced assessments are one of the available assessment types in Otus. It is the most powerful, with over 60 available question types ranging from the basic multiple-choice to graphing in the first quadrant. We know how overwhelming it can feel to begin working on advanced assessments for the first time, so we've created this guide to help you get started!

Example of an Advanced Assessment (while building):

Questions this article will answer:

  • What is an advanced assessment?

  • What does building one look like?

  • What types of questions are available?

  • What features are available (for example, calculators or audio recorders)?

  • When assigning an advanced assessment, are there settings I should know?

  • What does an advanced assessment look like from a student's account?

  • What does it look like to grade an advanced assessment?

🔖 Throughout this article, you can find links to recommended reading for the various topics. Just look for the bookmark icon!

What is an Advanced Assessment?

The Fundamental Idea:

An advanced assessment is made up of items, questions, and features.

  • Items are the containers that hold your questions.

  • You can have multiple questions in one item.

  • You can also include features like calculators and reading passages.

  • The basic outline of the steps for building an advanced assessment is as follows:

  1. Step one is to create an item.

  2. Step two is to add questions and features to that item.

  3. Step three is to add that item to the assessment.

To help visualize this structure, take a look at the example below. This is an example of one item with three questions:

Advanced assessments are great for:

  • Assessments that require a variety of question types.

  • A variety of scoring methods for questions in an assessment (partial credit, alternate answers...).

  • Longer, more detailed assessments.

  • All content areas

  • Replicating activities that can be found on worksheets.


When you are building an advanced assessment, there are two components to be aware of:

  • Assessment Builder: located on the top half of the page, this is the list of items that are on the current assessment you are working on.

  • Item Bank: located on the bottom half of the page, this is where you can find, build, and save the items you've created. Remember, the items are the containers for your questions.

You Start by Creating an Item

As noted above, the first step to building your advanced assessment is to create an item.

  • After you've created that item, you can begin to add questions to that item. Here's an example of what adding a question might look like (this example is of a Multiple Choice question).

  • Once you're done adding questions to that item, you can add the item to your assessment builder. Here is an example of a completed item with three questions:

  • You will repeat the process until your assessment is complete!

🔖 Recommended Reading: Advanced Assessments: Create an Item

Types of Questions

The advanced assessment builder is created by our partner company, Learnosity, and there are over 60 question types. Those question types are separated into categories:

Multiple Choice

Fill in the Blanks and Labeling

Classify, Match, and Order

Written and Recorded

Highlight and Drawing






🔖 Recommended Reading: Advanced Assessment Question Guide


Features are used to enhance your assessments. They can appear in Items alongside questions, or they can appear on their own. There are 12 available features:



Image Tool

Scientific Calculator


Audio Player


Video Player

Desmos Four Function Calculator

Desmos Graphing Calculator

Desmos Scientific Calculator

Line Reader

🔖 Recommended Reading: Advanced Assessment Item Features


When assigning an advanced assessment, you have the following optional settings at the bottom of the assigning page:

The options that are unique to advanced assessments are:

  • Allow Student Annotation: This gives students access to tools for annotating including a notepad, sticky notes, highlight tool, and drawing tool.

  • Texthelp Speechstream: This is a toolbar that allows functions such as highlighting and text-to-speech.

Auto-Score Settings

This section only applies to advanced assessments that utilize Standards-Based Grading Scales (Non-Points). With this feature, you have the ability to set the default score a student receives for auto-graded questions.

  • This feature is assessment wide not per individual question. This means that the level selected for Correct Answer and Incorrect Answer will be applied to all questions within the assessment.

  • A question is considered "correct" if ALL portions of the individual question are correct. Mid-level scale labels will not apply to partial correct answers. Questions are considered fully correct or incorrect.

➡️ Example: If partial credit is being applied and a student gets 3 out of 5 parts correct, they will be given the status of "Incorrect Answer".

❗ If you edit this setting after the assessment has been assigned, you receive a message explaining that this only applies to future scores, not scores already collected.

🔖 Recommended Reading: Assign an Advanced Assessment

Student View

This is an example of what an advanced assessment would look like in a student account:

Students navigate from item to item using the navigation bar found on the right side of the screen.

  • In this particular assessment, there are 7 items.

  • The student moves from item to item by either selecting the item from the list or using the previous and next arrows located at the bottom of the item list.

Want to Preview the Assessment Yourself?

You can preview the entire assessment as a student would see it by selecting Preview from the mini-menu while in your draft assessments. For more information, check out this resource.


Here is an example of what it looks like to grade an advanced assessment:

💡 Tip from the Otus Team: this is an example of a points-based assessment. If you are using a standards-based grading scale, you will see performance levels instead of points for the Score.

  • Ungraded questions are listed at the top of the page. Once they have been graded, they move back to their respective position in the assessment.

  • Questions that are auto-scored already have grades. You can manually change the score of any auto-scored questions by clicking in the box with the score.

🔖 Recommended Reading: Grading an Advanced Assessment

Otus Live Videos

Click to see two of our Otus Live videos on using Advanced Assessments

How to get started creating an Advanced Assessment.

How to turn a paper or PDF assessment into an Otus advanced assessment.

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