Advanced Assessment Editor

The advanced assessment editor uses a simple, text-based format to create questions. Edit questions as you would on paper. See the following multiple-choice question where the correct answer is 'c':

The advanced assessment editor uses a simple, text-based format to create questions. Edit questions as you would on paper. See the following multiple-choice question where the correct answer is 'c':

Preview Questions

The editor includes a 'Preview Questions' button that you can click to preview the exam questions as the student would see them. For your convenience the correct answer is indicated in multiple-choice and multiple-answer questions. For fill-in-the-blank questions, you can click a 'Check Answer' button to evaluate your answer. 'Check Answer' is also helpful for questions that use math or regular expressions.

You can paste the examples from this help file into the editor and click 'Preview Questions' to see the questions. You can selectively preview questions by selecting the question text in the editor before clicking 'Preview Questions.'

Import Questions

You can import questions from other formats (including QTI) into the editor by clicking 'Import Questions' and specifying an import file. After uploading the file, the editor inserts the new questions after any existing questions. You can also import QTI .zip files that contain questions with associated resources, such as images. The import stores resources in the course's Resources folder, and the questions refer to the course resources. Note that any existing course resource with the same name is overwritten. After importing, you can validate, preview, and edit the questions before saving.


Generally, question text is plain, unformatted text with optional special codes that indicate question structures and advanced formatting. We describe the special codes below.

Fill-in-the-blank and inline choices

You define the blank in a fill-in-the-blank question by entering a minimum of three sequential underscore (___) characters in the question text. To make the blank longer, specify more than three underscores. Each underscore widens the blank by one character width.


You define the drop-down list location in "inline" multiple-choice and matching questions by entering four bracket-enclosed hyphens: [----]. The assessment player automatically determines the correct display width for the drop-down list.


You enter equations in either ASCII Math or LaTeX format. Enclose ASCII Math equations in back quotes (``), and enclose LaTeX equations in back quote and dollar (`$$`).


You can include course media files such as video, images, and audio in your question with the bracket-enclosed [Media] tag. (Course media files are stored in the course media library.) You can double click on a resource in the Media Library list to insert the Media tag for that resource.


You can specify advanced formatting by enclosing an entire question text with the tags [HTML][/HTML]. Between the tags, you can use standard HTML formatting tags. Note that you must enclose the entire question text, not just part of it.


You specify general question feedback by starting a line with the @ sign immediately after the question body. Feedback text can contain $-enclosed question variables.

For multiple-choice questions, create choice-specific feedback (feedback shown when the choice is chosen by the student) by placing the feedback line below the choice.

Feedback can be displayed only if a condition is met. The condition is a bracket-enclosed expression that can contain question variables, literals, and the pre-defined variables named score, teacher, answer, and answer# (for multiple-answer questions). When multiple feedback lines exist, only feedback from the first satisified condition is displayed.

To save some typing, you can specify the shortcut "=" instead of "answer=" in the feedback condition. The following two questions are functionally equivalent.

Your can define your own feedback condition shortcuts with the questionfeedbacktypes element in your domain customization XML. For example, we could define these Solutionand Correct definitions in the domain customization:

We can then refer to those pre-defined conditions in feedback conditions:

When multiple feedback rows exist, Echo displays only the first row that matches a condition. You can enable multiple-feedback-row display by grouping conditions; Echo displays the first matching row from each group unless DisplayAll is specified. Start a condition with GroupName: to identify a feedback group:

Questions that have multiple answers, such as multiple fill-in-the-blank or matching questions use the shortcut pattern "a=" to specify feedback that applies to a specific answer.

You can use answercorrect variable in feedback conditions to define specific feedbacks for each blank in a multiple-fill-in-the-blank question. Use displayall to display all feedbacks with matching conditions within a group.

Partial score

For the multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank questions, you can specify a score for individual answer response or a correct answer. You place the score line below the multiple-choice question choices or fill-in-the-blank answers, and start the line with %. Scores are relative values comparing to the question score. See Choice Score Attribute and Answer Value Score Attribute in the Question Schema for details.

Response labels

For multiple-choice or multiple-answer questions, you can specify the type and format of labels for answer responses. See Label Attribute for the type format.

Question Options

Keep response last

To keep a given response last when randomizing responses, use the letter 'z' for the last response.

Question Options

Maintain response order

Use the letter 'x' so the position of a response will remain the same while the order of the remaining responses can be randomized. Responses with the letter 'z' will be placed before any last responses with the letter 'x' if there are any.

Inline multiple-choice questions

You can change the display of a multiple-choice question to use a drop-down list rather than bubble choices by specifying the "Inline" option and the location of the drop-down list with [----]. Response choices must be a single line of plain text.

Matching questions

Matching questions must have a left- and a right-hand side of each match. Use the equal sign (=) to separate the two sides. You can leave the left side empty to create extra match items in the right column of choices. To format a choice as HTML, enclose both sides of the match with the [HTML][/HTML] tags.

You can also create drop-down boxes within the question text by specifying the "Inline" option above the question and drop-down list locations [----] in the question text. In this mode the match left-hand side is not displayed, but acts as the key to which box is the right answer. 1 = first, 2 = second, and so forth. In this mode you can also use the "MaintainOrder" option to preserve the choice order in the drop-down

Alternative fill-in-the-blank answers and case sensitivity

A fill-in-the-blank question can have more than one correct answer. Specify multiple correct answers to a fill-in-the-blank-question as choices a, b, c, and so forth. To accept case-insensitive answers, specify the "IgnoreCase" option above the question.

Specify multiple blanks in a fill-in-the-blank question by specifying the "Multiple" option above the question and multiple blanks in the question text. To specify multiple correct answers to a blank, put each correct answer on a different line.

Show correct answers

Specify show correct answers in a fill-in-the-blank question by specifying the "ShowCorrect" option above the question and multiple blanks in the question text. Correct answers will be displayed when the question is reviewed if the display feedback setting is enabled.

Show work

For any question type except essay, you can set the "Workspace" option to give the student an area to show their work. If a question has the "Workspace" option and a question is answered incorrectly, the automated grading assigns a 0 score for the question and forwards the question to the teacher who can manually override the auto-assigned score.

Composite questions

Sometimes a set of question will have a common header or variables. Use a composite question to share variables and to ensure that the header is shared by keeping the question together and on one page. The questions that are part of the composite questions must have a question number with the format X.Y where is X is the composite question number and Y is number of the question part.

Custom questions

A content developer can develop custom questions. To use a custom question specify the Url, resource path, or custom question name as defined in <customquestions> on the Custom property. If the question emulates a standard question specify the question type and answers like that question. For custom grading use the question type 'Custom'.

Math and Science Questions

You can click symbols on the Equations panel to enter the symbol at the editor's current cursor location. You can also type the symbol codes directly into the editor.

Math and Science Questions


You can define variables in a question to generate data-driven questions by using the "Var" property. Variables are most useful in fill-in-the-blank questions of type Number, Match, and Equivalent. You can define answers as mathematical formulas using the variables. To define a range variable you specify the variable name, start and end of the range, and an optional step value. For example, Var: a = 3..9,2 defines the variable "a" to be 3, 5, 7, or 9. You refer to a variable by enclosing the variable name in dollar signs ($).

You can also specify a variable as a comma-separated list of values. Lists can contain text or numbers. Use quotes to include a comma in your variable value. You can group list variables by defining variable names as groupname.variablename. From each group variable, the question substitutes a value from the same random index into the question. In the following example, the "unit" group variables have three possible values. If the question uses km/h from unit.text, then it uses 1000/3600 from unit.conversion. Similarly, if it uses mph from unit.text, then it uses 0.44704 from unit.conversion.

Fill-in-the-blank evaluation

Fill-in-the-blank questions by default evaluate as correct if the entered answer text exactly matches the keyed answer text. For math and science questions you can specify one of these types for more flexible evaluation:

Supported operations

Expression evaluation for Match math questions

When creating expressions for Match questions that use variables it may be necessary to evaluate part of the expression. Using the built-in eval function in the expression resolves the parameters. Note that you do not need to use eval for Number of Equivalent questions, as these types are automatically evaluated.

Expression evaluation for text

In the question, choice, or feedback text, you can control the display format of any computed number or expression by using the $eval(expression,format) syntax, where expression is the numerical expression to be evaluated, and format is the output format of the number.

Question banks and links

In addition to creating new questions, you can also use existing questions in your assessment. You can link to a specific question or a group of questions.


To link to a specific question use the question type Link and the question id as the id. The easiest way to link to a question is to navigate to it in the Questions Banks panel on the right side and double click the question. Referrer displays the entity id and item id to identify where the link comes from or authorizes access to the question.

For your convenience, the editor shows the question title by the number, and the full question definition enclosed in the tags [LINKEDQUESTION][/LINKEDQUESTION]. You cannot edit the title nor the linked question from the editor.

Question banks and links

Bank with item

You can link to an entire assessment by using the Bank type and specifying the item id as the id. Optionally you can specify the max number of questions by using the Count option. Use the Question Banks panel to choose the item. The text by the number is the title of the item you are linking to. You cannot edit the title.

Bank with query

You can link to a subset of all questions in a course by using the Bank type and a query. You should also specify a count of questions to use. The text by the number is the course title.

Using questions in other course

You can use each of the options above pointing to other courses. Prefix the id with COURSEID: where COURSEID is the internal id of the target course. The easiest way of creating links to other courses is to click the More Banks button in the Question Banks panel.


The complete syntax for the assessment editor follows. All properties are optional unless otherwise noted. Parentheses and vertical bars '(|)' indicate a set of mutual-exclusive items. Square brackets '[' indicate optional items. The plus sign '+' indicates the item may be repeated. All properties containing comma seperated list, such as Groups, Objectives, and Var, may contain commas in their values by surrounding the value with quotes.

Have more questions? Submit a request


  • 0
    Colin Grindall

    Could there be a visual to show how to access the import feature?  I am referring specifically to the section titled "Import Questions'

    Edited by Colin Grindall
Please sign in to leave a comment.