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# Free answer - four different question types in Canvas New Quizzes

This page presents question types with free answers that can be written with varying possibilities for automatic assessment. All question types are described together with information on recommended use and a link to more detailed information on how each question is created. Information on the remaining question types in New Quizzes can be found via the listing at the bottom.

## Formula

The formula question type allows for variables being randomized for each student and the answers are automatically assessed. The question type is quite matematically limited but allows for the use of a range for assigned variables and a margin of error when it comes to answers. (Here you can find a list of which functions and arguments that are supported ) When this question is used, a calculator can be added to the quiz (visible in the upper right corner).

More information at Canvas community about the question type Formula .

### Recommended use of "Formula"

This type of question is intended for calculation assignments. The advantage is that students get different values in their assignments, which makes it more difficult to copy someone else's answer. If the student is allowed multiple attempts on the quiz, they can get up to 200 different tasks for training the same calculation.

A good wording for calculation tasks with free text answers that provide information without giving a clue to the solution is: "Answer with two significant figures, without unit, and use a full stop as punctuation mark if needed."

## Numeric

This question type is used when the student should respond using digits. To allow for customization, this question type can be set to accept "Exact response", "Margin of Error", "Within a range" or "Precise response".

More information at Canvas community about the question type Numeric .

### Recommended use of "Numeric"

Generally, it is better to use Formula questions in calculations, as the risk of the student being able to just copy their answer is minimized and different values make the quiz work better if the student is allowed to do it several times. However, Numeric can be used as some values in a calculation are extra important or have a special significance. A good wording for calculation tasks with free text answers that provide information without giving a clue to the solution is: "Answer with two significant figures, without unit, and use a full stop as punctuation mark if needed."

## Fill in the Blank - Open Entry

In a text, certain words are replaced by an empty box which the student must then fill in with free text answers. Fill in the Blanks - Open Entry is a question type that gives you a lot of freedom. It can be configured to accept multiple answers or variations, for example if it should be case sensitive or if a regular expression match should be used. It is possible to manually approve students' answers when assessing if you notice that you have forgotten to enter an answer option. To use this question type, first choose “Fill in the Blank”, then choose “Open Entry” in the question type settings.

More information at Canvas community about the question type Fill in the Blank .

### Recommended use of "Fill in the Blank - Open Entry"

This kind of question is well suited for theorems or laws that can only be formulated in one way. Often there are several words that can fit, so it is important that you test which different correct answers different people can come up with. Some classic variations on answers are uppercase/ lowercase, dot / comma, units or not, with spaces between value and unit or not. The question can also be used to get answers to calculations where units are used but note that you have to enter the answer in several different ways; for example: 9,82N 9.82N 9,82 N 9.82 N . A good wording for calculation tasks with free text answers that provide information without giving a clue to the solution is: "Answer with two significant figures, without unit, and use a full stop as punctuation mark if needed."

## Essay

This question type allows for "free text" answers from students. This question type can be used for more advanced types of responses including embedding of images or video answers. It has several options which include "rich text editor", "word count" and "set word limit". The teacher can also write "Grading Notes" to ensure all teachers in the course use the same criterions for grading since this question type must be moderated/reviewed by teachers for scoring.

More information at Canvas community about the question type Essay .

### Recommended use of "Essay"

Since the students can't save their answers as they progress this question fits for shorter free text answers and it does not fit for long essays. Another tip is that this type of question often requires more from the students than checkboxes so the students will probably expect this question to generate more points.
In this question there are several setting alternatives that can make assessment easier. You can type your own notes (the student cannot see it) in the question about how it is supposed to be assessed. You can set an upper limit of word amount (which defines how much you have to read) and you can set a lower limit of word amount (which makes the student write more thoroughly). A simple yes or no will not be possible to submit as an answer to a question that has a lower word limit of 20 words.

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Last changed: Apr 20, 2021
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