Assessment activity editor

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Assessments are gradable, question-based activities that use questions you create and/or link from question banks. Each question can be aligned with specific objectives in the course, and student performance on objectives can be used to make formative or remediation assessments.

Students are required to complete assessments according to conditions set by the course author and submit all answers at once. Assessments are automatically graded and can be password protected.

Editor overview

Add this activity to your course.

With the activity editor:

  1. Use the Filter by group icon to make and/or review activity settings that apply only to specific groups.
  2. Preview the activity.
  3. Save changes.
  4. Depending on the type of activity you're editing, the Activity Editor can include up to four tabbed screens:
    • Use the Activity screen to add/edit basic content, information, and metadata about an activity that is visible/accessible to the students (e.g., activity titles, thumbnail images, introductory content, instructions, attachments students need to complete the activity).
    • Use the Settings screen to configure the way you want the activity to work for the students (e.g., gradebook settings, objective mastery and badge details, visibility, access).
    • The Questions screen appears only for Assessment and Practice Question (formerly Homework) activity types. Use it to create and manage questions.
    • The History screen only appears when changes have been made to an activity since its creation. Use it to review changes and restore previous versions of the activity's content.

Some cards in the Activity Editors are collapsed by default; to expand them, click the arrows.

Activity tab

Use the Activity tab to:

  1. Provide the assessment Title.
  2. If you've set up Activity themes in your course, you can apply one with the Themes dropdown.
  3. Provide a Thumbnail image to represent the activity by clicking the plus sign next to the thumbnail.
    • Recommended file type: PNG or JPG (Buzz converts all files into PNGs.)
    • Ideal size: 400px x 400px (Buzz automatically resizes images, so uploading images smaller than 400px x 400px may reduce quality.)
  1. Create descriptive Content about the activity using the rich text editor. This content always appears at the top of the assessment.
  2. Click Add Activity Instructions to open a rich text editor to create instructions.
  1. Click Add attachment to provide files for students to review before starting the assessment.
  2. Make Calculator (basic, standard, scientific), Protractor, and/or Ruler (6 inch, 12 inch, 15 centimeter, 30 centimeter) tools available to students while they complete the assessment. These can also be specified for individual questions in the question editor.
  3. Click Add under Companion Material to add resources that students can reference while they're taking the assessment. You can only use PDF files here (you can easily convert documents and images to pdfs on PCs and Macs).

Settings tab

Note: Some settings can be altered for multiple activities at once using Bulk edit.

Activity settings

If you choose to set a Due date (not available for continuous courses), you can specify:

  1. The Due date and time.
  2. Whether you want to Allow late submissions, and, if so, what the Late rule and Grace period rules are.
  3. The allowed Number of attempts a student can complete for that assessment.
  4. The total Questions per page you want your students to see.
  5. Whether you want to:
    • Allow save and continue for the assessment. Meaning students can start an assessment, save it, and return to it later. Without activating this option, students must finish and submit an assessment once they've started it.
    • Require answers for submission. Meaning students are only allowed to submit the assessment after answering all of the questions. If not enabled, students are notified that they haven't answered all questions when trying to submit an incomplete assessment, but can still submit.
    • Randomize question order.
    • Randomize response order.

Gradebook and submission

If you choose to make the activity Gradable, you can specify:

  1. The activity's numeric Weight in category; this number defines how much impact this activity's grade has on the final grade, relative to the other gradable activities in the same category. (Weight in category is not available in courses using Multi-Outcome Scoring.)
  2. The desired Score type (Points, Rubric, Percent (%), or Letter grade):  
    • If you choose Rubric, click Add rubric to define it (not available for all assessments).
    • If you choose Letter grade, a field appears where you can select the desired Grade scale.
  3. The Grading category you want the activity to be a part of. Grading Categories allow you to apply different grade settings to groups of activities within the same course.
  4. The grading Period you want the activity to be a part of. Separate grading Periods allow you to divide grades by date range without building additional courses in Buzz.
  5. Whether you want the activity to be considered Extra credit.

In Multi-Outcome Scoring courses, Gradebook and submission allows you to align activities with Scoring objectives and requires you to use Points as the Score entry. Auto-graded activities, like assessments and practice questions, can be aligned with only one scoring objective, so you must choose it from a dropdown menu and then assign the desired number of Pts possible for that objective.

Objective mastery

Visibility and access

With Visibility and access settings, you can choose to:  

  1. Make the activity Visible to:
    • Students, teachers and observers: This is the default setting for activities intended for students to complete.
    • Teachers and observers: This setting works well for Lesson Guide materials that observers like parents, mentors, etc. need access to. A map icon appears next to these activities in the Activities pages for teachers and observers.
    • Teachers only: This setting works well for Lesson Guide materials that only teachers need. A map icon appears next to these activities in the teacher Activities page.
  2. Check the Hide from student's table of contents and to-do list box. Note that it is still accessible with course links and bookmarks unless otherwise restricted.
  3. Check the Block access until student completes other activity box.
    • If it appears, you can check the Require passing score if gradable for mastery (optional).
    • Click Choose Activity, and select the activity or activities that you want to make access dependent on.
  4. Check the Block access until student masters objective(s) box, click Choose Objective, and select the objective(s) you want to make access dependent on.
  5. Check the Block access until a specified date box and enter the desired date and time.
  6. Check the Student must enter a password box, and enter the desired Activity password in the field. This is different from assessment-specific passwords, which must be entered each time a student attempts the assessment and are managed in the Advanced assessment options card.
    • By default students must enter this password only once, and can access the activity without entering the password thereafter.
    • If you want, you can check the Require password each visit to override the default.
    • Note: Students can be excused from this setting for a specified amount of time by an administrator as part of their Accommodations. Overriding this setting for a student can be useful in a situation where passwords are provided during class, but a student is unable to attend for a period of time.


Click Choose Badge to select one or more badges that you want automatically awarded to students who successfully complete this activity.

Learn more:


Admins can create custom Metadata fields for activities in their domain. This content is only visible to teachers, course authors, etc. and provides further insight into an activity, such as:

  • An activity Description for course authors.
  • An idea of how this activity fits into the goal of the course or the Big Picture.
  • Essential Questions that should be answered by the activity or that students should keep in mind as they complete it.
  • Any relevant Vocabulary.
  • Associated Resources.

Some of the fields under Metadata ask for content that, if set up by your system admin, can be used to make an activity searchable in the Digital Library. Contact your system admin to find out if there are fields in your domain that can be used this way.

Assessment review

This card allows you to choose when/if students see certain information (detailed below) when reviewing their graded assessments. The available settings for when students see the information are:


  • When an assessment includes Essay questions, students won't see automatic grading responses until the essay question has be manually graded.
  • When you preview an assessment as a teacher or administrator and submit your answers, Buzz shows you all question and answer feedback. It does not reflect the Assessment review settings that students see.

The feedback display options include the following.

Display question results

Display question results shows every question in entirety (all questions that were assessed and all of the answer options).

When disabled, all questions are hidden.

Display student answers

Display student answers shows only the answer the student provided (either through a selection or text input).

When disabled, both the selected or provided answers from the student and the correct answers are hidden.

Display question score

Display question score shows the points each question is worth and the points the student achieved.

When disabled, both are hidden.

Display correct questions

Display correct questions shows icons next to a question indicating whether it was answered correctly or not.

When disabled, no checkmarks (correct) or exes (incorrect) are shown next to the questions.

Display correct choices

Display correct choices shows icons next to multiple choice/multiple answer answer options indicating whether the answer is correct or not.

When disabled, no checkmarks (correct) or exes (incorrect) are shown next to the answers.

Display feedback

Display feedback shows immediate, automatic feedback after the student submits an answer.

When disabled, no immediate automatic feedback is shown.

Assessment pool settings

Advanced assessment options

Manage Advanced assessment options, like:

  1. Setting a Time limit in minutes.
    • Note: Students can be excused from this setting by an administrator as part of their Accommodations.
  2. Specifying a Default question score. You can assign each question a specific point value; if you don't, Buzz uses this default value.
  3. Specifying an Attempt minimum for the assessment (the minimum number of attempts you want the student to complete).
  4. Indicating whether you want to:
    • Allow printing (this option allows teachers to print assessments for students to complete offline).
    • Hide question "Back" button.
    • Start assessment automatically upon selecting it, or if you want to give users a Start button.
    • Enable the following tools for use during assessments:
      • Show highlighter, which allows students to highlight text while taking the assessment.
        • To provide the highlighting tool for an essay question, make sure to put the essay question on its own page.
        • To provide the highlighting tool for a passage question with multiple questions attached to the passage, make sure to display the attached questions on the same page.
      • Show answer eliminator, which allows students to eliminate multiple choice questions that they think are wrong while taking the assessment.
      • Allow student to take question notes, which allows students to record notes about a question and return to them while taking the assessment.
      • Allow student to take permanent, activity notes during the assessment, which allows students to take notes during an assessment that they cat return to after completing the activity.
      • Allow students to use SpeechStream during the assessment, which reads the assessment text aloud to the student.  
      • Allow students to bookmark and review questions, which allows students to review questions while taking the assessment and filter by those they have answered, those they haven't, and those for which they've recorded notes.
    • Make it a Formative assessment and, if so, indicate whether you want to Include formative in final grade and show score to students.
    • Make it a Remediation assessment.
  5. Providing a Password if you want to require students to enter one every time they start, continue, or retake the assessment. This is normally used in proctored assessments where a teacher or aid can give the password directly to students. This is different from a general activity password that students only have to enter the first time they open the activity.
  6. Indicating which Scored attempt you want recorded (Last, First, Highest, or Average).  
  7. Uploading or selecting an Assessment template.
  8. Using the Adaptive assessment add-on (if enabled).

Advanced gradebook options

This card appears only if the activity is set to Gradable.

Manage Advanced gradebook options, like:

  1. Whether you want to Hide returned scores until a certain date, and, if so, providing the Score visibility date and time.
  2. Defining the minimum Passing score (%).
  3. Whether:
    • The assessment's Score can be dropped from calculated course score (unavailable if the activity is marked as Extra Credit in Gradebook settings).
    • To Include this activity's score in the final grade calculation.
    • To Require a passing score for course credit.
    • To Treat as zero in gradebook until this activity is scored (unavailable if the activity is marked as Extra Credit in Gradebook settings).  

Advanced activity options

Manage Advanced activity options, like:

  1. Completion requirements. You can set the activity to Mark as completed when the student:
    • Submits this activity
    • Receives any score
    • Receives a passing score
  2. If the Student must complete this activity before continuing to the next one.
  3. Changing the activity's folder Location using the dropdown.
  4. Giving the activity a new Activity ID in the field.

Questions tab

History tab

The History tab records changes made to the assessment and allows you to retrieve previous versions of the questions, content, and rubrics:

  1. Click the version you want to restore.
  2. Preview the content.
  3. Click Restore.

Buzz does not itemize changes to all settings, but does track them. Users can access them by clicking the Details link that appears at the bottom of the history table.


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