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How do I create Short answer and Essay questions in Dawn?

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Short answer and Essay questions allow you to ask learners to give free-response answers that can be automatically checked by Dawn.

Learners can:

  • Be asked Short answer questions where they receive custom feedback based on their entry and be allowed to Reset and retry the question to reinforce learning.
  • Be asked Essay questions where they all receive the same feedback and Mastery no matter their answer.

Create the the Short answer or Essay question

To create the question:

  1. Select the desired Section in the catalog entry and click Add instruction.
  2. Select Interaction and choose Short answer.
  1. Give the interaction a Title.
  2. Provide Expected duration value.
  3. Provide the Question you want learners to answer.
  4. In the Response input dropdown choose:
    • Text to allow all text as possible answer entries.
    • Number to allow only number entries.
    • Essay to allow all text where there is no concept of correct or incorrect responses.
  5. Define the possible responses for the Input type you chose:

Text and Number inputs

If you choose Text or Number inputs, you then define the correct response, the incorrect response, and any other responses.  

Correct response

Once your question is set up, you can set up the correct response you want learners to enter:

  1. In the If the answer is field, enter all possible responses that you want counted as "correct."
  2. Provide the Mastery award value that you want learners to earn if they get the answer correct.
    • Dawn allows learners to reset short answer questions after answering and  try again to reinforce learning.
  3. Provide the Feedback you want learners to receive when the get the answer correct.
  4. Define the incorrect response and any other responses.  

Incorrect response

By default, Dawn includes an incorrect response field for short answer questions. This is defined where Else appears instead of If the answer is.

  1. Else indicates what occurs for any answer that is not defined otherwise; this is what learners see when they get the answer incorrect.
  2. You can still provide a Mastery award value for incorrect responses if desired.
  3. Provide the Feedback you want learners to receive when the get the answer incorrect.
  4. Define any other responses.  

Other responses

Dawn allows you to add other responses if your question requires more than just correct and incorrect response options (e.g., answers that are close, but not close enough to warrant full Mastery awards).

  1. Click Add response.
  2. A field reading Else if answer is appears above the incorrect response section. In this field, enter all possible responses that you want counted here.
  3. Provide the Mastery award value that you want learners to earn if they provide this answer.
  4. Provide the Feedback you want learners to receive when the get this answer.

Review short question results for Text and Number input types

In addition to allowing you to review individual learner answers, Dawn automatically roles up short answer responses and merges them to generate a donut chart showing all entered responses and the percentage with they were entered.

You can access both in the Administration > Catalog > Enrollments screen.

Essay input

If you choose Essay input, you only define one set of Response feedback that all learners receive.

If you choose Essay input, you only define one set of Response feedback and Mastery award that all learners receive:

  1. Provide the Mastery award value that you want learners to earn for answering the question.
  2. Provide the Feedback you want learners to see.

Review short question results for Essay input types

In addition to allowing you to review individual learner answers, Dawn automatically merges all Essay answers from learners into a word cloud that you can review to see what common themes show through.

You can access both in the Administration > Catalog > Enrollments screen.

  1. Click the pie chart icon to see merged results.
  2. Click the list icon to see individual responses.
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