(Last Updated On: February 21, 2020)
Normally, an Essay question requires an answer in the form of a composition, a paraphraph, or at least a long or short sentence. Learners have to compose their own answers, rather than selecting answer options from a list of possibilities. Because of this nature, an Essay question appears differently compared to other types of questions in ActivePresenter. In this today tutorial, let’s learn how to work with this eLearning question to see those differences! 

Overview of Essay Questions

An Essay question contains a multiple-line text box that allows learners to input text. At this point, don’t confuse this question type with Fill in Blank questions. Fill in Blank questions also have only one text box, however, this text box has only one line. 

Working with Essay QuestionsAn Essay Question created in ActivePresenter 7

Being different from other types of questions in ActivePresenter, Essay questions give learners the freedom to voice their opinions. A list of answer options to choose from is not available for this question type. Instead, learners have to do research themselves, then organize their ideas, and finally write their answer. Thanks to that, the assessment of the learning outcomes for Essay questions are less affected by guessing than other types of questions, which allow learners to choose the correct answer from a list.

Create Essay Questions

Now is the time to learn how to work with Essay questions in ActivePresenter.

Insert an Essay Question

An Essay question is inserted into your project as a new question slide. To insert it, do either of the following:
  • In the Interactions tab > Essay Working with Essay Questions.
  • In the Home tab > Interactions > Essay.
Then, a new slide with an Essay question will appear as follows:

An essay question slide in ActivePresenter 7

Similar to other question slides in ActivePresenter, an Essay question slide has three parts: the top text box (1), the answer area (2), and the submit button (3). As usual, the top text box is where to add the question title. However, the answer area is quite different. It is a blank text box without default answer options so that learners can type their answer here. The Submit button (3) helps learners to submit their answer.  Note:
  • An Essay question has only one blank text box. You can’t add more.
  • To change the tab order value, first select the question. Then, access the Properties pane > Interactivity > General. For next steps, see Using Tab Order.

Customize an Essay Question

Here are some ways to customize the Essay question:
  • Resize the question: Select the whole question and drag the resizing handles. Otherwise, access the Properties pane > Size & Properties > Transform > adjust or type values in the boxes (Left, Top, Width, Height, and Rotation).How to Resize Essay Questions
  • Edit the answer area: As mentioned above, the answer area of Essay question is a blank text box, therefore, you can freely format and style it in the same way you do with a normal text box. See Working with Text Boxes for more details.
Tip: To restore the default text box, right-click the answer area and select Reset Placeholder.

Set Correct Answers

By default, the Survey mode is selected in the Score & Reporting section for Essay questions. In this mode, you can’t set correct answers. To set correct answers, you need to select the Graded mode. Do as follows: Step 1: In the Properties pane > Interactivity > Score & Reporting. Select Graded from the Mode drop-down list (4).

Set Score & Reporting Mode for Essay Questions

Step 2: Look at the General section (above the Score & Reporting section). Click Add Value (5) to add one or more blank box(es). Then, type correct answer(s) into these boxes.

et Correct Answers for Essay Questions

To delete any answer, simply click Remove (6). Note: In fact, it’s really hard for learners to have the correct answer that can exactly match to the predefined one(s). Thereby, the Survey mode is widely used for Essay questions. This is also the reason why the Survey mode is always set by default for this question type.

Set Score & Reporting

The Score & Reporting section also includes some useful options to set score and reporting. 

Working with Essay Questions

For more information, see Defining Score and Reporting for Interactive Questions. However, at the moment, you can consider the following options:
  • Case Sensitive: Select this option to make uppercase and lowercase characters to be treated differently. In other words, learners have to exactly enter each letter of a word as required.   
  • Variable: Define the variable to take place. See Understanding Variables for more details.
Note: The Password Field option is unavailable for Essay questions since it supports short text only.  

Add Events – Actions

Essay questions have three defaults events and actions for the Graded mode, which are On Correct, On Incorrect, and On Incomplete. With the Survey mode, its three defaults events and actions are On Complete, On Incomplete, and On Timeout. If you’ve selected the Survey mode early on, this is what you’ll see:

Events and Actions in the Survey mode of Essay Questions

Depending on your needs, you can keep these default events and actions, delete them, make them more advanced, or add more. To do that, first, select the answer area. Then, access the Properties pane > Interactivity > Events – ActionsSee Working with Events – Actions to learn more. NoteGenerally, events of an Essay questions are the same as those of text box objects. However, some events like On Text Enter, On Rollout, and On Rollover aren’t commonly used in creating Essay questions.

Insert Feedback Messages

ActivePresenter also offers default feedback messages for this question type. They are Correct Feedback, Incorrect Feedback, and Try Again Feedback for the Graded mode, and Complete Feedback, Incomplete Feedback, and Timeout Feedback for the Survey mode. However, you’re free to remove or add more feedback if you want. See Working with Feedback Messages to get more details. Tha’s how to work with Essay questions in ActivePresenter. Visit the following links to learn more about how to work with other types of questions in ActivePresenter: