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Essay with Rich Text

This essay question allows students to submit an essay response to a question, of up to 10,000 words. This question is not auto-scored, due to the subjective grading nature of essay questions.

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Figure 1: A sample essay question.

To author an essay question, follow these steps:

  • Fill in the Compose Question area with your desired question or instructions to the student.
  • Underneath, you can control what formatting options the student will see in their toolbar. The icons highlighted in grey have been enabled, the white icons are disabled. Click on a white icon to enable it, and click on a grey icon to disable it. Use the DIV icons to place dividing lines between icons.

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Figure 2: The full selection of essay formatting options available.

Note that the following formatting options are available to the student: bold, italic, underline, div, bulleted list, numbered list, remove all formatting, left align, centre align, right align, justify, quote, superscript, subscript, indent right, indent left, insert a horizontal divider, create a table, character map, undo, redo.

  • Set the word limit (the maximum word count) for the essay - this can be between 1 and 10,000. You can also set whether the word limit is visible to the student at all times ("always visible"), only visible to the student when they have reached the limit ("on limit"), or totally hidden from the student ("off").
  • You can choose to enable or disable the word count from being visible to the student, using the show word count checkbox.

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Figure 3: Word limit and word count controls.

More options

  • Max score: The highest score that can be awarded for the response. Needs to be configured on the page by your development team.
  • Minimum score if attempted: A value indicating how many attempt marks a student will receive for attempting the question.
  • Submit over limit: Enable this option if you want to allow the student to submit their essay, even if it is over the word limit.
  • Special characters: This field will become enabled when you have enabled the character map in the text formatting options above. What is entered in the field will override the default character map symbols (see example below).

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Figure 4: Enter symbols in the special characters field to customise the character map. Enter each symbol one after the other, with no space or comma in between, as above. 

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Figure 5: How the character map will appear to the student when symbols have been customised.

  • Min height and max height: Set the minimum and maximum height of the essay box, in pixels.
  • Placeholder: Text entered in this field will appear as placeholder text in the essay box. It will disappear on type.
  • Spellcheck and text correction: Check this box is unchecked, browser spellcheck will be disabled, along with auto-correct, auto-complete and auto-capitalize on iOS devices. Note: This is a browser feature and may not always be available or supported.
  • Font size: Select from small, normal, large, extra large, or huge for the font size. Note that this will affect the question and essay toolbar, but also the student input.
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