About Fill in the Blank questions

A Fill in the Blank question consists of a phrase, sentence, or paragraph with a blank space where a student provides the missing word or words. You can also create a question with multiple blanks.

Example:

[Patriarchy] translates to "rule by the father."

This is how a student views a fill in the blank question.

Fill in the Blank questions are graded automatically. Answers are scored based on if student answers match the correct answers you provide. You choose the evaluation method for answers:

  • Exact match
  • Contains part of the correct answer
  • Matches a pattern that you specify

You choose whether or not the answers are case-sensitive.

Answers need to be accurate (exact match) or chosen to match a pattern and be defined accordingly.


Create a Fill in the Blank question

When you create a new test, select the plus sign to open the menu. In an existing test, select the plus sign wherever you want to add a question. Select Add Fill in the Blank question.

You'll use the same process when you create questions in tests and assignments.

This is how test in edit view with add question menu expanded looks like.

Type your question and add brackets around the answer. You can use the options in the editor to format the text and add formulas, files, images, and links.

Separate multiple correct answers with a semicolon.

Example: One of the primary colors is [red;blue;yellow].

You may also use a regular expression. Only one expression per blank will be recognized. Note that you add brackets around the regular expression and around the answer.

Example: [[a-zA-Z]] is a letter in the alphabet.

Questions have a default value of 10 points. Select the Points box to type a new value.

Note that Save is disabled because you need to make settings in the next step. Select Next Step to continue.

This is the edit view of a fill in the blank question.

In the Response type menu, choose how the answer is evaluated against a student's answer:

  • Exact match
  • Contain match
  • Match a pattern

Select the Case sensitive check box if you want to take capitalization into account.

More on creating answers

Select Previous Step if you need to make edits. Select Save when you're finished.

This is the edit view of a fill in the blank question with the buttons previous step and save highlighted.

The question displays which response type you chose, such as Responses must match exactly.

Example of a fill in the blank question.

More on editing or deleting questions

About creating answers

Keep answers for the blanks simple and brief. To avoid difficulties with auto-grading, you can limit answers to one word. One-word answers prevent issues such as extra spaces or word order causing a correct answer to be scored as incorrect.

  • Select Contain match from the Response type menu to allow for abbreviations or partial answers. This option counts a student's answer as correct if it includes the word or words you specify. For example, set up a single answer that contains Franklin so that Benjamin Franklin, Franklin, B Franklin, B. Franklin, and Ben Franklin are all counted as correct answers. Then, you don't have to list all the acceptable possibilities for the answer Benjamin Franklin.
  • Select Match a pattern from the Response type menu and create a regular expression that allows for spelling, spacing, or capitalization variations.

Match a pattern

When you choose to match a pattern for an answer, you can test the pattern and a new window opens. A check mark appears for a pattern that works. You can also type an expected correct answer and test your pattern.

Example of a fill in the blank question response type with a check mark that appears to match a pattern for an answer.

You'll receive an error message if your pattern can't be evaluated so you can make changes.

Example of an error message if a pattern can't be evaluated.

Add files to a Fill in the Blank question

To help keep your assessment content organized, you can add files within individual questions. Make a selection from the editor's Insert Content menu, such as Insert from Cloud Storage.

More on cloud storage

The purple plus sign menu is expanded so you can add files to a particular question.

You can edit settings for the files you've added to questions. Select the file in the editor and then select the Edit Attachment icon in the row of editor options. You can add a Display Name and Alternative Text. Alternative text describes the image for people who use screen readers or visit web pages with images turned off.

A purple pencil that lets you edit files within questions.

You can also choose whether to insert the file as a link in the editor or to embed the file directly so it appears inline with other content you've added.


Edit or delete a Fill in the Blank question

Before students open the assessment, access the menu to select Edit or Delete. To change the points, select the score pill and type a new value.

Select Align with goal from the menu to align goals with individual assessment questions to help your institution measure achievement. After you make the assessment available, students can view information for the goals you align with assessments and questions so they know your expectations.

More on how to align goals with course content

Menu on the top right hand side corner of a particular question.

After submissions exist

You can edit the text of most questions and answers, even after students have made submissions. For example, you may have chosen the wrong answer, found a typo, or want to adjust points or scoring options. You can make a change for all students to see and automatically update all grades.

After students open the test, you can't add new questions and blanks, delete a question or blank, or move the content.

In a test or a student's submission, open a question's menu and select Edit/Regrade to make changes. You receive a warning after you save your changes if student submissions exist and regrading will occur.

More on editing questions

Edit/Regrade or Align with goal a particular fill in the blank question.

Grade Fill in the Blank questions

Fill in the Blank questions are graded automatically. Answers are scored based on if student answers match the correct answers you provided. Each Fill in the Blank question displays Correct or Incorrect and which response type you chose, such as Responses must be an exact match.

You can't change the points an individual student earned for an automatically graded question.

Example of a correct or incorrect answer and points given to student.

Give partial credit on fill in the blank questions

Partial credit can be given on fill in the blank questions. This is great for those instructors who wish to grade student attempts at a more granular level. It will also benefit students based on their associated effort on these complex questions, and provide them with a more accurate representation of their proficiency.

Edit a fill in the blank question and in Scoring options select Allow partial credit.

Allow partial credit highlighted from scoring options to a fill in the blank question.