10.30.2. Create an Open Response Assessment Assignment

Creating an open response assessment (ORA) assignment is a multi-step process. This section covers each step in detail.

In addition, see these other topics about different aspects of open response assessments.

10.30.2.1. Step 1. Add the Component

To add the open response assessment component to your course, complete these steps.

Note

Do not add more than one ORA component in a course unit. Multiple ORA assignments in a unit cause errors when learners submit their assessments.

  1. In Studio, open the unit where you want to create the open response assessment.

  2. Under Add New Component, select Problem.

  3. Select Advanced, and then select Open Response Assessment.

  4. In the problem component that appears, select Edit.

    You use this component editor to add prompts and the rubric, and to specify other settings for the open response assessment component.

  5. Select Save each time you complete an editing session. You can continue to edit the problem until you publish the unit.

Note

After you publish an ORA assignment, you can no longer change the structure of the rubric or the point values associated with each criterion in the rubric. If you correct typographical errors in the text of the rubric, only learners who have not yet started the assignment will see the corrections. However, you can modify due dates and the weight of the ORA assignment after you publish an ORA assignment.

10.30.2.2. Step 2. Add Prompts

To add prompts, or questions, to your ORA assignment, complete these steps.

Note

If you want to add text formatting to the prompt, or include an image, see Add Formatting or Images to a Prompt.

  1. In the open response assessment component editor, select Prompt.
  2. Replace the example prompt in the text field with your prompt.
  3. To add another prompt in the assignment, select Add a Prompt, and then repeat Step 2.

10.30.2.2.1. Add Formatting or Images to a Prompt

Currently, you cannot format text or add images inside an open response assessment component. To include formatting or images in a prompt, you can add an HTML component that contains your text above the open response assessment component, and leave the text field in the Prompt tab blank. The instructions for the open response assessment still appear above the Your Response field.

A peer assessment component that has an HTML component containing text and an image, above the peer assessment.

10.30.2.3. Step 3. Add the Rubric

In this step, you add your rubric to provide guidance for assessing responses within the assignment. You add one rubric for each problem, regardless of the number of prompts in the problem.

Note

The most effective rubrics for peer grading are written in clear, simple language, have concrete details, and are as specific as possible. Many novice learners will find it diffidult to make the types of value judgments required by more holistic rubrics.

For each step below, replace any default text with your own text.

Note

All open response assessments include a feedback field below the rubric so that learners can provide written feedback on a peer’s overall response. You can also allow or require learners to provide feedback for individual criteria. See step 4 in the following procedure for instructions. For more information, see Feedback Options.

To add the rubric, follow these steps.

  1. In the ORA component editor, select the Rubric tab.

  2. In the first Criterion section, enter the name and prompt text of your first criterion.

  3. In the Option sections for this criterion, for each option that you provide for the criterion enter a name, explanation, and point value.

    To remove options, select Remove at the top right of the option section.

    To add more options, select Add Option.

  4. Next to Feedback for This Criterion, select a value in the dropdown list.

    • If you do not want to allow feedback for this individual criterion, select None.
    • To require feedback for this criterion, select Required.
    • To allow feedback, but not require it, select Optional.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 to create additional criteria. To add more criteria than provided for in the template, select Add Criterion at the end of the list of criteria.

  6. Under Feedback for This Response, add instructions for learners to provide overall written feedback on responses that they assess. You can leave the default text in the Feedback Instructions and Default Feedback Text fields, or replace it with your own text.

Note

After you publish an ORA assignment, you can no longer change the structure of the rubric or the point values associated with each criterion in the rubric. If you correct typographical errors in the text of the rubric, only learners who have not yet started the assignment will see the corrections. However, you can modify due dates and the weight of the ORA assignment after you publish an ORA assignment.

10.30.2.3.1. Provide Only Comment Fields for Individual Criteria

For an individual criterion, you can omit options, but if you do not include options, you must include the ability to add feedback comments.

To provide a comment field without options, complete these steps.

  1. In the ORA component editor, select the Rubric tab.
  2. In the Criterion section for the criterion that you want to only provide a comment field for, select Remove to remove each option.
  3. Next to Feedback for This Criterion, select Required from the list.

10.30.2.4. Step 4. Specify Additional Settings

After you have added a prompt and rubric, you must specify additional settings for the assignment. These settings include the type of response that learners must submit, assignment dates, and whether learners will see a list of top scoring responses.

10.30.2.4.1. Specify a Name and Dates

Before you specify the start and due dates and times for a response, be sure that you consider these aspects of, and best practices for, the open response assessment feature. For more information, see Best Practices for Open Response Assessments.

  • Unlike other problem types, ORA assignments are not governed by the subsection due date. You set due dates for each ORA assignment in the assignment’s settings.
  • The grace period that you can set for the course does not apply to ORA assignments.
  • Allow sufficient time for peer assessments to be performed after learners have submitted their own responses. EdX recommends that you allow at least one week between the due date for responses and the due date for peer assessments. If the response due time and peer assessment due time are close together, and a learner submits a response just before responses are due, other learners may not have time to perform peer assessments before peer assessments are due.
  • The times that you set are in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). To verify that you have specified the times that you intend, use a time zone converter such as Time and Date Time Zone Converter.

To specify a name for the assignment as well as start and due dates for all learner responses, follow these steps.

  1. In the ORA component editor, select Settings.
  2. Next to Display Name, enter the name you want to give the assignment.
  3. Next to Response Start Date and Response Start Time, enter the date and time when you want learners to be able to begin submitting responses.
  4. Next to Response Due Date and Response Due Time, enter the date and time by which all learner responses must be submitted.

10.30.2.4.2. Specify the Response Type

Learners can submit written responses, files, or both in their responses to the assigment. If you want learners to upload files, make sure the text of your prompt includes adequate instructions for learners to upload the required files, including the file types that learners can upload.

Note

Before you ask learners to submit files for your open response assessment, be sure to read about limitations and best practices. For more information, see Asking Learners to Upload Files in Responses.

If you allow or require learners to upload image files, learners must also provide a brief written description of each image for accessibility.

To specify the response type that learners must submit, follow these steps.

  1. In the ORA component editor, select Settings.

  2. For Text Response, select one of the following options.

    • None
    • Required
    • Optional
  3. For File Uploads Response, select one of the following options.

    • None
    • Required
    • Optional

    If you select Required or Optional, the File Upload Types list appears. Select one of the following options.

    • PDF or Image Files
    • Image Files
    • Custom File Types

    If you select Custom File Types, the File Types field appears. Enter the file name extensions, separated by commas, of the types of files that you want learners to submit.

    Note

    To reduce the potential for problems from files with malicious content, learners cannot upload certain file types. For more information, see Prohibited File Extensions.

  4. For Allow LaTeX Responses, select True or False.

10.30.2.4.3. Include Top Responses

You can specify whether learners see a section that shows the highest scoring responses that were submitted for each question in the assignment. If offered, this section displays only after each learner has completed all steps in the assignment. You specify the number of highest scoring responses to show.

Note

Because each response can be up to 300 pixels in height, we recommend that you set the number of top responses lower than 20, to prevent the page from becoming too long.

  1. In the ORA component editor, select Settings.

  2. In the Top Responses field, specify the number of responses that you want to appear in the Top Responses section below the learner’s final score.

    If you do not want this section to appear, set the number to 0. The maximum number is 100.

10.30.2.5. Step 5. Select Assignment Steps

Open response assessment assignments can include learner training, peer assessment, self assessment, and staff assessment steps.

The component editor provides the steps in a sequence that works well for most courses. While you can change the order of the peer, self, and staff assessment steps, edX recommends that you include them in this order.

Note

If you include a learner training step, you must also include a peer assessment step. The learner training step must come before peer or self assessment steps.

If you include both peer and self assessment steps, edX recommends that you place the peer assessment before the self assessment.

If you include a staff assessment step, it should be the final step in the assignment.

To add steps to the open response assignment, complete these actions.

  1. In the ORA component editor, select the Settings tab.

  2. Scroll below the Top Responses field.

  3. Locate the following headings.

    • Step: Learner Training
    • Step: Peer Assessment
    • Step: Self Assessment
    • Step: Staff Assessment

    Select the check boxes for the steps that you want the assignment to include.

  4. (optional) To change the order of the steps, drag the steps into the order that you want.

10.30.2.6. Step 6. Specify Step Settings

After you select the steps that you want, you can specify settings for those steps.

Note

If you make changes to a step, and then clear the check box for that step, the step will no longer be part of the assignment and your changes will not be saved.

10.30.2.6.1. Learner Training

For the learner training step, you enter one or more example responses that you have created, then specify the expected option for each criterion in your rubric.

Note

You must enter your complete rubric on the Rubric tab before you can select options for the learner training responses. If you later change one of your criteria or any of its options, you must also update the learner training step.

To add and score learner training responses, follow these steps.

  1. Under Step: Learner Training, locate the first Scored Response section.
  2. In the Response field, enter the text of your example response.
  3. Under Response Score, for each criterion, select the option that you want.

10.30.2.6.2. Peer Assessment

For the peer assessment step, you specify the number of responses that each learner must grade, the number of learners who must grade each response, and start and due dates. All fields are required.

To specify peer assessment settings, follow these steps.

  1. Locate the Step: Peer Assessment heading.
  2. Next to Must Grade, enter the number of responses that each learner must grade.
  3. Next to Graded By, enter the number of learners that must grade each response.
  4. Next to Start Date and Start Time, enter the date and time when learners can begin assessing their peers’ responses.
  5. Next to Due Date and Due Time, enter the date and time by which all peer assessments must be completed.

Note

The times that you set are in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). To verify that you have specified the times that you intend, use a time zone converter such as Time and Date Time Zone Converter.

For more information about peer assessment steps, see Peer Assessment Step.

10.30.2.6.3. Self Assessment

For the self assessment step, you specify when the step starts and ends.

  1. Locate the Step: Self Assessment heading.
  2. Next to Start Date and Start Time, enter the date and time when learners can begin assessing their peers’ responses.
  3. Next to Due Date and Due Time, enter the date and time by which all peer assessments must be complete.

Note

The times that you set, and the times that learners see, use Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). You might want to verify that you have specified the times that you intend by using a time zone converter such as Time and Date Time Zone Converter.

10.30.2.6.4. Staff Assessment

For the staff assessment step, there are no additional settings to specify after you have selected the step for inclusion in the assignment.

10.30.2.7. Step 7. Test the Assignment

To test your ORA assignment, you can set up the assignment in your course, set the section or subsection date in the future, publish the unit, and ask one or more beta testers to submit responses and grade each other. The beta testers can then let you know if they found the question and the rubric easy to understand or if they had any problems with the assignment.

For more information about beta testing, see Beta Testing a Course.