Short Answer/Essay: Standard Question Type


Use the Short Answer/Essay question type to ask questions requiring students to provide a written response. Students can also include copy and paste images, links, and other supporting materials in their responses.

Use the links below to jump to a specific area of the article:

Question Setup

Write your question or writing prompt in the Question Setup field.


The Rich Text Editor appears when your click your cursor into the Question Setup field. Hover your mouse over the individual icons to view the tooltip explaining the function of each button.


Enable rich text options in the Formatting Options for Students areaBy default, students are permitted to include bolded, italicized, underlined, or bulleted text in their responses.


Add additional options by clicking +Add and selecting from the drop-down menu.



Remove a rich text option by clicking the x next to it.


Enter a word limit for student responses in the Maximum length (words) field and determine whether to allow submissions over the word limit or not.


Enter instructions into the Placeholder text for students to display a text string that will be the default in the answer box when the student sees the question.  For example, "Type your answer here."


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Scoring Instructions

If you are creating a Short Answer/Essay question in AMP, you will have access to a Scoring Instructions field. An instructor will be able to access this field while they are scoring a student’s submission.

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Align Learning Objectives or Rubrics

Click Learning Objectives to open the Learning Objectives browser window.


Click Browse/Search to find and add specific objectives.

SAE_Learn_Obj_-_Browse.jpg  SAE_Learn_Obj_-_Search.jpg

Click Manage for objectives already aligned to the question.


Click Confirm to save the learning objectives.

Click Align Rubric to create a new rubric, or to add one from your Resources.


Once a rubric has been aligned, you can click the rubric icon (four squares) to view the preview rubric, or click the X to remove the rubric from the question.

Check the Show to students box to display the rubric to students when they are taking the test.


Note: If you have set the rubric to Show to students, the rubric does not display in the preview of the question. However, students are able to view the rubric during the assessment.

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Preview and Edit Question

To see how the question will appear to a student taking it in an assessment, click Preview Question.


To exit the preview screen and return to the question editor, click Edit Question.


Once you are finished editing the question, click Save.


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Video Walkthrough

Review this video for guidance on the basics of creating Short Answer/Essay questions.

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  • Avatar
    Mrs. Cook

    What about special characters in other languages, like Spanish? How can my students put accent marks áéíóú or ¡¿ or ñ on their answers?

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  • Avatar
    Charles Black

    Hi Mrs. Cook,

    Thank you for sharing your question!

    Currently, special character input is only available in Test/Quizzes at the moment. However, our team is currently working to bring many of the features from Test/Quizzes to Assessments. We would love your help! Please add an upvote and optional comment on this Feature Idea to encourage and support adding this functionality to Schoology in the future. Our team takes this feedback into account as we build out our Product Roadmap

    Thanks again for your question and thanks in advance for your support for this feature.

    - Charles, Schoology Team

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