How do I use key words in Long Answer questions?

Keywords are a great way to show students what you're intending for them to write about in a long answer.

If your students include all or most of the keywords listed, this gives them a sense of accomplishment and lets them know they're on the right track. If they don't include the keywords listed, this helps to show them what to include to better revise their answer.

Being in a self-marked section, the keywords help students to gauge whether they've successfully completed the question and can move on, or if they need to reattempt. 

Adding Keywords

When you add a keyword to a long answer, this word will be highlighted when a student includes it in their own written answer:

example of a keyword from the student view

If a student does not include a keyword, it won't be highlighted:

example of when a keyword is not used in student view

You can add keywords to long answer questions when using a long answer question template, or when using a long answer component in the Content Editor

Adding keywords to a Long Answer question in the Content Editor

When adding a model answer to a long answer question component, keywords can be added by clicking the Add keyword button on the right.

add keyword button

They can also be added by highlighting text from the model answer and clicking the  + which appears above it.

+ button

Adding Synonyms to Keywords

After adding a keyword to a long answer question, synonyms can be added that are associated with that keyword.

synonyms option for keywords

In the long answer component, you can simply type synonyms in the given space. Alternatively, pasting a list of synonyms separated by commas into the keyword space will also work. This will make the first word the primary keyword and the rest synonyms. 

For example, if you pasted the list happy, joyful, ecstatic into the keyword box you would get this:

example of synonyms

Optional characters

Adding a * at the end of a word will denote optional characters. This applies to both Content Editor and template questions.

example of adding * to a word

For example, adding compute* as a keyword will also accept words such as computes, computed, computers, etc.

Contextualising Keywords

When a keyword requires specific context, brackets can be used. Put the brackets around the keyword you want highlighted. 

For example:

Including the keyword ((they)) worked will only highlight the 'they' before 'worked'.

example of contextualized keywords in the student view

Punctuation as Keywords

If you want to draw attention to punctuation as a keyword, simply add it onto whichever keyword it is attached to.

In the example below, this designer wants to draw attention to the comma after 'fed' and the full stop after 'better'. These are the keywords they have included:

punctuation as keywords example

Negative Keywords

If you want to draw attention to negative keywords, or keywords that are used incorrectly by students, put a - before the keyword. 

In the example below, the negative keyword is -go. The student has used the incorrect 'go' instead of 'went'. 

negative keywords example in the student view

Auto-marked Long Answers

Long answer components can be used in automatically marked sections.

long answer component

This is especially useful for proofreading type activities where the students may need to edit a pre-filled passage of text for spelling, punctuation, etc.

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