Offline Question Authoring

See sample text file (select all, copy and paste it into a practice site)


  1. Type your questions in a text editor, following the below format specifications.

    1. Multiple-Choice (Single Answer)
    2. Multiple-Choice (Multiple Answer)
    3. True / False
    4. Fill-in-the-Blank
    5. Essay
    6. Matching
    7. Inline Drop-Down Single Choice
    8. Ordering
    1. Survey – Multiple-Choice (Single Answer)
    2. Survey – Multiple-Choice (Multiple Answer)
    3. Survey – True / False
    4. Survey – Fill-in-the-Blank
    5. Survey – Essay / Short Answer
    6. Survey – Matching
    7. Survey – Inline Drop-Down Single Choice
    8. Survey – Ordering
  2. Select all and copy your questions (CTRL + C or Apple Key + C on the Mac).

  3. Go to your site’s Question Pools >> Import >> Import from Paste. Place your cursor inside the text box and paste your questions (CTRL + V or Apple Key + V on the Mac)

  4. Click on OK.

A new pool will be created and the questions will be imported into it.


Format Rules & Guidelines

Introduction: The paste and import functionality is PLAIN text only. Formatting or Word styles will NOT be retained when you paste your questions into the text box. It’s a plain browser text box. If you author with Word, be sure to change your Word settings to disable curly quotes or curly apostrophes, as they will not be understood nor translated when pasted as plain text.

If you want to see what your questions will look in plain text, paste them into a plain text editor first (i.e. Notepad) or, better yet, work with a plain text editor when authoring your questions.

  1. Include the following three (optional) properties at the top of your questions to set the title, description, and the point value of each question of your new pool. 


    If no title is included, an “Untitled” pool is created. If no points are included, the importer will assign the value of zero (0) to the pool. Description is optional, too.

    The colon is required. A space may or may not follow the colon. Case insensitive.

  2. Separate each question with a blank line. Each question and its elements (i.e. answers, feedback, hint, etc.) must be a group, with no line breaks in between. A new, blank line signals the start of a new question.

  3. An asterisk (*) must precede correct choices, with no space between the asterisk (*) and the choice; if a space follows the asterisk (*), the question will be ignored by the importer.

    Note: A correct choice in multiple-choice is required or the question will be treated as a fill-in type.

  4. You must use numbers or letters for your answer choices – either one is supported (i.e. a. b. c. d. or A. B. C. D. or 1. 2. 3. 4.). Case insensitive. A period is required after the number or letter. You must add a space following the period and before the start of your choices.

    Note: Letters and numbers are not required in front of true / false. 

  5. Do not number your questions. The importer will strip out numbers (i.e. 1. 2. 3. etc.) if they are included. Numbered questions in randomized assessments would not be good. 

  6. Optional question elements include:

    Feedback: (or General Feedback:)
    Model Answer:

    The colon is required in hint, feedback, model answer, and questiontitle. Case insensitive.

    A space may or may not follow the colon. If a colon is not included, the line’s data is ignored by the importer.

    It does not matter in which order you list these elements. They must follow the answers.

    Once feedback, hint, model answer, and survey are listed, no more choices are taken. 

    If the word “Shuffle” is added at the end of a multiple-choice question (below the choices), the shuffle box is checked in the imported question. 

    If “Reason” is added at the end of a multiple-choice question, the Reason box is checked in the imported question and students will be asked to provide rationale for their answer. 

    If “QuestionTitle:” is added for a question, the ‘title’ field of the question will be populated with the information provided. 

  7. Fill-in questions may be textual or numeric. If numbers are included in the blanks, the importer will consider the fill-in-the-blank question numeric and mark it as such.

  8. The Fill-in question is imported with “case sensitive” and “any order” UNCHECKED!

  9. Essay questions are set to “Inline Submission” upon import.

  10. To distinguish the inline drop-down single choice question, enter “dropdown” right after the choices, in a separate line.

  11. To distinguish the ordering question type, enter ‘ordering’ in a separate line.

  12. Adding the word ‘Survey’ at the very end of a question makes it a survey question.

    1. Add one asterisk (*) in front of one of the choices of a question to import it as a single multiple-choice survey question.

    2. Add an asterisk (*) in front of at least two choices of a question to mark it as a multiple-select multiple-choice survey type.


Formats Supported

The paste and import functionality of AT&S supports the following:

  • All question types of questions are supported. The only exception is “Task” questions; they are not supported. Use the essay question instead.

  • The export file format of Respondus is supported – all question types. The only exception is the matching question with uneven pairs; it is not supported.

    Note: When working with Respondus export files, you must remove blank lines from within questions. For example, Respondus separates general feedback from the question body and the matches from the choices with an extra blank line. You must eliminate all extraneous lines within a question. Keep each question as one group. A new line signifies the start of a new question!


Sample Questions

1. Multiple-Choice (Single Correct Answer, 3 examples)

Which country has the airline KLM?
a. Canada
b. Germany
*c. The Netherlands
d. China
e. Italy
Feedback: This is not easy to figure out from the acronym alone.
Hint: This country is in Europe
QuestionTitle: Chapter 2 

Where would a “troglodyte” live?
*1. In a cave
2. Up a tree
3. Underwater

2. Multiple-Choice (Multiple-Select Answer, 2 examples)

What two letters are worth the most in a game of Scrabble?
1. A
2. K
*3. Q
4. M
*5. Z

Which are the three primary colors of light?
*A. Red
*B. Blue
*C. Green
D. Orange
E. Purple
hint: You can do a Google search
feedback: that’s right.

3. True / False (3 examples)

The initials for YMCA stand for Young Men’s Christian Association

President Richard Nixon gave the order to withdraw from Vietnam.
*1. True
2. False

The capital city of Morocco is Rabat.
*A. True
B. False

4. Fill-in-the-blank (5 examples)

After how many years of marriage would you celebrate your ruby anniversary? {40|forty}

What is the only sign of the zodiac not named after a living creature? {Libra}

The Nile River is {4000|4200} miles long.
Hint: Think high number
Feedback: It is definitely a surprising fact!

The Andes mountain range runs along the west coast of South America for over {3500|4500} miles.

After how many years of marriage would you celebrate your ruby anniversary?
a. 40
b. forty
General Feedback: good job

Note: The format of the last fill-in question above is based on Respondus.

5. Essay (2 examples)

What were the factors that motivated President Richard Nixon to give the order to withdraw from the Vietnam War?

Tell us where you expect to be 10 years from now.
Model answer: I’ll be the CEO of my own company

6. Matching (2 examples)

Match the capitals with the countries.
[Ottawa] 1. Canada
[Athens] 2. Greece
[Canberra] 3. Australia
[London] 4. England
[Beijing] 5. China
[Minsk] 6. Belarus

Match the capitals with the countries.
[A] 1. Canada
[B] 2. Greece
[C] 3. Australia
[D] 4. England
[E] 5. China
[F] 6. Belarus
A. Ottawa
B. Athens
C. Canberra
D. London
E. Beijing
F. Minsk

Note: The format of the second matching question above is based on Respondus.

7. Inline Drop-Down Single choice  (3 examples)

Which of these US states is the largest? {Texas|*Alaska|California} 

A school of exotic fish {*was|were} spotted in the warm reefs of Australia.

To declare a decimal that uses 32 bits of storage in Java, which of the following would you use? {decimal|double|*float}  
Hint: Remember what we discussed about single and double precision. 

8. Ordering (3 examples)

Order the four oceans in size, with the largest first.
1. Pacific
2. Indian
3. Atlantic
4. Arctic

Arrange the steps in the correct sequence.
a. Chock the wheels.
b. Raise the car.
c. Loosen the wheel nuts.
d. Remove the wheel nuts.
e. Replace the tire.
f. Return the wheel nuts.
g. Tighten the wheel nuts.
h. Lower the car.
Feedback:You may no longer need a mechanic!

List the first 5 presidents of the US in chronological order:
1. George Washington
2. John Adams
3. Thomas Jefferson
4. James Madison
5. James Monroe

Survey Questions

9. Survey – Multiple-Choice (Single Answer)

Rate the contents of this course.
*a. Excellent
b. Good
c. Average
d. Weak

10. Survey – Multiple-Choice (Multiple Answer)

Which of the following platforms do you work with? (Check all that apply)
*1. Unix
*2. Windows
3. Mac
4. PC
5. I don’t touch computers

11. Survey – True / False

Final exams ought to be abolished.
1. True
2. False

Education is the road to a better life.

12. Survey – Fill-in-the-Blank

What is your favorite means of communication? { }

Every Saturday afternoon, you can find me at { }, enjoying { }.

 13. Survey – Essay

What would you do differently in this course?

What was the highlight of this course for you?

14. Survey – Matching

Match the following subjects and your feelings toward each.
[Favorite] 1. Literature
[Enjoyable] 2. Geography
[Boring] 3. History
[Fun!] 4. Mathematics

15. Survey – Inline Drop-Down Single Choice

What time of the day are you able to get the most work done? {morning|afternoon|evening|night}

Which class format works best for you? {classroom|online|hybrid}

16. Survey – Ordering

Indicate your day of preference for weekly conference calls. Order by most-to-least preferred.
a. Friday
b. Sunday
c. Tuesday

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