In some courses, you are asked to write essays in response to topics or to questions that do not have simple answers. These essay assignments are called open response assessments (ORA) because they have a flexible design and can include various assessment options, including staff, peer assessments, and self-assessments. In some assignments, you can also submit an image or other type of file.
The Steps in an Open Response Assessment
Open response assessments can have several possible steps, which appear in the order that you must complete them. Future steps are not available until you complete your current step. This topic describes all of the possible steps. The actual steps in your assignment depend on how your course team has designed the assignment.
Your Response. In this first step in an open response assessment, you submit your response to the assignment question.
Staff Grade. Members of the course team assess your response.
How Grading Is Done In Open Response Assessments
Grading for every type of assessment in an ORA assignment is done by comparing each response against the same set of guidelines, called a rubric. Every open response assessment has a rubric provided by the course team.
A rubric consists of several criteria and a set of options for each criterion.
The parts of the rubric in the image below are labeled as follows.
Criteria. Each criterion describes characteristics that a response should have, such as concepts that a response should cover, or the amount of supporting information that a response must include.
Options. Each criterion has options that describe how well each response satisfies the criterion. The options are usually a range of ratings, for example, “Fair”, “Good”, or “Excellent”, with details to help you decide the rating.
When you assess a response, you evaluate the response, and for each criterion, select the option that best describes how well the response met that criterion.
Completing an Open Response Assessment
An open response assessment’s steps are arranged in the order that you must complete them.
At any time during an assessment, you can see your progress at the bottom of the page under Your Grade. A message indicates the steps that must still be completed before you can receive your final grade for the assignment.
Submit Your Response
To submit your response to an open-response assessment question, follow these steps.
Read each question carefully. Some course teams include important information in the question, such as how long a response must be, or specific topics that your response must cover.
NOTE: The total word count for your response cannot be more than 10,000 words (approximately the equivalent of 20 pages of 8.5x11 inch paper, with single-spaced text).
For each question, enter your response into the field under Your Response.
NOTE: In some assignments, you can submit images or other types of files along with or instead of a written response. If you can upload files in your assignment, Browse and Upload your files options are available below the response field.
When you have finished answering all of the questions, select Submit your response and move to the next step. If you need more time, you can select Save Your Progress to save a draft of your responses, and then come back and submit them later.
Submit a File with Your Response
If your assignment requires or allows you to submit images or other types of files, you see two buttons below the response field: Choose Files on one side of the page, and Upload Files on the other side of the page.
The cumulative size of the files that you upload must be less than 500 MB.
Image files can be in .jpg, .gif, or .png format.
To upload files in your response, follow these steps.
Below the response field, select Choose Files.
In the dialog box that opens, select the file that you want to upload, and then select Open. A preview image of each file is visible.
In the boxes next to each preview image, enter a written description of the image. This step is required to help learners who cannot see or access the image understand and evaluate your response.
Across from the Choose Files button, select Upload files.
You can replace the files that you uploaded with different files until you submit your response. To replace your uploaded files, repeat steps 1-3.
View Your Submitted Response
You can view your own response at any time after you submit it.
Select the Your Response heading in the assignment to expand the section.
Your response appears, along with the status of the response, and information about additional steps you have to complete before you receive your grade.
In most assignments, a staff assessment step is included for a member of the course team to grade your responses. You do not need to take any action for this step. The status of the Staff Grade step changes to Complete when a member of the course team has completed grading your response.
Receive Your Score and Provide Feedback
You receive your score for an open response assessment when you have completed the following steps.
Submitted your response to the question.
Received a staff assessment.
You receive your final grade when a member of the course team has graded your response.
If the course team deems a response that you have submitted to be inappropriate, they can cancel that response and remove it from staff grading. In the open response assessment, you see an indicator that your submission was canceled, with the date and time of the cancellation, and a comment by the course team member about the reason. The course team might allow you to submit a replacement response for the canceled one, or they might not. If they do not allow you to submit a replacement response, your grade is zero for the assignment.
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