Authors can create plotting tasks that let learners add points, lines, and shapes on a coordinate grid.

Written by Caitlin Foran
Updated over a week ago

# Overview of the plotting task

In the plotting task, learners can add points, lines, and shapes on a coordinate grid. If you want to automark the task, you can specify what points, lines, or shapes you expect where. Or, you can leave it completely open.

See the variety of graph plotting tools below:

 Point Line Ray Segment Vector Circle Parabola Sine Polygons

# When to use a plotting task

The plotting task is useful for labelling images where you want points, lines or shapes rather than labels. Let’s take a look at a few examples.

## Example 1: Labelling a sine wave

In this example we used the option to add a background graph for learners to draw on to ask learners to label parts of a sine graph of a wavelength.

## Example 2: Marking up a background image

In this next example learners need to mark up a background image to show how they would solve the problem.

The Plotting task can also be used to quickly set up a quadrant style task as you’ll see in the example below.

## Example 4: Learners draw their own graphs

In this last example, we’ve only included the grid so learners can make their own graphs!

# How to create a plotting task

All tasks load with an example task to give an idea of what each field is for. To add your own task details, you can type over the existing content in the fields or select Clear task content, to start completely fresh.

## Standard fields

At the top:

• Question: Where you set the main question/task which tells learners what to answer or do.

And at the bottom:

• Hint: Add a hint to give pointers or clues to give learners extra guidance to complete the task. Learners can choose to See hint so it allows them to get this help “on demand”.

• Feedback: Add feedback to give learners an automated response when they submit the task. See Writing feedback for tasks for pointers and ideas.

In between the top and bottom standard fields we have the following areas and fields.

## How to set the graph parameters

Under Graph parameters, you can set the graph learners will draw on using X/Y min/max.

## How to set the buttons and plotting tools

Then you can define plotting tools available to learners. In the Tools section you can add various buttons or even groups of buttons to the toolbar and create the toolbar specified for your question.

Add button: Adds a single button to the toolbar (in image below: move, point, line).

Add group: Adds a group of tools into one drop down menu in the toolbar (in image below: segment)

To remove a button, use the trash can icon beside it. Alternatively, you can replace the unwanted tool by selecting a new tool from the dropdown.

Default tool defines a plotting tool that will be enabled when the question is loaded.

## Further graph options

Under Layout, you will see these further options for the graph and drawing.

• Width/height (px): Sets the width/height of the graph.

• Margin (px): Adds a margin around the graph. You might choose to add this for white space or to add space for any left/right/top/bottom labels you have included in Annotation.

• Snap to: Defines how point will snapped to the nearest intersect on the graph. Possible values are: "grid", "ticks" or a numeric value, with "grid" being the default. These attributes should be entered manually.

• Grid Snaps points to the nearest intersection of grid lines.

• Tick: Snaps points to the nearest intersection between axis tick marks. For example, if ticks distance is 2 then a point can only be plotted on the graph at (0,2),(0,4),(-2,0), (2,2) (-2,-4) etc.

• A numeric value restricts points to be plotted uniformly at positions potentially different than the intersection of gridlines or tick marks. For example, if Snap to is set to 4, a point will snap to the intersection of every 4 cells on X and Y axis: (0,0), (0,4), (4,-4), (4,0), (16,4) etc.

• If no value is set then the points will not snap to any intersection point. This is not advised for auto-scoring as it is difficult for the learner to select the same exact point as the author.

• X/Y distance: Sets the grid lines for each axis

• Tick distance: Defines the distance of each tick on the graph for each axis.

• Hide ticks: Defines whether or not to render ticks of each point on the X and Y axis of the graph.

• Draw Labels: Shows the numbers under each tick on the X and Y Axis.

• Show min/max arrow: Displays an arrow at the start/end of the axis.

• Comma in label: Insert commas to separate thousands in a label.

• Show axis label: Enables a label next to the axis. When turned on the label can be defined in the field below.

## How to set the correct answer(s)

Now you can use the tools to define the correct points, lines, or shapes to allow the task to be automarked.

As seen in the examples, you can also choose to not set a correct answer. In which case, the task will not be automarked and the task will be allocated the complete/incomplete with feedback marking template to allow facilitators to manually mark the task (if desired).

## How to add a background shape or image

You can also set a background image or add background shapes that learners can plot on top of.

When you upload an image the following options can be specified:

• X - Position on the X Axis for image centre. 0 = image centre.

• Y - Position on the Y Axis for image centre. 0 = image centre.

• Width (%): Width of Image as a % of the canvas.

• Height (%): Height of Image as a % of the canvas.

• Opacity (%): % of image transparency.

You can also add background shapes onto the image background using any of our drawing tools.

Note: Learners cannot interact with any of the background shapes.

### Other options

You can also specify additional options:

• Ignore repeated shapes: Allows learners to be marked correct if they have drawn the same point/line/shape on top of one another.

• Display hover on position: Displays the coordinates of a point to be when a learner hovers over a point or drags it on the grid.

• Font size: Controls the size of the font for this question. Options are: "small"(11px), "normal"(14px), "large"(17px), "extra large"(20px) and "huge"(24px).

# Plotting accessibility

People using only a keyboard and/or using a screen reader can interact with our plotting tasks.

People using only a keyboard can tab to the menu and navigate the menu items using arrow keys. Options in the menu can be selected with either Spacebar or Enter.

Tab will take them to the graph plane where they can navigate the grid using arrow keys. Points can be plotted with Spacebar or Enter. Pressing Shift-Tab will take the learner back to the menu to select further options.

Note: at this stage, the label tool is unavailable for keyboard-only users.