How to Include an Answer Key
Answer keys help graders assess open-ended questions at scale
Hannah Walt avatar
Written by Hannah Walt
Updated over a week ago

In This Article


Why Use an Answer Key?

Questions with objective answers are easy to grade: answers are typically right or not, thus grading can be automated. But subjective questions such as free-response prompts require graders to interpret a learner's reasoning or performance. Interpretation is slow and painstaking and therefore hard to scale. Distributing the work to specified graders can helpโ€“โ€“many hands make light workโ€“โ€“but only if graders know what to look for when evaluating answers.

Enter the answer key!

Antique Golden Keys on Wooden Background

Answer keys give graders examples of correct answers to reference once a lesson has been submitted. Lesson creators can also give graders notes, tips, and guidance to help them provide consistent and reliable answers.


How to Include an Answer Key

Answer keys can be added to the following lesson builder elements:

  • Question Elements

    • Free Response

    • Upload Response

  • Practice Elements

    • Webcam Recording

    • Screen Recording

    • Audio Recording

    • Written Response

    • Email Composition

    • Email Reply

    • Chat Reply

    • Ticket Handling

    • Role Play

    • Zendesk Ticket Handling (if applicable)

๐Ÿ“ Note: Practice elements are included in all Pro + Coaching and Enterprise packages. To enable practice elements, contact your Account Manager or email Support at support@lessonly.com.

Each of the aforementioned elements includes two tabs: Question (or Practice) Details and Grading Resources.

๐Ÿ“ Note: In the Role Play element, the second tab reads Partner Resources rather than Grading Resources.

Under Practice Details, add the question or prompt you want learners to answer, then toggle the Grading Resources tab to reveal answer key magic! ๐Ÿช„

The Grading Resources tab is where you'll supply graders with a correct answer and notes to help them calibrate their assessment activities. These fields are optional and independent of one another (that is, you can add one or the other, or both). You can also add feedback criteria to help learners understand what constitutes a great answer.

Taken together, these resources can be used to author rubrics that establish performance expectations, define levels of achievement, and help graders fairly and accurately assess learners' work.


What Graders See

In the Grading Station, questions with an answer key will display as pictured below.

Graders can see in one convenient location the prompt learners followed, the answer they supplied, the correct answer, and notes to help graders make consistent judgments across different answers.

If a lesson includes recorded practice questions, uploaded recordings will be included as thumbnail images. These can be expanded, allowing graders to evaluate recordings without leaving the Grading Station.

๐Ÿ“ Note: If a question is marked as "Graded," the Correct Answer and Grading Resources tabs will be visible to anyone grading the assignment: admins, managers, specified graders, and custom roles with content and user permissions. Learners will not see these tabs.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why is this feature only available on free-response questions?

A. Lessonly's other question elements are automatically graded, eliminating the need for an answer key. The following question elements do not have a Grading Resources tab:

  • Multiple Choice

  • Multiple Select

  • Survey

  • Randomized Question

  • Knowledge Checks

  • Sorting

  • Matching

Q. My learners have completed free-response questions but graders don't see them in the grading station. What gives?

A. Free-response questions are not graded by default; submissions are only routed to the grading station when questions are set to be graded. Check the question element in your lesson builder and confirm that "Graded" has been checked, as pictured here.

Q. Some of my users completed non-graded content, but I want to assign them a grade. Can their responses be reset?

A. Yes! Please send a request to the Support team at support@lessonly.com.


Questions? Contact the Support team at support@lessonly.com

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