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Learner II

Fill in Multiple Blanks with a list of possible answers

Okay. I think the answer to this is "no," but maybe there's some clever-clogs out there who knows a good way to do this. 

Say I want to create a fill-in-multiple-blanks question for which there are six answer blanks, and I want people to answer with all six terms, without regard to order. So, something like this: 

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What are Aristotle's six elements of tragic poetry?

_______________

_______________

_______________

_______________

_______________

_______________

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Is there a way to construct this sort of question *without* using a term bank/dropdown list with distractors, or anything like that? I want the student to recall each of these elements on their own, and to list each element only once. 

I know that I *could* create this with all six answers as valid for each slot, but then someone could enter the same answer for all six and get full credit. I want the available correct answers to be eliminated from the list of correct answers as they're checked against the set. 

The only other way I can think to do this is as an essay response box. 

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I use the essay response box for all free response questions, because there are too many permutations of what a student might type for fill-in-the-blank to reliably autograde.  You have explained perfectly why fill-in-the-blank might grade incorrectly even when they type exactly the options you expected.  Even the term bank with distractors would cause a problem in this case, because the correct answers would only be correct in one of the blanks.  They could give you all the correct answers in a different order and be autograded as incorrect.  You could safely use multiple drop downs with distractors and only one correct option in each drop down.  If you do not want the clue of displaying the correct answer as an option, I think you need to stick to the essay question.

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I love fill-in-the-blank for free-response options. It speeds up my grading for these questions. I scan through all of the responses, but I also tell students that they need to review their responses and let me know if they think they got the answer right, but it was graded wrong because of a minor error with the robot grader. This makes students thoughtfully look back at their answers and ask questions about why their answers might be right or wrong. 

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Well, in that case you could assign one correct answer to each blank, and accept that most submissions will need to have the grade updated.  You might also start an idea conversation about a variation on multiple fill in the blanks: unordered list. 

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I mean, I could, but that would send the message to students that the order was somehow important--at least until I go through and manually adjust their scores--even when it wasn't. And the answers would still display as incorrect, even after I adjust the scores. FiB works great for a lot of things, but if something is marked wrong, I want it to be for a reason that is legit, even if not particularly substantive. Spelling is legit, though not always critical; order of answers when order is unimportant is not legit. 

I don't usually make idea posts until I've explored whether or not something is possible, but that will be my next step, after this conversation runs its course. 

Still hoping someone might have some alternate ideas, besides a straight essay response. 

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