This lesson provides step-by-step guidance on creating a Graphing Item using NEW Item Bank. This item type allows for students to directly interact with a Graph, by plotting objects like points and lines, and in some cases also labeling them. This question is automatically scored.
Where to Start
- Select Assessments.
- Select Browse Item Bank NEW.
Create a New Item
- Select Create Item at the top right hand side of the screen.
- Use the drop down menu to select Graphing as the item type.
- Enter the Item Stem. The stem typically tells the student what to plot on the graph (i.e the line corresponding to a particular equation).
- To insert a line break in the Stem, use shift-return (or shift-enter, depending on the keyboard).
- Use the dropdown to select a Grid Configuration from several predefined configurations.
Customize Grid Setup (Optional):
- The initial appearance will depend on which grid configuration is selected in Step 6.
- Include axes and labels: Most Graphing items involve a coordinate grid with numeric labels along the x and y-axes. It is also possible, however, to create a graph with no visible axes or numeric labels. To do this, users can either choose the No Visible Axes option from the Grid Configuration menu (step 6), or use the slider to set Include axes and labels to false in the customization panel, where the option to change the number of gridlines appears.
- Constrain to standard coordinate grid (Optional - skip if one of the predefined grid configurations meets the item needs - circles and vectors are not recommended): Most Graphing items other than data graph questions use a standard coordinate grid, meaning that the two axes are kept in sync with one another. If turned off, users can set up the x-and y-axes separately.
- Min/Max: These values for each axis define the range, in graph units, that it will encompass. To ensure that an axis and its numeric labels will be visible, the min value should be no higher than zero, and the max value should be no less than 0; otherwise the axis may be “off screen” and therefore not visible.
- Labels: These are displayed to the right of the x-axis, and above the y-axis. Although “x” and “y” are the most common labels, other variables can be substituted (e.g. using "t" for time and "d" for distance). These labels must be brief (no more than 5 characters), but it is possible to use function notation, e.g. to label the y-axis as “f(x)”. If longer labels are desired, use side labels rather than axis labels (see Step 9).
Grid Interval: Spacing between grid lines must be between about 10 pixels and about 100 pixels, and the available Grid Interval values will reflect this; the precise limits depend upon the min and max values for the axis, as well as the width or height of the graph.
- Spacing must be between about 10 pixels and about 100 pixels, and limits grid interval values accordingly; the precise limits depend upon the min and max values for the axis, and well as the width or height of the graph. It is generally best not to space grid lines as closely as the closest permitted spacing; having grid lines that close together makes precise plotting difficult.
Label Interval: The distance, in graph units, between grid line numeric labels. Select the minus or plus to increase or decrease value.
- Must be a multiple of grid interval, unless it is a value of 0, in which case grid line numeric labels will not be applied. Whenever the label interval is greater than the grid interval, labeled grid lines will be rendered using a darker line than unlabeled grid lines, making them easier to follow.
- Ensure that numeric labels are legible; if they are too close or overlapping, increase the label interval until appropriate spacing is established.
- Dimensions (px): Set graph dimensions, in pixels, for the graph as a whole. Guides above and to the right of the graph show 100 pixel increments, to facilitate setting the desired size. This refers to the baseline size at standard browser zoom; when a Graphing item is delivered to a student, the actual size may be different due to such factors as the browser zoom setting and the device’s graphics settings. This is another reason to consider erring on the side of caution in deciding how closely to space grid lines.
Add Background Shapes to Graph (optional):
- Select the arrow to see the background shapes that can be added to the graph.
- Select the tool for the desired object, and then select the appropriate point or points in the graph to plot it.
Add Title and Labels (optional):
- To add a title for the graph as a whole, or labels for any of the sides (left, top, right, or bottom), select “Click here to add a _____”, and enter the desired title or label. These features are typically used when creating a data graph question, although they are also available for regular coordinate grid questions if desired.
- Define Tool Set: Under the heading “Graphing Tools”, select the tool names to hide or display them for the item. When a tool is turned on, it will appear here with a gray background, and will also be added to the graph below. Initially, the Point tool will be displayed and all the other tools will be hidden. If making multiple tools available, use the dropdown menu to determine which will be selected by default.
Define the Correct Answer: Select the tool for the object to add to the correct answer; the selected tool will appear with a red outline. Then select within the graph to create the object.
- Point tool - Creates a point with every selection.
- Polygon tool - Creates a point with every selection.
- Line tool - Select any two points in the graph to create a line.
- Vector tool - The first selection will be the initial point and the second will be the terminal point.
- Sine tool - The first selection will be a midpoint, and the second click will be the next minimum or maximum point. With the
- Circle tool - The first selection will be the center point and the second will be a point on the circumference.
- Parabola tool - The first selection will be the vertex and the second will be another point on the parabola.
- Ray tool - The first selection will be the end point and the second will be another point on the ray.
- Segment tool - The first selection will be one endpoint and the second will be the other.
- Polygon tool - Each point selection will define a vertex; to complete a polygon, the last selection must be in the same position as the first.
- Label tool - Functions differently from any of the other tools. When the Label tool is selected, users can select any other graph object (other than a label) to label it. A label can be applied to either an object as a whole, or to one of the points that are used to define the object. For example, a segment could be labeled as AB, or its endpoints could be labeled as A and B. If users decide to create a correct answer that includes labels, make sure that it is sufficiently clear where the label is supposed to be applied. To avoid the possibility of confusion, consider limiting the use of labels in correct answers to Point objects..
- Add Alternate (optional): Select if there are multiple possible correct answers. An additional graph generates allowing for the new points to be plotted.
All graph objects are defined using particular points, which can only be plotted where grid lines intersect. It is important to understand, though, that correctness is determined by the mathematical properties of the graph object, not the specific points used to plot it.
For instance, to plot the line x=y, users would select the line tool and then select any two points along it, such as (0, 0) and (1, 1). A response that plots that same line using completely different points (for instance, (-8, -8) and (3, 3)) will be recognized as correct, while a line that uses one of the same points but is not the same line (e.g., (0, 0) and (2, 1) will be recognized as incorrect. (For point objects, this distinction is irrelevant, since every point object is defined by a single unique point.)
It's possible to include background shapes on a graph. These behave differently from student-plotted graph objects. Students can see them, but cannot move or otherwise interact with them, and they are not a factor in scoring. In the student view, background shapes appear in gray with gray points, while student-plotted objects appear in purple with red points.
When defining the correct answer on a graph, it's recommended to avoid positioning a standalone Point (created with the Point tool) at the same location as a point used to create another graph object, such as a Line or Circle, in order to avoid confusion for both students and those reviewing student responses. For instance, if the correct answer includes a segment connecting the points (2, 2) and (3, 3), a standalone Point at either of those positions would not be recommended.
- To link Standard(s) to the item, select the Three Pages icon.
- To link a Passage to the item, select the Book icon.
- To add Tags to the item, select the Tag icon.
- Additional Settings are available to edit per item such as:
- Include Arrows (left, right, up, or down): On Graphing items with visible axes, the axes can be configured to include or not include arrows: left and right arrows on the ends of the x-axis, and up and down arrows on the ends of the y-axis. Each can be separately configured. This occurs automatically when one of the predefined grid configurations is selected, or can be done manually in the Settings panel.
- Teacher Instructions
Users must link at least 1 standard when creating an item. If attempting to publish an item without standards, an error message will appear asking for standards to be aligned before publishing again.
- Select Item Preview.
- Use the dropdown to preview the item from a Student or Instructor role.
- Interact with the graph by plotting points or other objects.
- Use the slider to Check Answers to verify the answer key. Correct graph objects will be shown in green, and incorrect graph objects in orange. If an incorrect answer has been entered, select “Show correct” to display the correct answer.
The Show Correct Answer feature only displays the primary correct answer. If any alternate correct answers have been defined, they will be recognized as correct in Check Answer mode, but will not be displayed in Show Correct mode.
- When the item is completed, select Done.
- Select Publish, to make the item available to use in an assessment.
- Select Save Draft, to save the item if it is not ready to be published.
- Select Discard, to delete the item.
Once items are Published, users can Lock, Edit, or Delete the item.
Now that you have created an Drawing Response item, learn about Creating a NEW Item Bank Assessment.