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How do I validate free text answers of students?
How do I validate free text answers of students?

Classtime provides a fast solution to validate free text answers of your students.

Valentin Ruest avatar
Written by Valentin Ruest
Updated over a week ago

Students can provide free text answers that might require your attention to validate.

You can recognize unvalidated answers by the yellow eye icon. To review an unvalidated answer, you can either click on the yellow eye to access that specific student's answer or click on the question icon:

There are three ways that answers can be validated:

  1. Solution Explanation: The student's answer perfectly matches the solution description as defined in the question editor.

  2. Auto-validation (BETA): You can auto-validate all answers with one click if you agree with our system's prediction.

  3. Manual validation: You can go through every answer and decide if it is correct or not. To save you time, all identical answers are automatically bundled so that you can validate them in bulk.

1. Solution Explanation

In your question editor, you can define a solution explanation. If the student's answer perfectly matches the solution explanation (case-sensitive), it will automatically validate it for you.

2. Auto-validation (BETA)

Auto-validation (currently in a BETA test phase) allows you to validate all answers with the click of a single button. The auto-validation suggestion is marked in blue.

Our system tries to predict if any given student answer should be validated as correct or incorrect. It uses natural language models, previous validation data, solution explanations, and other students' answers to sharpen its prediction.

Good to know: as you manually validate a few answers or new student answers come in, the prediction might get updated. In this case, a button "Update AI suggestions" will appear, allowing you to update the prediction.

To see how our Auto-Validation works in action, watch our short 2-min video here:

Since the prediction model is probabilistic, there is always a chance of incorrect predictions that need to be manually corrected. Therefore, we suggest briefly analyzing the auto-validation predictions (in blue) and if you agree, applying the validation by confirming the button. You can always overwrite an auto-validated answer (see Manual Validation).

Important: if the prediction accuracy is too low (e.g. when the text is too long or the data is not conclusive), the auto-validation will be automatically disabled. You will need to manually validate all student answers.

3. Manual validation

Every answer can be manually validated by choosing either the "Correct" or "Not Correct" buttons. You can also overwrite auto-validated answers.

Classtime will automatically combine all identical answers in one block, allowing you to save more time by bulk-validating answers (see "Answered by 9 students" below).

Manual validation of free text answers

Good to know: Classtime will remember your manual validations for every answer. If you reuse the same Question without editing it in any way, Classtime will automatically validate all future identical answers for you - making it smarter with every use, and saving you even more time!

Next: Learn how to award partial points here.

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