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Breaking Assessments Into Sections

This article explains how to initialize Items API with one or more sections.
 

When initializing Items API with an array of Items or an activity_template_id, the whole Activity can be considered one section. The assessment workflow and any configuration will apply to the whole Activity.

Items API offers a way to group Items within an Activity via the sections configuration, thus enabling a multi-assessment workflow experience. Each section can be regarded as a "mini assessment" with localized customization.

The sections attribute is an array of objects containing two attributes, items and config that allow configuration of each section within the initialization request.

Attributes Types Description
items string | object This works exactly like items in a normal Activity. Each Item can be set by passing an Item reference (string), or an Item object. See examples of each further below.
config object

You can override initial configuration by passing the following attributes:

  • regions_overrides allowing assessments to be broken up into sections for delivery, with some sections having specific tools (e.g. calculator) and others not.
  • time setup different time configuration for each section.
    • Once we set up the time in any section, the global time configuration will be ignored.
    • If you set up limit_type: "hard" in the section's time, once the time in that section is expired, a popup will appear to ask the user to navigate to a new section. If it's the last section, a submission popup will appear instead.
    • If you set up a time config without a max_time in a section. That section time is considered unlimited.
  • shuffle_items set to true to shuffle the order of the Items in that section.
    • Setting up shuffle_items in a section will override the global shuffle_items configuration of the whole assessment.
    • If you have the global shuffle_items config set to true, but have shuffle_items set to false in any section, that section's Items will not be shuffled.
Attributes Types Description
allow_backward_navigation boolean

This attribute if set to true, allows users to navigate backwards to previous sections. By default a user cannot navigate to a previous section once they progress to the next section.

Default: false

display_total_item_count boolean

This allows the full Activity Item count to display for each section. By default the total Items for each section is displayed as the sum of that section and all previous sections. e.g. With an assessment configured as 3 sections of 5 Items, in section one the counter will display x of 5 Items, in section two it will display x of 10, section 3 is x of 15. Setting this attribute true will then display x of 15 Items in all sections.

Default: false

reset_itemcount_per_section boolean

This attribute, when set as true will reset the Item count and progress in assessments when users navigate to a different section, so that the UI will only reflect the number of Items within the current section, rather than all sections.

Note that this attribute will be ignored if allow_backward_navigation or display_total_item_count is set to true.

Default: false

This example shows how to initialize Items API with sections using references.

"request": {
"activity_id": "itemsassessdemo",
"name": "Section Demo",
"rendering_type": "assess",
"type": "submit_practice",
"session_id": "60099-1516609454-8888-8864fd",
"user_id": "student1",
"config": {
"configuration": {
"section_options": {
"allow_backward_navigation": true
}
}
},
"sections": [
{
"items": [
"Demo3",
"Demo4"
],
"config": {
"title": "Vocabulary section",
"subtitle": "Timer per section - Section 1 (hard limit)",
"region_overrides": {
"top-right.timer_element": false
},
"time": {
"max_time": 10,
"limit_type": "hard",
"countdown_option": false,
"countdown": 10
},
"configuration": {
"shuffle_items": true
}
}
},
{
"items": [
"Demo6",
"Demo7",
"Demo8"
],
"config": {
"title": "Vocabulary section",
"subtitle": "Timer per section - Section 2 (soft limit)",
"time": {
"max_time": 10,
"limit_type": "soft",
"countdown_option": true,
"countdown": 10
},
"configuration": {
"shuffle_items": false
}
}
}
],
...
}

This example shows how to initialize Items API with sections using objects.

"request": {
"activity_id": "itemsassessdemo",
"name": "Section Demo",
"rendering_type": "assess",
"type": "submit_practice",
"session_id": "60099-1516609454-8888-8864fd",
"user_id": "student1",
"sections": [
{
"items": [
{
"id": "question-demoscience1",
"reference": "question-demoscience1"
},
{
"id": "question-demoscience2",
"reference": "question-demoscience2"
}
],
"config": {
"subtitle": "Vocabulary section"
}
},
{
"items": [
{
"id": "question-demowork1",
"reference": "question-demowork1"
},
{
"id": "question-demowork2",
"reference": "question-demowork2"
},
{
"id": "question-demowork3",
"reference": "question-demowork3"
}
],
"config": {
"subtitle": "Grammar section"
}
}
],
...
}

Note, if you want to render a session that uses sections in the review state of Items API, you need to consider 2 configuration options:

  • config.configuration.decouple_submit_from_review
  • config.configuration.section_options.allow_backward_navigation

Without these options, learners will not be able to navigate between sections in the review state.

"request": {
  "activity_id": "itemsassessdemo",
  "name": "Section Demo",
  "rendering_type": "assess",
  "state": "review",
  "type": "submit_practice",
  "session_id": "60099-1516609454-8888-8864fd",
  "user_id": "student1",
  "config": {
    "configuration": {
      "decouple_submit_from_review": true,
      "section_options": {
        "allow_backward_navigation": true
      }
    }
  },
  "sections": [
    {
      "items": [
        "question-demoscience1",
        "question-demoscience2"
      ],
      "config": {
        "subtitle": "Vocabulary section"
      }
    },
    {
      "items": [
        "question-demowork1",
        "question-demowork2",
        "question-demowork3"
      ],
      "config": {
        "subtitle": "Grammar section"
      }
    }
  ]
}

A demo of a multi-section assessment can be found in the sections demo.

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