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Allow students to drag labels to appropriate 'placeholders'.


This question type is good at eliciting 'what' knowledge. The placeholders are the 'where' information and the question is asking the student what is at each location. Contrast this with the Image Hotspot question type.

Fit Criterion

  • Image types supported include: GIF, PNG and JPEG.


Staff Editing

  • Placeholder settings to include:
    • Background colour
    • Line colour
    • Text colour
    • Font size
    • Line thickness
  • Eraser to delete placeholders
  • Ability to include more labels than distractors (i.e. ability to have distractors)
  • Ability to draw additional lines:
    • Plain line
    • Line with dot at end
    • Line with arrow at end
  • Choice of label modes:
    • Single use - once label is moved from sidebar to a placeholder it stays
    • Multiple use - once a label is moved another one appears - so you can drag two eyes, for example onto a image of a face
  • Choice of label styles:
    • Dragable labels
    • Dropdown menu placeholders

Student Answering

  • Student can drag a label to a placeholder.
  • Student can drag a label from a placeholder back to the sidebar (i.e. set answer back to unanswered).
  • If a label is dragged to a non-placeholder area of the image it will ping back to the sidebar.
  • If a label is dragged onto a placeholder that already contains a label, the bottom label pings back to the sidebar.
  • When label is near the placeholder and student releases with the mouse it snaps into place.


Two basic marking methods are possible:

Mark per OptionThe question is marked out of the number of placeholders.
Mark per QuestionAll placeholders have to be correctly answered for the mark

In either marking method academic staff should be able to specify the number of marks to award if correct and the number (possibly negative) if wrong. Marks correct should range from 1 to 20 and marks incorrect from 0 to -10 with the addition of -0.25 and -0.5.


Feedback includes:

  • Tick/cross per placeholder to indicate correct answers.
  • Student can roll the mouse over incorrect placeholders and the text label will change to the correct answer.
  • Student mark out of possible number.
  • Textual feedback is available for the question as a whole.
  • If standard setting has been used this should be displayed
  • List of learning objectives that the question is linked to

Limited Save

After a question has locked it should only be possible to change the following aspects:

  • Number of marks available.
  • Status - only 'Normal' or 'Retired' (not 'Incomplete', 'Experimental' or 'Beta')
  • Bloom's Taxonomy
  • Keywords
  • Teams

Please note that it is not possible to change the locations (i.e. answers) of the placeholders in locked questions. This is because the student answers are held as the label and an x/y coordinate. If the placeholders are moved post-exam no students could have moved their answers to the new location.

Standard Setting

  • When 'Mark per Option' is used it should be possible to rate each placeholder.
  • When 'Mark per Question' is used there is only one rating per question.

Data Format

Correct Answer

The labels are stored in the 'correct' field in the options table. The format is:

  1. First split by a semicolon.
  2. Element 0 = Label line colour (Flash-style hexadecimal values)
  3. Element 1 = Width of line in pixels
  4. Element 2 = Label background fill colour
  5. Element 3 = Label font size
  6. Element 4 = Label font colour
  7. Element 5 = Label width in pixels (text)
  8. Element 6 = Label height in pixels (text)
  9. Element 7 = Label width in pixels (images)
  10. Element 8 = Label height in pixels (images)
  11. Element 9 = Mode: 1) single - each label is used once, 2) multiple - each label can used in an answer repeatedly.
  12. Element 10 = Style (label or menu)
  13. Element 11 - split by | character
    1. Split by $ character
      1. 0 = Label ID starting at zero.
      2. 1 = Instance of the label starting at zero (this is incremented by one when in repeating label mode)
      3. 2 = X coordinate of left of label
      4. 3 = Y coordinate of top of label
      5. 4 = Text (or image filename) of the label
      6. 5 = Option when using images - original width of image in pixels
      7. 6 = Option when using images - original height of image in pixels
    2. Element 12 (onward) - split by $ character:
      1. 0 = ID of additional line
      2. 1 = Type (line, bobble or arrow)
      3. 2 = Start x coordinate
      4. 3 = Start y coordinate
      5. 4 = End x coordinate
      6. 5 = End y coordinate

Student Answer

The answers to all labels are stored in the 'user_answer' field in the relevant log table for a single question. The format is thus:

  1. Split 'user_answer' on a semicolon.
  2. Array element zero carries the marks. Split by a dollar:
    1. Element zero is what the student scored
    2. Element one is total number of marks for the question
  3. Take array element one and split by a dollar. Each label is stored as four pieces of information:
    1. X-coordinate in pixels (decimal)
    2. Y-coordinate in pixels (decimal)
    3. Text of the label dragged to above coordinates
    4. Whether answer is correct or not: t = true (correct), f = false (incorrect).