Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - E-Assessment

Text input


In text input formats (input tasks), questions are asked about subject-related content that can be supplemented with multimedia, i.e. graphics, animations, audio or video clips. The examinee should then enter his/her answer in the text field.

In contrast to the answer-choice method, text input formats challenge examinees to do more on their own, since they have to find and enter the answers themselves. Text entries may therefore be described as cognitively more challenging. However, this only applies if the question does not already offer the answer, e.g. in dictation or transcription exercises where the respective word is already mentioned in the question. The value of these questions is then to test certain sub-skills (spelling, phonetic transcription).

Types of text input

There are four options for text input:

  1. Numeric input: a number must be entered, e.g. a calculation result.
  2. Single word input: Only one specific word is expected as an answer, e.g. the word spoken in the question or the missing word in a cloze.
  3. Multiple word input: A short answer must be entered, usually limited by the field size, e.g. a chemical formula or the core statement of a foreign language text excerpt.
  4. Free text / essay: A long text answer is expected, e.g. an image analysis or a translation.

The first two options can be evaluated automatically. However, it must be considered here how to deal with typing errors. The two free text entries must be evaluated by hand, but at least the deciphering of illegible handwriting is unnecessary.


  • Input tasks