Creating a Manual Assessment

This lesson covers the creation of a manual assessment. For more information on an assessment's nature, see the "Assessment Overview" lesson.

Note that creating an assessment manually (i.e., without "scanning" an answer key in GradeCam via a web camera or document camera) will not limit what you do with the assessment after it's created. For example, you can create an assessment manually at home and then scan student answer sheets for the same assessment the next day.

Where to Start

Where to Start

1. Click Assessments.

2. Under General, click Create a New Assessment.

1. Select Manual/Hybrid Assessment.

2. Enter the number of questions, that will be on your assessment.

3. Click Okay.

Enter Assessment Information

Enter Assessment Information

1. Enter a Title.  This is the only requirement on this information page, however, the more specific you get in this area, the easier it will be to find your assessment later using filters.

2. Optional- Enter a Description. The description will not tie to filters but can contain any information you find helpful. Information entered here also displays on the Assessment Details page as well as the landing page for a student when they are about to begin an online assessment. So, you could enter extra Instructions or even Test Taking Strategies to display for students.

Looking for more assessment information options? Click Show More (See below for more information).

Show More Options

Show More Options

3. Local Identifier- Any local district ID you may want to use.

4. To associate your assessment to a particular year, select the year from the Academic Year drop down menu.  If you want your assessment to be used again each year, select Repeats Yearly.  This means there is no need to duplicate your assessment for each academic year.

5. Optional-To help with filtering, select: Subject, Scope and/or Grade Levels.

6. You can choose to show assessment results in the Student and Parent Portal (If your District is utilizing this feature). Selecting Yes, means the results of the student's assessment will show in the portal. Selecting No will show that the test was assigned, but will not show students/parents the results.

7. You can also select a Performance Band Set.

8. Click Save.

Lock Assessment-Manage Lockdown Preferences (Only displays if applicable to your permission level)

Lock Assessment-Manage Lockdown Preferences (Only displays if applicable to your permission level)

Lock Assessment-Manage Lockdown Preferences- This allows you to customize exactly what parts of an assessment or administering an assessment are locked from others that this assessment is shared with. You can select as many or as few as you like, once Submit is clicked, any time you select 'Lock Assessment' on the New Assessment Information screen, these preferences will apply to that lock.

It is possible for lockdown preferences to be different for certain people. Lockdown preferences are specific to site, not URL. Typically, a System Admin user creates the lockdown preferences at the district level. These lockdown preferences will filter down to every user at every site for every assessment except when a new lockdown preference is set at a site. So the user (with the lockdown permission) will need to be logged into a site in the Control Panel when they create the new lockdown preference. This new lockdown preference will only affect users with locked assessments, that are logged into that site. 

Edit Assessment Questions

Once you've entered assessment information, you will be automatically taken to the Questions page. You can always access this page by clicking on Setup, and selecting Answer Key.

You can enter the correct answer by scanning, Scan (1) or by entering the answer to each of your questions in the Correct (2) column. You may opt to use the tab key on your keyboard to advance your cursor. Points (3) Enter a point value for the answer choice, note that the system does support decimal point values, i.e. 1.5, 2.3, 1.2, etc. You can also Print (4) this page. After all your answers are entered, click Save (5).

Multiple Answers

Multiple Answers

You may opt to require up to 5 answers for any question(s) on your assessment.

Follow these guidelines:

- Enter all answers the student will be required to bubble in order to get the question correct.

- Enter the answers in alphabetical order (for example, type "AB" and not "BA").

- Enter the answers with no spaces or characters between letters (BCE' not 'B C E') if all answers are correct.

- Enter the answers with commas between the letters (for example, type 'D, E')  if either answer is correct.

Custom Point Values

Custom Point Values

If you want to assign different point values for specific answers or answer combinations, you can do that from within the "Correct" box for any question. Select the Advanced box and follow the notes on this process:

  • To indicate the point value to associate with an answer choice, write the letter of the answer, a colon, and then the points earned for that selection (e.g. A:2)
  • To list multiple answers as having point values, list all answers and their points, separated by a comma (e.g. A:2, B:1). In the example above each rubric score is a different value. This means that if a 1 is bubbled on the answer document, the
student is awarded 1 point; if a 2 is bubbled, the student is awarded 4 
points; if a 3 is bubbled the student receives 6 points; and if a 4 is bubbled receives 10 points.
  • If you want to indicate that a student can get a particular point value through selecting multiple answer choices, write the answer choices, a colon, and the value (e.g. ABC:4)
  • You can list as many point value options as you like so that you have full flexibility to have partial and full credit (e.g. A:2, B:1, C:1, AB:3, ABC:4)
  • In the "Points" column, you will want to indicate the maximum number of points that a student can receive for that question. The highest value in the "Correct" column must not exceed the value in the "Points" column. If you enter your answer key such that there are correct answers with point values that exceed the maximum "Points", you will get an error when you try to save your answer key.

1. In the 'Correct' box, write out the point value for each answer choice by letter : point value. This should be followed by a comma if entering more values.

For example, A:2, B:1, C:0.5, etc.

2. In the 'Points' box, enter the MAXIMUM point value possible.

3. When done, click Save.

Note: Clicking on the blue ? will populate a menu that explains all of the instructions/options directly on the questions page!

Enter Assessment Standards

Click on Setup and select Standards.

1. Select the subject and the grade level for the standards to which you will be tying your assessment items/questions. Click Search.

2. You can click any plus (+) symbol to expand the strand or sub-strand and see the standards housed within.

3. Here you can see an expanded selection.

4. Select standards for your assessment by checking them. Note that you can come back to this step numerous times.

5. After selecting all of your desired standards, click Link Selected Standards.

Standards Alignment

Standards Alignment

Click on Setup and select Standard Alignment.

1. On each question's row, click on the standard with which you want it to align. Note that you may opt to link a question to more than one standard.You can also use the check box next to the standard text to select that all questions be aligned to that particular standard.

2. Click Save when finished.

Click the Flip icon if you would like to view and select standards by column rather than row. However, if you have already selected some standards, be sure to click Save first. When you are finished selecting standards for questions, click Save.

Question Groups

Click on Setup and select Question Groups.

1. Click Add from State Clusters if questions have been linked to areas tested by the state (e.g. ELA, Math, SS, Science).

2. You can also create your own group. Click + Add Question Group to add your own grouping one at a time. Provide a label for the group, then click Save. Repeat these steps to create as many groups as you desire.

3. You can also add Question Groups in mass by clicking on the green + Add Question Groups button. Type in your groups separated by a comma, then select Add Question Groups.

Add from Itembank (Only shows as option if it is an Itembank Assessment)

Add from Itembank (Only shows as option if it is an Itembank Assessment)

If you select Add from Itembank:

1. Select the question groups you wish to add to this test by clicking Add, to skip question groups, click Skip (Illuminate will default to skip).

2. Click Add Question Groups.

Question Groups Alignment

Question Groups Alignment

Checkmark any question to link it to your question group. If you change your mind, you can always click to uncheck it. After you have linked your questions, click Save.

Performance Bands

Click on Setup and select Performance Bands.

1. If you are creating new assessment performance bands, click on Add new performance band set. You can apply performance bands Overall, by Standard and to Question Groups.

When adding a new set of performance bands, the red band shown will be your lowest band which will remain at 0; you can edit the name and color of this band if you would like.

Start by naming the Performance Band set, then:

1. Edit the name the performance band (Label).

2. Edit the color of the band by clicking on the color square.

3. Enter the lowest value you want to assign to the band. The 100+ and 0 on your screen will remain static. Upon adding your value, the band will automatically add to the set in the correct spot with its higher band above/lower band below it based on the number you inputted. When you add your first band, it will add to the top automatically.

4. Click Add Band. It will automatically add to the top of your screen. Add additional bands at the bottom of the page . Follow the same steps outlined in steps 1-4.

5. To delete bands select the trash can icon at the right.

6. Click Save or Save and Return to Assessment. Note: You can create multiple bands before clicking submit.

Sheet Designer

Your answer sheet must match the questions you have entered in the Questions tab.  To do this, click on Setup, and then Sheet Designer.  

Note: You must have the permission 'Can Edit' to see the Advanced tab.  Either the assessment creator gives you this permission or by default, you have it as the author of the assessment. This must be done before you add versions or data to your test. Any rubrics you opt to use and any non-ABCDE answers you opt to use must match your sheet design. In other words, if you designated an answer other than A-E, you must change your sheet design so that your answer is an option on the sheet. When entering values, note that the system is not case sensitive. When you save your work, all values will become capitalized.

You have the ability to change the number of responses on your answer sheet. Click on 'Change number of responses'. You will  be given a drop down menu with selection choices. Click 4, 5, or 9 and press Apply.

You can change answer choices for multiple questions at one time.

1. Checkmark the questions to change.

Use the Update Selected Questions area o enter your new choices.

2. To change the Question Label, checkmark Label. You have three options:

Put in Front: enter any alphanumeric character you want to show before the question number.

Start at: enter the question number you want to display as the first number of your check marked questions. For example, you may want    questions 4-6 to be labeled W1, W2, W3 instead of W4, W5, W6.

Put After: enter any alphanumeric character you want to show after the question number.

3. To change the answer choices, checkmark Responses.

4. To use alternate answer choices, checkmark Alternate. Enter your answer choices in the boxes.

5. Click Apply when you are finished. Repeat this process as many times as needed. The Sheet Designer will show your changes.

Attach Materials

1. Click on Materials, under Setup.

2. Click Upload.

3. Drag and drop the materials you want attached to the test, once uploaded they will show with a green checkmark.

4. Click Attach.

Once materials have been uploaded, you can edit them from the Materials page. Note that if you click the checkbox next to a document, you have the ability to download the document (Cloud) or delete the document (Trash Can).


To share this assessment with other users, click on Setup, and then Share.

1. Select who you would like to share with, i.e. Grade Level.

2. Based on what you chose in Step 1, you will get some specific options. Select any that apply.

3. Give users the ability to: View and Download the test, Administer the test, and/or Edit the test.

4. Click Share.

Once you've shared with users, they will display at the top of this page.

Next Steps

Now you can administer your assessment! See the help manuals related to Answer Sheets, or Online Testing.