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The PreTeXt Guide

Subsection 4.12.9 Short Answer Exercises

Short Answer questions might also be known as Free Response questions, or Essay questions. A PreTeXt <exercise>, or a PROJECT-LIKE that is not structured by <task>, is implicitly of this nature. But you still need to signal that you wish such a problem to be interactive, typically with a text box where the student can enter an answer. So, similar to other types of exercises, add a <response/> element immediately after the <statement>. (We expect to add attributes for this element to influence the behavior of the text box.)
In an online setting, it is a simple matter to provide a place for a reader to type in an answer, response, or essay. But then what? Until artificial intelligence is brought to bear, somebody (not something), such as an instructor for a course of enrolled students, will need to read a response and provide a score and/or comments that can be saved and distributed back to the students. So the first prerequisite is that HTML output is being built for a capable platform. As of 2022-06-15, this means a Runestone server (Chapter 32), but it could easily also be a WeBWorK server.
A publisher can control when a response area is created in HTML output (Subsection 44.4.13). The default is to only have this area present when it is possible for a response to be graded and scored. However, an option will cause a response box to be created always. A reader can reflect on the question by typing in a response, and the text will be saved on that particular device only. When it is impossible for a response to be graded, placeholder text will warn the reader.