Help & Documentation


The Shading question provides a visual representation of functions and calculations, including fractions and ratios.


The Shading question provides a visual representation of functions and calculations, including fractions and ratios. Authors are able to format a set of cells, which are shaded by the student as their response.


 Shading question example

Create a question

Enter the question stem into the Compose question area. Then go to Canvas Options below to create the grid. Specify the number of rows and columns of the grid by putting the number in the Row Count and Column Count fields. In the Cell Height and Cell Width fields insert values to specify cell size.


Creating a grid

Authors are also able to shade out some of the cells: they will appear highlighted when the student sees the question. For this go to the Shade cells section and shade the cells on this grid as shown in Figure 3.


Author shaded cells

Note that students will be able to deselect author shaded cells. You can, however, prevent this by enabling Lock shaded cells.

You can also make an image appear when the user clicks on a cell. Upload the image you want to use to the Shading image field.

There are two validation methods available in Shading questions:

  • byLocation - Used when the task is to highlight specific cells on the grid. Authors will need to click on the correct cells on the grid in order to indicate the correct response.


byLocation validation example


  • byCount - Used when the task is to select the correct amount of cells. Authors set the amount of cells in order to validate the question. Cells position will not be considered when validating the question.


byCount validation example

Insert value in the Point(s) box to set up a mark for the question. The default value is 1.

  • In the Correct tab select validation Method from the drop down menu and set the correct response using either byLocation or ByCount methods as described above.

More options


Learn more on the scoring overview page.



Some cells on the grid can also be hidden. Authors may use it in order to create a custom shape with the grid. The Layout section can be found under More Options. Simply click on the cells you want to hide from the grid as shown in Figure 4.


Hiding cells

Additional layout options include:

  • Max selection - By putting a value into this field authors can specify how many elements students can select when giving an answer. For an unlimited amount of selections insert 0.
  • Border type specifies borders around the grid and in between cells. You can choose from the following three types: None - no border will be appliedOuter - if you only want to have grid borders but leave out cells bordersFull - to keep the default setting with borders around every cell
  • Hover state toggle is used to turn on and off hover effects when the user hovers the mouse over a cell.

You can also decide to use an image as a grid background. Upload it in the Background Image section and then specify its width, height and opacity if needed.


In the example below, a medical scan is used as the background image and students are asked to correctly identify sections of it.


Shading example when used with a brain scan