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Q & A

The Question and Answer Activity allows teachers to pose a question or questions to learners individually, and after they have entered their response, to see the responses of all their peers presented on a single answer screen.

Handy Hint

Comparisons between Q&A Responses can form the basis of further activities.
Have learners view the responses from the rest of the class and discuss the differences in a Forum or Chat.

This animation explains how to create and use the Q&A Activity

Question and Answer Activity Authoring

All properties sheets contain three tabs:

  • The Basic tab controls the content of the activity.
  • The Advanced tab controls how the activity behaves.
  • The Conditions tab allows Authors to customise the activity outputs for branching or grouping operations.

Cognitive Skills Wizard

The Q&A Activity can be set up to integrate with a Cognitive Skills Wizard, allowing Authors to create Q&A activities based on custom taxonomies.
Click here to find out how.

Basic tab for the Question and Answer Activity

View of the Question and Answer Activity Basic tab.

There are two features on the basic tab common to all activities:

  • Title: All Activities have a web page title which is presented at the top of the activity page when displayed in the Learning Environment. This is NOT the same title as the Title that can be set using the Properties Inspector.
  • Instructions: All Activities have a text area that is presented beneath the title. This is where the main activity text to be displayed to learners is entered. The text can be formatted using the Rich-Text Editor. Image, Video, Audio and URL content can also be displayed in the Instructions area.

Specific Feature for the Question and Answer Activity

  • Questions
    • These are the questions that will be presented to learners.
      • To add a Question to the activity, click + Create Question
      • You can Edit existing questions by clicking the Yellow Pencil and Delete questions by clicking the Red Cross.
  • Creating Questions
    • You can create questions in Rich-text, using all the features of the FCKEditor.
    • The Q&A activity functions best using short-answer type questions, eliciting more than a true/false or single-word response from learners.
    • An additonal option: This question requires an answer require a student to answer the question (cannot leave it blank).
    • Optional Feedback is presented to learners for the corresponding questions once they have completed the activity.

Advanced tab for the Question and Answer Activity

View of the Answers from other Learners.

  • Use leaders from Select Leader tool: This option must be used only if there's a Leader activity before this activity.
  • Lock When Finished:
    • Enabling this option in Q&A means that Learner's will not be able to revise their answers after they 'Finish' the activity.
    • If this option is disabled, Learners will be able to modify their answers for the duration of the sequence.
  • Add Notebook... : This option is available on all Activities. Enabling this option on Question and Answer prevents learners from adding more files to the activity. Once Learners click 'Finish', the activity is marked as Read Only for that learner.
    Learners can still return to the activity using the progress bar to view their uploaded files.

Advanced Features Specific to the Question and Answer Activity

  • Show Answers from Other Learners:
    When enabled, this option allows Learner's to view their peer responses to each question.
    • Show names of other Learners: When enabled, this option shows the name of the learner that contributed each question. By default, learner responses are anonymous.
    • Show other Learner's name: Only available when "Show Answers..." is enabled. When this option is enabled, Learner's names will be shown alongside their individual responses on the summary page. When disabled, Learner's will be able to identify their own Answers, but all other contributions will be anonymous.
    • Allow learners to rate each other's answers: This option allows to rating the answers of other learners from 0.0 to 5.
  • Notify teachers on response submit: Selected this option causes that teachers get notified on responses. 
  • One Question Per Page: When enabled, this option forces each individual question and text entry box in the activity to appear on a separate page. When disabled, the questions and answer boxes will appear in a vertical list. The default is Disabled.
  • Allow rich text editor: Learners can respond in a HTML Editor , which allows full text formatting.

 View of the Question and Answer Activity Advanced tab.

Branching Conditions for Question and Answer

Adding Text-Based Conditions to an Activity

Most activities now support text-based conditions. This means that learners can be assigned to groups or streamed to different branches according to their responses to an Activity.

  • To add a new condition to an activity, first click the Conditions Tab at the top of the screen, then click Add Condition.
    • A unique name must be given to each condition created for the activity. It's best practice to relate the name to what the condition is testing for, such as: "Answered Blue" or "Mentioned Oxygen".
  • For each condition, there are several options for how to search the Learners responses:
    • Have all of these words: will seperate the learners who have entered each of the given words as part of their response.
    • Have this exact wording: will seperate the learners who have entered the exact phrase as part their response.
    • Have none of these words: will seperate the learners who have mentioned at least one of the given words as part of their response.
    • Have none of these unwanted words: seperates the learners who have not mentioned any of the given words.
  • These rules can be used simultaneously, and also can be applied to one or more seperate questions.

Text-based conditions are not case sensitive. That is, searching for 'Sheep' will return both 'sheep' and 'Sheep'


Conditions can be very specific:
To separate the learners who have replied with Foo and Bar in their response:

have all these words:

foo bar

have this exact wording or phrasing:


have one or more of these words:


have none of these unwanted words:


... less specific...
To separate the learners who have replied with either Foo or Bar:

have all these words:


have this exact wording or phrasing:


have one or more of these words:

foo bar

have none of these unwanted words:


... and very complex!
To separate the learners who have:

  • replied Foo
  • replied Bat or Bar
  • but not replied with Foobar

have all these words:


have this exact wording or phrasing:


have one or more of these words:

bat bar

have none of these unwanted words:


Monitoring Question and Answer

Summary Screen

View of the Chat Monitoring Summary tab.

The Summary Tab for Question and Answer allows Monitors to view all Learner Responses to the questions in the activity with accompanying names, regardless of whether or not the Learner's view the responses anonymously or not.

Monitors can also Edit learner responses, or choose to hide Learner responses from other learners.

In the attached screenshot, the advanced "Reflection" feature has been enabled. "View" links for the Monitor to view these reflections are visible at the bottom of this screenshot.

Edit Activity

Clicking the Edit Activity button opens a new screen identical to the _'Basic'_tab in the authoring environment. In the current version of LAMS (2.5), Editing can only be performed on activities that students have not yet reached.

Unlike Live Edit, this form of Editing can only modify the content of an activity, as opposed to the structure of a sequence.


The Question and Answer Statistics tab shows information about the number of Learners who have attempted and completed the activity.