What is the Q&A element used for?

The Q&A element allows you to ask a question and capture written responses from explorers.

Lou Monsour avatar
Written by Lou Monsour
Updated over a week ago

The Q&A element is a 'call and response' style element.

  • Explorers see a question.

  • Explorers type a response.

  • Explorers see prepared feedback after submitting their response.

When responding to a Q&A, learners can answer with formatted text (bullets, bold, links, italics, etc.). They can also save their answer as a draft to consider before submitting their final answer later.

Expand the following sections to learn more.

Steps to add a Q&A to a course

Add the element to your topic or article by selecting the 'Q&A' option from the Content box, then follow these steps:

  1. Add a label. The label is hidden from explorers and is used for reporting purposes. It also helps you differentiate between multiple Q&As within the same topic or article.

  2. Define your question. You need to pose a question for the explorer to answer.
    TIP: Consider the nature of the question you are asking. If you ask a very closed question, which just needs a yes or no answer, perhaps a simple yes or no poll might be better. Use Q&A to have explorers think and answer with more detail.

  3. Provide a response/feedback. You need to prepare a set response which will be shown to the explorer AFTER they provide their answer. TIP: Your response will be the same regardless of the explorer answer. Keep that in mind when creating your response.

  4. Manage the settings for your Q&A.

  5. Click Save.

Video demonstration

In the video below, we show you how you can add the Q&A element to your topics or articles. Please note, certain aspects of the UI may have changed since this video was recorded.

Settings and options

Let's review the settings available for Q&As:

  • Characters - By default, Q&A responses have a character limit of 500. You can increase or decrease this limit, as required (min. 100 and max. 5,000 characters), allowing for Q&As which require just short, simple answers, though to longer Q&As that require more of an essay style response. Modifying the character limit changes the size of the response box seen by learners.

  • Journal - Specify whether the question and responses are copied to learner journals. If not, learner responses will only appear on the screen (within the topic/article) for the explorer (and in the admin reporting). Enabling this option can be handy when you are asking questions about next steps or ideas that you want explorers to have access to later via their journal. It is also useful when you know the journal might be sent to the explorer's manager or adviser, and you want them to see the answer.

  • Colour - Optionally adjust the colour of the heading. By default, the colour used here is based on your branding colours.

  • Explorer requirements - These requirements outline what explorers must do in order to complete the question. You can choose whether the explorer must submit a response. You can also choose to have an assessor verify the explorer's response. We discuss assessing Q&As in more detail below. You can choose whether to turn both the submission required and the assessor verification on, just one of them, or neither, depending on your requirements.

  • Progress settings - There are two progress setting options. Firstly, you can choose whether the explorer is able to continue through the part without the explorer requirements being met, or whether they are unable to do so until all requirements have been met. Secondly, you can choose whether the explorer is required to complete the explorer requirements in order to complete the topic. As with the explorer requirements, you can choose to turn on either progress setting, turn on both, and turn on neither.

Assessing Q&As

You can choose to make the Q&A element assessable by requiring an assessor to review and 'pass' the explorer's response.

To do this, mark the checkbox "Assessor must review and 'pass' the explorer's response" in the 'Explorer requirements' section. Once explorers have submitted their answer, they will be informed that an assessor will grade their response:

Assessors have a separate tab in the platform, called “Assess”. This tab can be found in creator mode and is not visible to explorers:

Assessors and Creators can click on 'Assess Q&A' to review the explorer's responses. They can mark the outcome as pass or fail. Optionally, they can also include a score, comments and an upload of their own. After uploading a file, assessors can choose to either 'show' or 'hide' the file from the explorer being assessed.

If an outcome is marked as a 'pass' the learner will be able to see this within the course.

Alternatively, if an outcome is marked as 'fail' the explorer will see this within the course and be able to submit a new response (under their 'Your Answer' section):


Here are three different ways you can use the Q&A element to help you get inspired!

You could:

  1. Automate learner thoughts and responses to content into the journal, such as key takeaways or next steps.

  2. Provide a scenario for explorers to respond to.

  3. Break up plain text by asking the explorer what they think the answer is before revealing the facts after they've responsed.

The Q&A element is a great way to engage learners rather than have them passively read through content without contributing or giving it some thought.

Reporting and analytics

All responses are available in the reporting for the relevant topic or article, and when using the Responses report in Analytics.

How do Q&As differ from Reflects?

The Q&A element is similar to the Reflect element. Both elements ask explores to answer an open question - the difference is in the feedback to the explorer after they answer.

  • With Q&A, the explorer receives feedback from the creator. So this is a good way to keep their contributions private or use Q&A to reveal additional knowledge. Use Q&A to capture private actions or responses, or to use a 'call and response' style of learning.

  • With Reflect, the explorer can review answers from other explorers. Reflect is perfect for social learning as it allows explorers to contribute knowledge and compare to their peers. It may reinforce their thinking or challenge them with new ideas.

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