Interactive canvas question

Create a broad range of interactive activities to drive student engagement in your Lessons.


The Interactive canvas question is an incredibly versatile question that can be manipulated to suit your needs and help you mark student work quickly and effectively. This type of question has the option to be marked automatically, which saves you time and offers immediate feedback to your students.

You'll find interactive canvas questions in every unit in the Stile science library. Most commonly, the canvas is used to create the following types of activities:

  • Labelling a diagram or graph;
  • Cloze tasks (tutorial available here);
  • Classifying examples (e.g. types of energy, states of matter);
  • Completing a table that summarizes differences (e.g. types of pathogens, elements vs compounds vs mixtures); and
  • Ordering objects (on a timeline, pH scale, steps in a process, etc.)

All of these activities involve dragging words or objects into the correct locations on the canvas. When a student drags an object into the area marked as "correct," then they are awarded a positive mark. If they drag the object to the incorrect spot or don't move it at all, then it is marked as incorrect. You can also keep the question open-ended and not use the auto-marking feature at all.

Create your own Interactive canvas questions from scratch, or get a jump start by using the templates available in the Teacher Resources unit.


Click to jump straight to a section or keep reading below:


How to set up the question


The Interactive canvas widget can be found in the Questions section of your content bar in Prepare mode. If you can't see the content bar in your Lesson, click on the Add content tab sticking to the right edge of your page. 



When writing the question, you have access to the full rich text toolbar that includes options for formatting, special characters, and mathematical notation. Click here for a complete tutorial on what's available. You may want to help your students with some visual cues, such as writing cognitive verbs in bold or highlighting context clues with italics. If there are multiple parts to the question, then outline them in a numbered list. This is entirely up to you!

If your Lesson is an Assessment, then be sure to adjust the number of marks. All Stile questions are worth 1 mark by default and this can be changed to whatever you like. If the Lesson is not an assessed quiz or test then this box can be ignored.



Building the canvas is where you can get really creative, or keep it clean and simple. You have a large variety of tools available to you which are outlined in this article. You may want to bookmark it for future reference if you find yourself looking for it frequently.



Before you start work on the canvas, have a rough idea of what you want to do. It can help to take inspiration from canvas questions that are already built in Stile lessons. Find one that you like and click on its "edit" button, and then start clicking on different objects to see how they are set up. This can help you plan how you want to build yours. It's important to note that a lot of the imagery used in Stile's interactive canvas tasks was drawn by professional illustrators in external software, and then uploaded using the image uploader tool. You can get similar results by uploading your own images or pictures that you find online. The shape and colour tools that are built into the interactive canvas are useful but simple. For more complex shapes and objects, such as those in the example above, it's best to make them using external design software (or save them from another file) and then upload the images to the canvas.



Any objects, words, or images that you add to the canvas can be interacted with by your students, unless you lock them down. When you lock an object, such as a background image or a diagram to be labelled, then it cannot be moved or interacted with. Other unlocked elements around it can still be moved, drawn, or deleted. Students do not have access to the lock tool, so anything you lock will stay locked! 



You can add automatic marks to moveable elements using the marking tools. What this does is create automatic marking for all of your students who complete this task. It means you only input the marks once when creating the question, and then Stile does the more time-consuming task of marking all of your students' responses.

Take some time to really play around with this before you release your first Interactive canvas question to your students. See what each of the tools does and how you can manipulate it. Try uploading different images to see how they look together. Take existing canvas questions and edit them into your own creations! 



Once you are satisfied with how your Interactive canvas question looks and operates, then the model answer can be written next. Click the Model answer tab below the question text box. Model answers mimic student responses, so your tools for creating the answer will be exactly the same as those provided to the student. This means you still have access to the full toolkit, except for locking and marking tools.

If your question is auto-marked, then simply complete the question by dragging the objects into their correct positions. If it's an open-ended question then you might want to use this space to create a sample of what you expect your students to do. You will be able to use this model answer later when reviewing student answers and discussing them with the class, so make sure it is beneficial to them as much as it is to you. For more information on how to use model answers effectively throughout Stile, click here



In the Settings tab you can flag the question as a Key question or Challenge. These flags are optional and should not be used on every question in a Lesson. Key questions demonstrate student understanding of a stated learning goal, and Challenges are typically more difficult to answer than the rest of the Lesson. You can learn more about Key questions and Challenge questions here

Click the blue Done button in the lower right corner of the widget when you are satisfied with the question's setup.

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How students interact with the question


Students working through your Lesson will see the question as you've written it followed by the Interactive canvas and all its tools (excluding the marking and lock tools). They will not see the model answers.



If the question is set up to be automarked then the student will get feedback on their response as soon as they submit their work. The student will be able to see more information after you review the student's work and release answers and feedback. Releasing answers allows the student to see the marks they earned, any comments you've made on their response, and the model answer to the question. You must deliberately release answers for your students to see them, but on a non-assessed Lesson your comments will appear in real time and the students will see ticks and crosses on auto-marked questions as soon as they submit their work.

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How to review student responses

Teach mode allows you to review your students' responses during class, while they work. This is great if you want to discuss answers with everyone, highlight strong responses, and compare them with the model answer. This is especially beneficial if your Interactive canvas question is open-ended.



Find the question within the page and click on Show responses. This will open up Quick review, in which you can scroll through everyone's responses and compare them with the model answer. Learn more about Quick review here



In Analyse mode, Written response questions only display the question. Click on View responses to open Quick review. You can also click on a specific student's name to go directly to their worksheet. 

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