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Free Response Standards

Description and Purpose

Free response questions are a way to give learners the opportunity to assess their own understanding of conceptual material. They are typically placed in interactive articles (which are regular article containers that include interactive elements) to give learners a way to engage with otherwise static content.

Content Location

Free response questions are found under the "Other" category in Author (since they are not "assessments" per se because there is no feedback aside from self-evaluation). They are free-standing content items that can be used in multiple containers.

On the Codecademy site, they are typically placed in article containers.

Overarching Standards

Fields in Author



The prompt is displayed to learners in a box with an empty "free response" box below it.

  • Prompts should be short open-ended questions.
  • Whenever possible, prompts should be written such that the answers are unambiguous. Since this is not always possible, the subjective nature of the responses should be addressed in the sample response.
  • If context is needed to understand the question, it should be included in the prompt with one line of empty space between the context and the question. The entire context + question will be displayed to the learner.

Sample Response

The sample response is displayed after the learner submits their response.

  • Any room for subjectivity in the sample response should be noted to the learner.
  • Whenever possible, sample responses should be written in the indicative mood (i.e., informative rather than storytelling).


Hints are guide learners towards the information or knowledge they need to answer the question without specifying the answer.

  • Effective hints for Free Response Questions recommend aspects of the problem for learners to consider rather than directing them on how to answer the question.

Linked Content

Interactive Articles Section

This field is auto generated and displays the list of articles that embed this free response question.