Create File Upload Questions

File upload questions allow your students to submit a file — for example, a spreadsheet, presentation, or research paper — as their response.

File upload questions are not automatically graded by WebAssign; they must be manually graded.

  1. Click Questions > Create. The Question Editor opens.
  2. In Name, type a name for the question.
  3. In Mode, select File-Upload.
  4. In Question, type your question. Use the answer placeholder string <_> to specify where the answer box should be displayed. Describe any restrictions on the file type or size that will be accepted.
  5. Optionally, set the $FILEUPLOADMAX, $ACCEPTFILETYPE, or $size variables at the beginning of Answer to specify any restrictions on the size or type of file to be uploaded, or to set the size of the file upload box.
    • By default, files that your students upload must be no larger than 100 KB. Although you can increase this size if needed, encourage your students to submit the smallest file size they can. This both helps your students who might have limited connection speeds, and it helps you, because you will need to download all of your students' files to score them. Students who upload extremely large files might experience timeouts depending on their Internet connection and browser settings.
    • By default, your students can submit any file type. When restricting allowable file types, let your students know ahead of time what file formats will be accepted. You should ensure that you will be able to safely open and view any files that your students submit. At the same time, unless the assignment requires use of a specific application or creation of a specific type of file, you might not want to impose arbitrary restrictions on the tools that your students can use.
    To do this:Begin Answer with this:
    Set the maximum allowed file size to n bytes
    <eqn $FILEUPLOADMAX=n; ''>
    Restrict file uploads to files with the specified filename extensions
    <eqn $ACCEPTFILETYPE=['.ext', '.ext']; ''>
    Make the file upload box n characters wide
    <eqn $size=n; ''>

    You can combine these declarations using a single <eqn> tag by separating each declaration with a semicolon. For example:

    <eqn $FILEUPLOADMAX=52488; $ACCEPTFILETYPE=['.doc', '.docx','.odt','.pdf']; ''>
  6. In Answer, type a key to help the grader evaluate the student's response.
    This will often reference a rubric used to assess the submitted file. This information and any <eqn> tags should all be on a single line.
    • If an answer extends beyond the right side of the Answer box, it is wrapped to the next line, but it is still considered a single line so long as you do not press ENTER.

    Even if you will be grading the questions yourself, you must enter something in Answer in order for the file upload box to be displayed when the question is used.

  7. Optional: Type a Solution.

    The solution helps your students understand the steps they need to take to determine the correct answer to the question. Your assignment settings specify when to show the solution.

  8. Click Test/Preview to test the appearance and behavior of the question. See Test Questions.
  9. Click Redisplay to show certain kinds of errors in the Display section of the Question Editor. Make any needed changes to your question.
  10. Optional: Click Show Additional Information and change the question's sharing permission or add descriptive information.
    • By default, other instructors can use your question only if you provide them with the question ID, and only you can edit the question or find it in search results. To change the permission, see Share Questions With Other Instructors.
    • If you make your question publicly available, you might want to provide descriptive information to help others search for it. See Add Search Metadata to Questions.
  11. When your question displays and functions correctly, click Save.

    WebAssign assigns it a unique question ID (QID), which is displayed in parentheses after the question name.

    You can use your question in an assignment and see it in your My Questions list only after it is saved.

Example File Upload Question

The following table summarizes an actual question.




Template2 2.FILE.01.




Upload your research project. <_><br>
You can upload a PDF, Word, or OpenOffice Writer file. It must be less than 512 KB in size.


<eqn $size=5; $FILEUPLOADMAX = 524288; $ACCEPTFILETYPE = ['.doc','.docx','.odt','.pdf']; ''>Use the rubric.

Display to Students

Question as displayed to students