Visual and interactive: the hotspot question

Manuel Yasli · Tips & tricks · Last updated on August 24th, 2021

With hotspot questions, participants are presented with an image on which they can mark a spot, which they think is the right one. This way you can find out whether or not they can locate objects correctly in a given situation.

Hotspot question in Coursepath

A hotspot question with multiple “hot spots”

You can upload an image and define correct and incorrect areas on it. Just add new ones by double-clicking on the image. In the next step you can adjust the areas’ size.

This question type activates different regions in the brain compared to e.g. multiple choice questions. Your participants have fun locating the objects and take learning to a new level with visually precise knowledge testing.
Hotspot questions are low maintenance since they are graded automatically.

How to use hotspot images

Hotspot questions work with any kind of image you upload. The more visual information it contains, the more interesting it gets. Let’s take an example: You’d like to test a participant’s knowledge of a machine and his ability to locate a machine item correctly. Your first step would be to upload a detailed picture of the machine that shows the concerned items. In a second step, you define a correct area in the image containing the single machine item. You ask your participants to define this item on the image. If they click on the correct area, positive feedback is given, for example: “Right, this is the gear wheel”.
There are no limits to your creativity. This kind of question is also possible:

Examples of hotspot questions in Coursepath

Example of a hotspot question in Coursepath

A hotspot question asking to identify certain pliers

Example of a hotspot question in Coursepath

A hotspot question asking to identify the correct process flow

Correct vs. Incorrect spots

As an addition to „correct“ areas, you can define „incorrect“ areas. While technically all areas outside the defined „correct“ area are incorrect, those areas specifically marked as „incorrect“ carry the option of giving additional feedback. In the example of machine items, one entire area might be incorrect, as it does not belong to the actual machine. Instead of clicking his way through the image, the participant now knows, that the area is wrong in general. Like with other question types, you can define how many attempts a participant has to answer the question.


The hotspot question type is a popular way of testing knowledge and a welcome change to other text based question types. By uploading your own image and marking correct and incorrect areas yourself, this question type is very versatile, whether for the assignment of machine parts, geographical features, or people. Create a hotspot question in your own Coursepath (test) environment and try it yourself.

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