Add Regular Expressions to Quizzes

Idea created by Randy Watkins on Jun 2, 2016
    This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas



    Currently in quizzes, for fill-in-the-blank or short-answer questions, you have to come up with every possible phrase combinations to match what students might type that would be correct. Previous recommendations asked that the answer "contain" keywords rather than match.

    I would like to see regular expressions, which have been in every major programming language since the 1950's and every LMS until Canvas. Regular expressions are also known as regex, pattern matching, and wildcards.

    Here is a good example:

        Who was the major African-American civil rights leader of the 1960's assassinated in 1968?

    The official answer is "Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.", but what if they forget to put "Dr.", abbreviate Luther as "L.", or forget "Jr.". Is it wrong? How many permutations of the right answer could there be? Is punctuation included?

    Using regex, the answer would be /.*Martin.*L.*King.*/i, meaning anything before Martin, must contain an L
    between Martin and King, can contain anything after King, and "i" means case insensitive. If you use "g" with the "i", you
    can apply multiple phrases across an entire document so you can check papers for content automatically.

    Please add this to quizzes. Most programming languages (including JavaScript) accept this as a phrase or function.

    This extends upon Allow fill-in-the-blank answers that can *contain* a term vs having to match a term  and Improve Regular Expression Tool (pattern matching).


    Comments from Instructure


    This idea was completed with general availability of Quizzes.Next.  You can find more information about the overall project in the Quizzes.Next User Group.


    • Quizzes.Next is now available for all paid accounts.
    • Quizzes.Next documentation will live in the Quizzes.Next User Group until July 14, 2018. On July 14, 2018, all of the documentation will be moved to the Canvas Guides in the Canvas Instructor Guide or Canvas Student Guide
    • Quizzes.Next updates will be included in the Canvas Release Notes. This includes new features, updated features, and relevant fixed bugs. New and updated features will be deployed to Quizzes.Next near the same time as the Canvas release. Fixed bugs may be deployed at any time.