New Quizzes: Allow Rich Content editing for fill in the blank

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

Fill in the blank only allows word answer. If my students needs to enter (2sin(x)cos(x)) or something from calculus it gets confusing. If students as well as teachers are allowed to use Rich Content Editing in simple fill in the blank. I believe it will make it easier for all the chemistry and math teacher because it will enable latex typing.


For Example: This is hard to input:



Inputting: (sin(3x))/((x-3)(x+3))-((3sin(x)cos^2(x)-sin^3(x))/(x^2-9)) can be very tricky and can be easily mistaken. Therefor if rich content editing(LaTex system) were to be allowed students can easily type



instead of (sin(3x))/((x-3)(x+3))-((3sin(x)cos^2(x)-sin^3(x))/(x^2-9))

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We passed the 5 year anniversary of this thread/request a month ago!

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You may want to upvote this more recent feature idea: Allow New Quizzes fill in the blanks to have multiple blanks on different lines 

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I only recently discovered this issue and it's causing me problems as well—I had made several Classic Quizzes for language professors with prompts like "fill in the conjugated form of the underlined word" that were essentially rendered useless in the migration process because New Quizzes won't let me differentiate words like that. The only way I can think to do it is putting the words in all caps, which is iffy because I know all caps can take slightly longer to process and look "angry" to students. I'm disappointed to see that this thread has been around for so long without any updates from the Canvas team.

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@James I would really like my chemistry students to be able to type in molecular formulas that have the ability to have subscripts in fill-in the blank, so for that reason alone, I'd like to have a rich text editor. I have found work arounds, but they are very clunky, for example if I want my student to type the formula for a nitrate ion they need both the subscript and superscript function, so I therefor have to have them type something like NO3(1-) which they forget to do, and I have to pay very close attention when grading to not accidentally mark NO31- wrong, so yes a RTE is very useful for some subject matter.

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If it's fill in the blank, you can add multiple correct responses so make NO31- a right one and then you don't have to check it.

If you're having to manually grade anyway, then essay questions work.

On February 20, 2021, (tomorrow) the Canvas release is supposed to support LaTeX in any text field, but I have not tested it with quiz questions like fill in the blank. It does work in conversations, though, but if you think getting a student to correctly enter NO3(1-) the way you want it, you should abandon all hope of getting them to enter \(NO_3^-\) 

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As a follow-up now that the February 2021 update is out, you can enter LaTeX into the answer blank of a legacy quiz question and it will render properly once the quiz is submitted. 


However, since the question allows just plain text to be entered, you would need to include the LaTeX delimiters \( and \) around the content or it would be counted wrong. "1-x^2" without the delimiters won't be accepted unless you add that as an option. Fill in the blank questions with legacy quizzes are also space sensitive, so if someone entered spaces anywhere in their response, you would have to account for those in the possible answers. "\( 1 - x^2\)" would be incorrect.

This is why I've be saying for years that you need specialized software to grade technical input (like math or chemistry) and people should not expect a simple text-comparison (which is all fill in the blank gives with Legacy Quizzes) to do it.

Community Member

@James Thank you! At least I can use LaTex to write out the questions so that students know when I'm using a subscript or superscript. That is the other difficulty. I've used Chem specific software. Either it's too complicated for the students to use, or it gives no room for partial credit, which I'm all about. I typically use essay questions because then the students can upload pictures of their work. I find it much more convenient that way. I also love that I can see every question and answer at the same time just like with a paper quiz/test. Your program is still much easier to give quizzes and tests on than most of the other programs I've tried.

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@JPMorgan1178 .

I'm not sure what you mean by "your program." I've written a lot of code, but I don't think I've shared anything that gives exams. If you mean Canvas, I don't work for Instructure, I'm just a Canvas user helping other people. Most of the people in the Community are users, not employees.

Community Member

Please Please Please - add this 

I'm teaching chemistry and I now need to grade chemical formulas.  Which I cannot ever show here unless I upload an image.  See below, should be doable in fill in the blank!