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Community Contributor

Physics HW for Canvas

I'm a Physics teacher and I'd like to design homework assignments for my students similar to what I experienced in college physics.

I'd like an assignment that mimics a homework handout. As if I handed each student a piece of paper with 10 questions on it.

The students can work on whatever problem they want to, they do not have to go in numerical order. The students can check their answers one question at a time. It'll tell them if they got it right or wrong. If they get it wrong, they can resubmit the answer until they get it right. I'd like for it to also work for questions that have multiple answers, and it would tell them which part they got wrong. And, Canvas would grade this as a single HW assignment after due date has passed.

Issues I've had finding a method to make this work...

1) Students can't work on question problems in any order they want to.

2) When students hit submit in multiple fill in the blanks, it won't tell them which blank they got wrong or right, its only all wrong or right.

3) THIS IS THE BIG ONE: With Physics HW answers, there are a ton of different acceptable answers. For example... 3.0 m, 3 m, 3.01 m, 3m, 3.0m ect... (There might not be a logical answer for this, just suggestions)

Thanks for help/advice

8 Replies
New Member

I have been working toward the same thing this last year.  I've started to create "homework quizzes" for certain assignments.  For some of the questions, it will be a strictly numerical answer (with some reasonably margin of error).  With other questions, however, I use the formula question option for a canvas question and I create a question with dynamic variables.  This means that for each student taking the homework quiz, they have up to 200 different flavors of any given question.  Of course, I still have to be mindful of how close an answer must be to be "correct" when I set up the margin for error for the response, and if I insist on wanting to know the correct units, I combine the question with another question (multiple choice, multiple dropdown, etc) to identify the units for the correct answer.

Community Coach
Community Coach

 @kendra_jarvis ,

We are giving the Instructional Designers area a little bit of love and just want to check in with you.  This will also bring this question new attention. 


Were you able to find an answer to your question? I am going to go ahead and mark this question as answered because there hasn't been any more activity in a while so I assume that you have the information that you need. If you still have a question about this or if you have information that you would like to share with the community, by all means, please do come back and leave a comment.  Also, if this question has been answered by one of the previous replies, please feel free to mark that answer as correct.



New Member

I have been slowly creating questions sets in myopenmath.  If you can do some coding you can make up a problem with some random inputs so each students has a "unique" question.  For example, you can have a linear motion problem where the initial velocity is any value from 10-20m/s, stopping distance ranges from 50-100m, and decceleration is between 1-3m/s^2.  Ask them to find the time to stop.  Each student will have to solve the same problem but with different numbers so they can't just text another student and ask "what did you get for number 3?"

It will take some time to build a set of questions but it will save time in the long run.  You can also specific precision so that 2.9s and 3.0s could both be grading as correct.

Having the autograded, instant gratification has made students happy.  I give them a few chances to get it right. 

I started making up questions and will use them as one type of homework combined with traditional problems sets until I get enough questions.

myopenmath is fully integrated with Canvas so that when myopenmap autogrades the homeowrk it automatically updates the Canvas gradebook.

myopenmath is free, the physics database isn't the greatest but it is getting better.  Making up your own questions can suck the life out of you though.


Community Champion

Hi  @dverdonck ‌

How is using myopenmath different from using the classic quiz engine in Canvas and using formula questions? I’ve been building up Question Banks by topics for the past year. Some topics have 5 questions while others have 60 or more. I have been slowly adding questions over the past year for physics, honors, and AP 1.

Random questions from a question bank are assigned nightly as “study sets” and practice quizzes are created for any student wanting to review. All my tests are from these same banks. 

My favorite way to create a question is to find a common one, answered using a search engine, I then reverse the question, move a decimal, or invert a number. I also change the question into a formula one. Kids who rely on searching for answers get tripped up early on in the course. Some get angry. Others figure out searching isn’t the same as learning. 

I hope to share these banks someday (when they are really good indicators of learning.)

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Happy to reply.

First thing that is different is that someone already made a bunch of

problems so they exist and I only have to add some of my own:)

Free and already prepared is a nice combo.

The other difference is that Myopenmath can generate problems with

different numbers and values for each student.

For example, one student may get "A 2.0-kg rock is dropped from a 10.0-m

high cliff. How long does it take to land?" While another student may get

"A 3.0-kg ball is dropped from a 7.0-m tall building. How long does it

take to land?"

The students can't just text their buddy and ask for the answer because

every student has different numbers. They can ask HOW TO DO the problem

but not just get answers. They all get the same problem but with slight

variations. The students can also regenerate the problem with new numbers

to practice.

Because it intended for math class you can also have algebraic free

response questions. So derive an equation for ... is an option.

It also integrates nicely with CANVAS. Students can't really tell it is

third party and grades are automatically ported to CANVAS.


Community Champion

Sorry. After about two hours crawling around the site, I became frustrated and decided it was a rabbit hole. There is no search, so one must know the school which has a physics teacher using MyOpenMath and has it available. The + opening of school names is irritating, too. Heck, I simply wanted to look at the physics questions and could only find openstax volume 3. Forum posts mention a “library” but nothing is clear as to how to find it. In my view, I felt like the site was a return to the 90s. I understand it is run by volunteers, but the site is very uninviting. 

I’ll stick with Canvas classic and for now. 

Anyone interested in my question banks is welcome to contact me and I’ll share them. 

It is a great resource. I really encourage to give it a try. It isn't the

most user friendly but once you figure a few things out it works. It is

very user friendly on the student side.

You can't see the libraries without a teacher account for obvious reasons.

You can request a teacher account right on the front page.

or, as I wrote earlier, set up a student account and I will let you in to

my physics classes or I have a Sample class where I try some things. I can

add some questions there for you get the student experience.

Course ID: 27272

Key: abc123

Try it, you'll like it.

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Community Champion

Thank you for the course ID. I had an instructor account so this was helpful. 

Once I copied your course then I was able to see an AP 1 and 2 library as well as a conceptual physics. 

Setting up in Canvas was straightforward.