cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
tdelillo
Community Champion

Fonts in essay questions

Jump to solution

I'm working with an instructor who is trying to investigate cheating in his course. He noticed that a student had answers to quiz essay questions that appeared in a different font, so he assumed the student was copying and pasting answers from the web or a document. What is odd is that neither he or I can replicate the behavior - every time we copy and paste text into an essay question, the font is converted to the default font. And the RCE does not have a button to change font, just to change size, color, etc.

Has anyone seen unusual fonts appearing in essay question answers, and know how the student could have done it?

2 Solutions

Accepted Solutions
travis_thurston
Community Champion

 @tdelillo ​,

I saw that once before in a course. It doesn't happen very often, but what we found was that the student was using a different browser. I would recommend checking the user page views and look in the right-hand column to see which browser the student was using when accessing the test. You're right, that there isn't an option in the RCE to change font.

Let me know if that helps in your investigation. Thanks.

View solution in original post

tdelillo
Community Champion

So, the official answer from my support ticket:

"The student was able to have their font stick because the HTML style tag was included in their reply. If you notice in their answer it says <span style="font-family: Palatino Linotype;"> which tells the browser to display it as a different font face. Yours may not be sticking becuase it's not a supported font or the style tag isn't being included when you paste your text."

I had tried to paste Palatino font and couldn't get it to stick, so I'm not 100% satisfied, however, they also pointed out that drilling down into the quiz logging actually gives you some good detail for essay questions that I hadn't noticed before. It shows HTML code, so if the text was pasted you see tags (span, font-family, etc.) beyond the <p> tag expected for manually typed answers. Nifty.

View solution in original post

16 Replies
MattHanes
Community Champion

Is it possible they styled it on purpose using the HTML editor? It's pretty easy to add a style tag to the html to change the font. It would look like this:

<p>This is a normal paragraph</p>

and styling it would look like this:

<p style="font-family:impact">This is a paragraph in the Impact font</p>

travis_thurston
Community Champion

 @tdelillo ​,

I saw that once before in a course. It doesn't happen very often, but what we found was that the student was using a different browser. I would recommend checking the user page views and look in the right-hand column to see which browser the student was using when accessing the test. You're right, that there isn't an option in the RCE to change font.

Let me know if that helps in your investigation. Thanks.

View solution in original post

tdelillo
Community Champion

I considered that, but as the instructor said, it seems like an odd use of time in a timed quiz to make that much effort to change a font...

I checked and she was in Firefox. I tried it in Firefox and couldn't replicate it. So I'm still kind of stumped...

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @tdelillo ​, not related to the font, but have you looked at the quiz log to see what it says? It's not perfect, but it could give you some idea of what might have been going on during the quiz. See this guide for more info - How do I view a quiz log for a student?

John_Lowe
Community Champion

To expand upon this idea some more, could the student have copy/pasted an HTML view of a page into the HTML side of the editor?  In that situation, any CSS styling in the HTML would likely remain in the markup.

ebissoon
Community Participant

I wonder if a broader view of the issue would help. Looking at everyone's responses the one thing that appears to have been overlooked is the question of what device the person has used to compose and submit the essay. If the expected font for the essay isn't installed on the device in the first place then the device will (I think) substitute that font with one that it [the device] thinks is suitable as a replacement.

It's important to remember that not all PC's/MACs/Devices have the same fonts installed.

tdelillo
Community Champion

Yes, I checked the quiz log, and it does show that she "left the page" (or whatever the language is) before answering the question, which bolsters the case for copy/paste. Just still musing on how the alternative font was retained, since every time I do it, Canvas reformats the font to the default.

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Yes, that is definitely a conundrum. :smileyconfused: