Community Novice

Will Canvas accept answers with symbols and grade it correctly?

1 Solution
Community Champion


It depends what symbols are in there and how clear you are with the students about how to enter things.

You can use a fill-in-the-blank question and have it autograded. In Classic Quizzes, they have to match exactly (except for case). New Quizzes supports regular expressions, but that is not likely to help.

The symbols need to be Unicode supported so that they can either enter them from the keyboard or copy/paste them from a site that lists them, which may be difficult for students to enter.

On a PC, I can type: µ=30.2 because I know the alternate code for µ is 230. I would not expect the student to know how to do that. I can also type (1+√5)/2 but a student might type 1/2*(1+√5) or 1/2+(1+sqrt(5)) and Canvas would count those wrong.

In a simpler form, the answer might be x=1/2. That can be typed from a keyboard easily. But if a student types x=0.5, x=.5, x=0.50, or x = 1/2 (spaces around the equal sign), and you don't allow for it in the answers, it would be counted wrong.

Canvas has no understanding of the meaning of symbols. It treats it all as text and compares character for character for a match.

You can use an essay question to let students enter symbolic math correctly with the equation editor, but then Canvas will not automatically grade it.

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