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Hand-written input for assignments and quizzes.

Hand-written input for assignments and quizzes.

My students are always frustrated when having to do math on a computer because it's so much harder to type things in than hand-write them. I'd love to see a feature that would let them do just that. Specifically, I'm thinking that it would be great if they could have a "hand-written response" box (like the Rich Content box) where they could write in quiz answers with a stylus on a tablet. I would also love them to be able to pull up an assignment, write in their work by hand, and submit that online (I realize this is possible to do with a few extra steps using a PDF, saving it, etc., but the simplification of having that available in Canvas itself would be superb).
40 Comments
jordan
Community Member

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Thank you for your Feature Idea​ submission.  We wanted to call your attention to which was submitted in a different voting period.  It may contain valuable discussion and insight as this discussion moves through the voting process.

We also encourage you to check out this article that can help you maximize the exposure and support of your Feature Idea: How do I write a good feature idea submission

Your feature idea will go up for voting on September 2nd!

biray
Community Member

This idea is now open for vote. Smiley Happy

emiller2020
Surveyor

Great idea. This would be huge for us. Imagine the possibilities...chemistry modeling, marking up graphs or Cartesian planes. So many things that could be done without killing trees! :smileygrin:

jruiz
Community Member

Great idea !

tcorica
Surveyor

Agree with poster that "a few extra steps" in the PDF or OneNote solution is non-trivial, and makes the difference between worth doing and not worth doing for many assignments.

adavis3
Community Member

Great idea Emily!

cwendt
Community Member

This would be even better if instructors could also hand-write comments, circle things easily, etc.

eschoch
Community Member

Agreed! That might be a separate feature idea, though?

ChandlWM
Community Member

I had the students do a math assignment, then take a picture of it using the chromebook camera or an iphone.  After the due date I allowed the key to be seen and them to peer grade.  This works great, but there is not an auto calculate feature yet, that would average the scores their peers gave them and give them a score.

arovner
Explorer III

I love this idea!  All of our online math courses require a handwritten final exam (and sometimes midterm).  This means that students either need to come to campus to take the exams in person or pay to have a proctor where they live (as some live out of state/out of country!). Expensive, inconvenient for working students with tough schedules, etc.  Not to mention for some international students - I have had to find proctors in Botswana, Indonesia, China, etc. Not always easy!   I have been waiting for the ability for students to work out their answers on a tablet and this is becoming more possible as more people have access to tablets, etc.  Please add this!!
Thank you!

eschoch
Community Member

 @Jeff_F ​, any insight into how I could make the idea better/more worthwhile? More specifics, a mock-up of what it might look like in the program, coding suggestions? Thanks!

Jeff_F
Adventurer II

Sure thing.  Here is my 10 minute investment in a possible approach:  Canvas could license this product below from its owner and integrate. 

Try it out:  http://webdemo.myscript.com/#/home 

Or perhaps try a related app on your iOS device:  MyScript MathPad - Handwriting LaTeX generator on the App Store

ps.  good luck!

dwoodard
Community Member

My Math Department continue to be the most resistant to Canvas use. This would be a wonderful option as a means of 'showing their work'! Thanks for requesting it!

jsparks
Instructure
Instructure

Hello Canvas Family,

As former faculty in a health sciences program, I can see the necessity for this type of feature.  The issue is not implementation. As many of you have pointed out, there are solutions on the market where an integration would make it possible. There are also ways we could design the solution. The issue stems from the fact that many students may not own or have access to the right types of technology to capture this process and include it with their work. We may look at including a student-facing formula builder as  part of planned improvements for quizzes. We would not be able to deliver this idea in six months, and we really need to learn more about a few things. Your help is appreciated:

1) Is the inconsistent access to technology a concern?

2) Would a formula builder be sufficient?

3) Would working with a third-party vendor that you all could license be acceptable?

Please let me know your thoughts to help drive this forward.

Kind regards,

Jason

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Deactivated user​, hope this helps!

1) A recent survey of our new students showed that the vast majority had access to the internet via a desktop computer. This was followed by a laptop, smartphone, tablet, and then e-reading device (ex: Kindle). For me that means that in general a good number of my students wouldn't have access to a touch-screen device. Yet, this isn't the case for everyone, so I'm not sure how much this should play a role in the development of this functionality.

2) A formula builder would be great, but unless it is super easy and quick to use it wouldn't be useful. For me I want to know if my students can do the work/math. If this is hindered or overshadowed by the students struggling to use the technology then I'm not going to use it.

3) If it's going to cost extra, then no, it wouldn't be helpful.

jsparks
Instructure
Instructure

Very useful,  @kona  ! Thank you for this insight; it helps validate some of my thoughts and concerns on this idea.  I am curious about other people's thoughts here? Does anyone else have similar data?

Jason

Jeff_F
Adventurer II

My initial opinion was that a touch screen interface would be essential as drawing formulas with a mouse is typically unnatural and would lead to various issues. To experience this awkwardness, folks can try using the Crocodoc draw tool with the mouse to write out a few formulas.

That said, one must also take a look at an application specifically designed for creating formulas.  Try it here: http://webdemo.myscript.com/#/demo/equation   Arguably not the exact same as when using a stylus however I am able to create fairly complex formulas using the mouse alone.

John_Prokos
Community Member

At my institution we are also looking for a tool that would allow basic marking up of an existing image or question. For example when teaching macroeconomics the ability to draw with the mouse or touch screen modifications to an existing chart/graph. The ability for students to input answers by drawing (with mouse, touchscreen or stylus) opens up many additional opportunities to interact with quiz content that are currently difficult and/or require using a separate program.

ChandlWM
Community Member

http://education.smarttech.com/en/products/smart-amp

Smart Amp is the best I have ever seen. It costs. Try out the 30 day

trial to learn more about it.

ChandlWM
Community Member

You could also use Doctopus on Google or Google Classroom to distribute

google drawings or spreadsheets that the teacher owns, and can control when

students lose access to the document.

On Wed, Jan 6, 2016 at 3:57 PM, Bill Chandler <william.chandler@ccsdut.org>