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Quizzes.Next: Numerical answers need greater dynamic range

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In the Canvas Community Ideas space, you can share, converse, and rate idea conversations related to software improvements to Canvas products.

Quizzes.Next: Numerical answers need greater dynamic range

Thank you, Canvas, for deploying scientific notation in Numerical Answer questions. However, the system is rounding and truncating in a way that sets too many values to zero. For example, create a numerical question, and enter "1E-5" as one of the Exact Answers. Canvas will substitute zero for the answer. It is common in physics and chemistry for answers to be much smaller numbers than this. For example, the gravitational force between two humans separated by 1 meter is in the range 4E-7 Newtons. Other questions might yield answers much smaller than that, say in the range 1E-20 to 1E-30 (I would suggest a limit in the range of 1E-40 to 1E-50). Can Numerical Answer calculations be changed to double-precisions variables or whatever it takes? Thanks!  

19 Comments
Community Member

This issue is causing me a lot of grief as well.  Numbers should not be rounded to zero just because they are smaller than 0.0001!  The inability to have a formula question with an answer whose scientific form has a negative exponent is crushing my soul.  =\  Electrons, protons, & neutrons may be small, but they still matter!

Community Member

"Still matter" is kind of punny since it is science. I agree doing Physics and Math that there is a need for smaller numbers and negative exponent. In the mean time, I've instructed my students to enter scientific notation like this : 6.28*10^-12 

I used fill in the blank and round to two decimals. This gets a little tricky if pi is involved like electricity and math, but for the most part it has been working as long as I put the effort in to math all the possibilities my students can come up with on the front side... Good Luck and UP VOTE!

Community Member

Agreed. Allowing very small numbers is especially important in both physics and chemistry--in all sciences! In physics, the charge on an electron is VERY small and students sometimes need to use the value (9.11 x 10E-31) to calculate the force between two charges.

Community Member

There's also a limit to large numbers: the exponent only goes up to 99. This should be fixed.

Community Member

with the same topic comes the need to allow relative (percentage) tolerance margins, instead of just fixed ones. Consider calculated questions where the individual answers span over a factor of 10 or more, than an absolute accuracy of +/- x does not make sense.

Community Member

today I accidentally found out that the tolerance field actually accepts relative values, e.g. "5%" - why is this feature nowhere documented?

The answer_tolerance property is not even mentioned in the API documentation?

Community Member

That would be astonishing. And if I put in 5%, is that 5% of the correct answer, or a fixed value of 0.05? At this point I trust nothing.

Mark Hurwitz

Upper School Physics Teacher / Advisor

mhurwitz@nuevaschool.org

(650) 235-7120

THE NUEVA SCHOOL

PreK-12 | nuevaschool.org

Lower & Middle Schools | 6565 Skyline Boulevard | Hillsborough, CA 94010 | 650-350-4600

Upper School | 131 East 28th Avenue | San Mateo, CA 94403 | 650-235-7100

Community Member

313053_Clip0004.jpgI learned to not trust anything, therefore I made a quick test. I made a question, two variables A and B and the result should be the produkt A*B.

Entering 5% gives you a margin of +-5% of the correct value, which is also then written out in the corrected results overview after the quiz.

So YES, it is a percentage value of the correct answer which will be accepted.

Community Member

313095_Clip0005.jpg313096_Clip0006.jpg

Community Member

I do not see this option. When I create a numerical question, the answer must fall within a range, or be an "exact answer" with an "error margin." If I put (for example) 3% in the "error margin," Canvas ignores the % symbol and simply treats it as +/- 3. How do you get to the word "tolerance?"