cancel
Showing results for
Did you mean:
Community Member

## How do I create individual distributive property questions?

Trying to create a quiz/test item using the distributive property. I am familiar with the formula question to create different numbers over the same concept so no students see the same question, but cannot figure out how to use this without the formula demanding a value for x if I put [a](x+[b]) for the expression. Any one figure this out?

Tags (2)
1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
Instructure

Hi there,  @bharring  Welcome to the Community!

I can't say I directly know the answer to your question here, but I have shared it with our Teaching Math in Canvas‌ group! This will give your question more exposure and allow for more minds to collaborate on an answer to help make your quiz/ test a success.

4 Replies
Instructure

Hi there,  @bharring  Welcome to the Community!

I can't say I directly know the answer to your question here, but I have shared it with our Teaching Math in Canvas‌ group! This will give your question more exposure and allow for more minds to collaborate on an answer to help make your quiz/ test a success.

Community Member

thank you.

Brett Harring

Math Intervention / Teacher of Record

574-299-9800 (o)

Navigator

Formula questions expect a numeric response in integer or decimal form only. You cannot currently use formula or numeric questions to input a symbolic response.

You could put in a value for x, but then you're not assessing the distributive property anymore, you're assessing whether they can evaluate an expression. That is, there is no guarantee that when you ask them to "evaluate [a] ( x + b ) when x = [x]" that they will use the distributive property. In fact, most won't they'll plug in the value of x and then use the order of operations to do what's in parentheses first.

Since you cannot use formula questions to get the response for what you want, you will need to create each question separately.  To get the randomization, you would create a question group in the quizzes that holds similar questions.

If you have access to Respondus,  you can generate the questions in Excel, bring them into Respondus, and then bring them into Canvas. I have done that before and once you figure it out, it works fairly well.

The issue then becomes how to get the answer into Canvas when it involves symbolic expressions. The way that most people who post in the Community seem to do it is by using a short answer / fill in the blank question. When you do this, though, you have to allow for every possible answer, including putting spaces around items. If the answer is to the question -2(x-4), then you would have to have -2x+8, 8-2x, 8 - 2x, -2 x + 8, -2*x+8, 8-2*x, etc. If you want to work on standard form or the simplest representation, then you can make that a part of the problem, but then you're assessing two things, rather than just their ability to distribute.  There is a feature request https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/5826-add-regular-expressions-to-quizzes?sr=search&searchId=34d...‌ that has been developed with Quizzes.Next that can help with some of that. See https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-12183-71670780601  for more details. Quizzes.Next is currently a beta feature and it still doesn't solve the problem that you're trying to get a text-based comparison to interpret mathematical content. You really need something that speaks mathematics to do that properly.

Other possibilities, especially if you want to go the Respondus route, involve making it a multiple choice question.

By the way, there is a slight misrepresentation in your original question.

I am familiar with the formula question to create different numbers over the same concept so no students see the same question

There is no guarantee that students will not see the same question when you use formula questions. Even if you have a class of 10 and generate 100 possible versions of the question, Canvas does not sample without replacement when picking the version to give. It is possible, albeit unlikely, that all 10 students could get the same question.

This would also be true when picking questions from a question bank. Having a large pool to choose from can mitigate the issue, but it does not eliminate it.

Community Coach

Good evening,  @bharring ...