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Community Member

Large and Small Exponents in Formula Questions

Hello. I know many teachers have asked the same question, so I was wondering if Canvas support has answered anyone. Here is the question: When can we use large or small exponent when writing a formula questions. I teach chemistry, and I would love to be able to use the formula questions for large or small exponents. Any news would be appreciated.

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Navigator II


By large and small exponents, do you mean scientific notation as in 6.022×1023?

For Classic Quizzes:

To a limited extent, you can enter things like 7.7e8 and it will convert it to 770000000 for you. But with formula questions, there is no support for values less than 0.0001 and they all become 0. If you have an exponent less than 21, it will expand it. If the exponent is greater than 20, then it shows it using e notation, but doesn't accept the answer from a student.


Even with small exponents, it rounds to 4 decimals, so 2.3e-4 would just be 0.0002 and not 0.00023

Canvas did add some support for scientific notation in numeric question types, but it is really lacking in formula questions.

There is a feature idea open for it 

I don't think it exists in New Quizzes, either. Normally when that happens, they mark feature ideas like the one I mentioned as "Completed" and tell people to use New Quizzes.