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How do I stop Canvas from altering submitted computer language content?

Question asked by Jeff Yates on Feb 4, 2019
Latest reply on Feb 4, 2019 by Jeff Yates

I allow my students to submit software coding assignments (non-html) by pasting into a text window.  I also ask my students to submit code fragments as part of their quiz and test results.

 

For quizzes and tests (and also I believe importing of entire courses), I have found sporadic problems where what is typed (or imported) is not what I find in the final submission.  I suspect that Canvas is trying to interpret text tags and removing white space from answers.

 

For homework assignments, both the rich text editor and the html editor prevent this from working in various ways.

 

The rich text editor removes all leading whitespace, which destroys code formatting, which is part of the assignment.

 

The html editor (which should not be used for code submission) can be 'hacked' to attempt to prevent formatting by using certain html tags (this is clearly not a good solution) - fails on special syntax like <char> and <int> which are interpreted as tags.

 

More critically, this same issue can corrupt quiz and text content that tends to get interpreted as html tags, when it really is not!

 

Does canvas support at least a basic "dumb text" window that access text exactly as entered, without removing leading spaces? (I feel like I must be missing something, because in-browser coding is so ubiquitous).  

 

Separately, has anyone else run into issues regarding interpretation of text as html tags in quiz or test input?

 

These are really big deficiencies for me and for coding classes tends to push me away from using canvas and look more toward other more code-savvy systems.  To be clear, I'm not even asking about "smart editors" that understand code syntax (which would be great)... I'm just looking for confidence that what my students submit is what I see, unchanged.

 

Thanks!

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