I am trying to figure out how I can incorporate questions that have answers with subscripts or superscripts in my tests. I can use multiple choice but sometimes I need for these to be fill in the blank. This choice does not allow my students the option to make letters or numbers superscript or subscript. Is this an issue with others that teach Chemistry and Physics or math classes?

Tim,

I don't have a good solution for you.

Yes, this is an issue for lots of people, not just math and science teachers. For example, foreign language teachers have wished for a better ease in entering international characters. The answer for the languages has been to use the native operating systems solution for entering those characters. For Windows, you can use the Character Map or construct the answer in Microsoft Word and then copy/paste.

My take is that Canvas is not a mathematics program. It does not, nor should it be expected to, understand mathematical content. There are too many ways to write sqrt(5) for example -- √5 (alt+251 gives the √ on Windows), 5^0.5, 5^(1/2), sqrt(5), (1+4)^(1-1/2), etc. The last one is stretching a bit, but it is mathematically valid. Asking Canvas to autograde algebra is like asking it to autograde an essay written in a foreign language.

Without the support for students to use the Rich Content Editor, you either have to redesign the questions to be multiple choice or provide them instructions on acceptable ways to enter their results. For example, both ASCII Math and LaTeX use ^ for superscripts and _ for underscores. You could tell the students to enter H_2SO_4, although in that particular example, you might be able to take it without the subscripts and enter H2SO4.

Even if the students could use the Rich Content Editor, you're still going to have difficulty as I mentioned above. Some notation is not intuitive to students and so they will invent ways to display it. If you want autograding, you're going to miss some of the ways. Did they enter H

_{2}SO_{4}using thesubelement or did they use the Unicode superscript and subscript characters?The other option is to not autograde those questions, but go through and manually grade them. That defeats the purpose of immediate feedback and creates additional work for the instructor.