Is it really possible that this quizzing engine won't allow students to enter numbers in scientific notation? I have built a simple formula question that requires an answer on the order of 10^24 or 10^(23), and the only thing I can type in the blank are numbers and a decimal point when I take the assignment in student view. It would be crazy to require students to type 1150000000000000000000000, or 0.0000000000000000000000206.
Also, there is no way within the question to control how many significant figures are accepted in a correct answer, and how many are shown as the correct answer to students. Right now the answers are showing as 1154216666666666700000000 and 2.0584000000000002e23, which are meaningless to a scientist (or a scientistintraining).
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Hi @rlbain ,
Sorry for the late response here.
Scientific notation support is planned functionality that is not yet available. You are not alone in expecting it, and we understand it is an important feature.

Kevin Dougherty
Assoc. Product Manager, Assessments
Instructure
Hi @rlbain ,
Sorry for the late response here.
Scientific notation support is planned functionality that is not yet available. You are not alone in expecting it, and we understand it is an important feature.

Kevin Dougherty
Assoc. Product Manager, Assessments
Instructure
Hi @rlbain . I have been looking at older Quizzes.Next questions to determine if any updates are appropriate. I noticed that there have not been any responses here since Kevin's back in February. It looks like Kevin's reply answered your question about the future development of scientific notation support, so am going to mark his response as correct. Doing so does not prevent you or anyone else from continuing a threaded discussion so please feel fee to add additional thoughts in the thread.
Thanks and best wishes!
Hi Kevin,
Its now near the end of 2019. Any estimate in terms of the time frame when Canvas will add the feature of being able to write scientific notation as part of the answers on questions or for students to input this?
Most of my assessments has been streamlined and incorporated in Canvas. As science teachers, this is function is important for us to have our students be able to do and being able to type the answers online make things so much easier for all. Thank you.
And now it is the end of 2020! Still no solution?
I know there are a lot of features to work on, but this isn't the hardest regular expression to write... The whole thing is written in rails, right? Here's one for free!
Seriously, though, can we get an update, or at least an explanation why this is taking so long?
Hi,
I teach 3 classes of 32 students in high school chemistry. I am able to use the LATEX tool to write equations in scientific notation for quizzes/tests/assignments, but there does not seem to be a way to write scientific notation as an answer. This could be solved by having a button that allows you to toggle between superscript and subscript that would allow answers in scientific notation. This button already exists in the regular body text box where questions are written, along with the LATEX tool.
The only solution I have found is to write 10 second power as: 10^2, or e2 as on a calculator. Or 10 to the negative second power as: 10^2 or e2. The problem is that I teach using conventional scientific notation and then the students have to learn another way of doing the same thing which no scientist uses. Then they get confused and make carless mistakes. So this means I have to then go in after a quiz or assignment and review all of the graded questions of each student and give them points at the end as there is also no way to correct the problem after a quiz is finished. The the automatic grading is essentially not working if I have to go through and check every question of every student which is one of the main advantages to using Canvas.
Hi,
This is now 2021 (several years later). Same problem. No scientific notation in the answers. I have hard enough time teaching chemistry students scientific notation without having to teach them to use 10^2 or e2 is the same as 10 to the second power. This is an issue for all of science classes across the board. Canvas has a LATEX tool that we can use to write equations in the assignment, so why not make this available for the answers as well? There is also a radio button that allows for superscript and subscript which would work as well.
Dr. Weldon Beauchamp