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Canvas - How do I create multiple step Formula questions in Classic Quizzes?

Formula questions in Canvas classic quizzes allow the instructor to generate variables that are randomly selected (within parameters specified by the instructor) for each student. This creates a different set of numbers for each student. Instructors can have a formula that depends on the randomized variable that is a single line, or can have the formula built up in multiple steps.
Canvas provides documentation on how to create a simple formula quiz question, but the steps below show how to utilize multiple steps in your formula by using the calculation of standard deviation (formula below) as an example.

formula for standard deviation

How to utilize multiple steps in your formula

1. Create a new question  
2. Select Formula Question from the drop down menu
3. Type up the text of the problem in the box
4. Any variables that you want randomized from student to student can be placed in brackets like [x]

This example shows 10 different randomized numbers called x1 through x10.

Canvas screenshot of generating random variables in formula question

5. Specify the range you would like randomized values to be drawn from as well as how many decimal places you want them to have. 

This example has each of the 10 randomized data values being between 1 and 10 with one decimal place.

Canvas screenshot of giving bounds on variables in formula question

6. Build up the formula for the correct answer step-by-step. 

Note that at each step of the formula you can specify how many decimal places to keep, up to 4. In this example, we first use the built in “mean” function in Canvas to find the mean of the data set and label it m (this is the "xbar" in our formula). We then take each data value of x1 through x10, subtract the mean, m, and square the result. These are stored as y1 through y10. We then use the built in “sum” function in canvas to add the values of y1 through y10 and divide by 10-1. Finally we apply the square root. Canvas will use the result of the last formula row as the final answer to the quiz question, and this will be bolded. A list of built-in helper functions such as mean and sum can be found at Canvas Helper Functions.

Canvas screenshot of building up formula

7. Finally, generate as many possible solutions as you need for the quiz question. 

For this example, fifty different data sets of size 10 were generated and the standard deviation was found for each via the formula. You can also set a margin of error if desired.

Canvas screenshot of generating solutions

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Keywordsmath, equation   Doc ID99237
OwnerStephanie S.GroupUW-La Crosse
Created2020-03-21 16:40:24Updated2021-06-24 13:06:38
SitesUW-La Crosse
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