Courses that use the Canvas quiz / exam tool that require students to make use of the Math Equation Editor function (such as courses in Math, Chemistry, Physics, etc.) of the Rich Content Editor ribbon on Essay style questions may experience an issue where students' responses in these Essay questions are incomplete / missing aspects of their answers.
The issue stems from students copying and pasting Math Equation Editor characters and symbols from either the text of pre-existing questions or their own previous answers into the essay question text box. When copying and pasting these characters / symbols and then continuing to write in the essay text box they run the risk of potentially continuing to add text to the LaTeX equation that determines what characters / symbols to display.
The essay response in the student's attempt at the time of writing will look correct and properly show their answer, but upon submitting and reviewing the responses instructors (and students) will see an incomplete answer. The student's completed response is still available and can be recovered to view in the Quiz Logs for the student's attempt.
This issue is only associated with the Math Equation Editor found in the Classic Quizzes engine.
The New Quizzes engine does not appear to experience the same issues with students copying and pasting equation characters / symbols from other questions or answers found in the exam item.
SOLUTION: Do Not Copy and Paste Math Equation Editor Characters
The most secure way to ensure that part or all of an essay question response is visible is to not copy and paste equation characters / symbols when answering a question. This includes not copying and pasting characters or symbols in previous questions, or their own answers. Students should use the Math Equation Editor to create all components of an equation or character / symbol they are referencing.
A student may be able to tell that an issue will occur with their essay response if they notice that an "Edit Equation" button floats above their answer rather than the characters / symbols they copied and pasted.
Students may copy and paste an equation like this from a question to save time:
CO2 + H2O → C6H12O6 + O2
The Arrow symbol will disappear in the final submission, even if it is visible in the essay box when working on the question and the "Edit Equation" button doesn't show up elsewhere in their answer. To ensure that the arrow symbols don't disappear, students should at least replace the arrows with new arrows from the Math Equation Editor.
Faculty resource for how to recover a student's full essay question submission:
- Student essay responses in my Canvas quiz / exam are missing parts of their answer. What happened and where do I find their complete essay response?
For more help, please contact [email protected].