User interface - Wiris Quizzes Studio

All mathematical content in a WIRIS question type is handled from Wiris Quizzes Studio, or Studio for short. Studio can always be accessed from a WIRIS question type by pressing this icon:

Once we are in Quizzes Studio, the available options will depend on the type of question we are editing. We are using a Short Answer type in this case, which has the most features in Quizzes Studio out of all the question types.



What we’ll find here are settings for controlling various aspects of the question, in a way that allows mathematical content to be handled flexibly. Different options are divided into this initial page and three distinct sections, which we explain in detail below.

Wiris Quizzes 4 documentation

This documentation page has been updated to the latest Wiris Quizzes version. You can find the same information for the previous versions here.

In the initial screen, you can mainly control the answer field for the student and set the question's correct answer. Moreover, you can also add initial content to the editor so the students will see it when they open the question.

When choosing the type of response, you can choose between the three possible options below. In this page, we will focus on the equation answer type interface (other interfaces are explained on the corresponding linked pages).

  • Equation: Any mathematical expression, including those involving units and currencies. This is the default option, and it is probably the type you need in the majority of cases.
  • Graphic: For graphical answers drawn by the students in Wiris graph. More details here.
  • Text: For pure text answers with no mathematical content. This option is rarely used. More details here.

In previous versions of Wiris Quizzes, you had to distinguish between mathematical expressions and quantities involving units. From now on, it won't be necessary, both options are included under the Equation option.

As for the correct answer, it must be entered in a formulas editor or a plain text field, depending on the selected type of response.

Below the editor, you can find the three main sections that will allow you to deepen into the multiple capabilities of the tool.

Finally, at the lower-left corner of the screen, you will find a preview section to simulate the question quickly, without having to save, exit the question editor, etc.

In the Input options screen, it is possible to filter the showed options from the beginning, based on an analysis of the correct answer. Thus, only the most relevant options will appear, clearing the window of all the possibilities that the tool offers that may not be of interest.

However, you can always select the Show all options box if you want to take a look at all the entry possibilities. From here, if they are all displayed, the window is divided into three sections.

Compound answer

In Short answer questions, you can ask for more than one answer in a single question. You can choose to grade the whole question as not correct if any of the answers are not accurate or to give each answer a weight in the grade. For more details see this page: Compound answer.

Answer input method

The Answer input method section is divided in two. The first one is named Answer input field.

Here, you can choose the answer field for the student from the following options:

  • Math editor embedded: Select this for the student to use an embedded editor (default).
  • Math editor in a popup: Select this for the student to use a small input box, with a button to insert formulas with our editor.
  • Plain text: Select this for the student to use a small input box with no formula editor.

One of the above three is always selected. Below, you can find the second subsection, which is named Auxiliary input.

Here, you can choose what kind of auxiliary entry you want to offer to the students. There are also three options:

  • Display auxiliary CalcMe: You can supply your students with our online calculator while answering the question, and set initial content for the calculator if desired. Keep in mind that the calculator can do a lot more than numerical computations!
  • Display auxiliary text field: You can provide your students with a text editor to make them include the reasoning they have followed to answer the question. For more details see this page: Auxiliary input.
  • Don't show auxiliary input: Don't show the auxiliary CalcMe calculator nor the auxiliary text editor in the input field for the student's answer.

Input syntax

Finally, you can find the Input syntax section, where you select what kind of input is expected from the student and how the correct answer is validated against the student answer. The main function of many of the options is to decide how syntax checking works on the student side. For example [0,1) is normally highlighted as incorrect syntax, unless we choose the Intervals option. The section is divided into several parts, explained below.

Firstly, you can choose which symbols are recognized as mathematical constants instead of variables (e.g., if i is enabled, then i squared will be understood as –1). You can also define more constants at the Define random variables and functions pannel.

Secondly, you can choose which function names are recognized by their usual meaning (e.g., if exp/log is enabled, then "ln(2)" will be understood and calculated as 0.6931...).

Then, you can choose which units are recognized. Notice that any of them is selected by default, you will have to enable manually those units in which you are interested.

In addition, you can also choose which unit prefixes are recognized. Again, you have to enable it manually, as are all unselected by default.

Afterward, you can define which of the following constructions are allowed as correct answers.

You can see a detailed description of each construction in the table below.

Option Description Default
Mixed fractions Allow mixed fractions to be recognized. Without this option, a number next to a fraction is understood to be multiplying it. Unselected
Lists Allow lists as answers. Otherwise, they are interpreted as parentheses. Options for list separators are shown below. Selected
Lists without enclosers Allows lists not enclosed in curly brackets to be recognized as a list (e.g., if not selected, "4,7,88,9" would not be understood as a list: it would be highlighted as syntactically incorrect). Unselected
Intervals Recognizes interval notation as valid syntax. Expressions like [0,1] are already valid without this, but now we may have, for instance, ]0,1] or (0,1]. More details here. Unselected
Ratios Allows formulas like 2:3:5 to be interpreted as ratios. Otherwise, they are successive regular divisions. Unselected
Computer scientific notation Allows formulas like 1.5e-5 or 1.5E-5 to be interpreted as decimal numbers in scientific notation. Unselected
See a detailed explanation of lists and sets here.
See a detailed explanation of percentages and per mille use here.

Finally, you can decide which symbols act as separators by choosing the meaning of point, comma, and space symbols. Additionally, you can use apostrophe ' for decimal mark. You only have to check that º'" are unselected as units of measure.

As you have seen in the input options section, it is possible to filter the showed options from the beginning, based on an analysis of the correct answer. Thus, only the most relevant options will appear, clearing the window of all the possibilities that the tool offers that may not be of interest.

However, you can always select the Show all options box if you want to take a look at all the entry possibilities. From here, if they are all displayed, the window is divided into four sections.

Comparison with student answer

Once you have decided what format you expect the student answer to be in, you have a few options for how their answer should be compared to the correct one.

You can see a detailed description of each option in the table below.

Comparison with student answer criteria
Literally equal This removes all mathematical interpretations from the comparison. The student's answer is only correct if it matches the correct answer exactly. For example, if the correct answer is 4 but the student writes 4.0, it will not be counted. This criterion is rarely recommended.
Mathematically equal This is the default comparison. It will detect if what the student has written is mathematically equal to the correct answer. For example, we don't need to worry if the student writes a + b or b + a. More details
Compare as sets This is a checkbox that is independent of the above options. When checked, order and repetition are ignored from lists. So, if the correct answer is the set {1,5,2}, then {5,5,5,2,1} (for example) would be accepted. More details
Equivalent equations This comparison is very similar to the mathematically equal option, but it is for the special case where the answer is an equation (e.g. the student could write y equals 2 x minus 5, or 2.5 equals x minus y over 2, or any equivalent form). More details
Any answer Anything that the student answers will be counted as correct. This is useful in some cases. More details
Grading function Define your own function to decide which answers are accepted, and how to grade them. This is an advanced feature. More details

Numbers

In the Numbers section we specify the tolerance criteria used for the comparison between the student's answer and the correct answer. These settings apply globally (to the entire question) and they are divided into four. Firstly, you need to choose if you want the answer to be symbolic or not.

If you select this option, any answer expressed with decimal numbers will be graded as incorrect. To do so, it must be a combination of operations, fractions, roots, and functions. If it's enabled, it will be the only option available.

Otherwise, you can specify the tolerance criteria used for the comparison between the student's answer and the correct answer.

You can choose between the three possible options:

  • Exact answer: This option requires the student's answer to be exactly equal to the correct answer.
  • Error margin: This option requires the student's answer to be strictly within the tolerance interval. You can define this margin as a percent error or as an absolute error. It's selected by default at 0,1 percent error.
  • Matching digits: This option requires the student's answer to match the first significant figures or decimal places with the correct answer.

You can see more details here. Below, you can choose the format in which you want to require the student's answer.

You can choose between the three possible options:

  • Scientific notation: This option requires the student's answer to be expressed in normalized scientific notation.
  • Decimal notation: This option requires the student's answer to be expressed in plain decimal notation.
  • Any notation: This option allows the student's answer to be expressed either in scientific or decimal notation. It's selected by default.

You can see more details here. Below, you can define a particular precision to require the student's answer. It allows you to check the minimum and the maximum number of significant figures or decimal places the student answer must have.

Simplification

Sometimes it's not just the value of the answer that's important, but also its form. This usually happens when you are teaching basic algebraic manipulation, and you want the answer in a very specific form.

You can see a detailed description of each option in the table below.

Specific property Examples
Correct Wrong
Simplified It checks whether the expression cannot be simplified. Includes fractions, powers and roots, polynomials... open parentheses square root of x close parentheses cubed open parentheses square root of x close parentheses to the power of 4
Expanded It checks whether all operations that can be done are performed 27 1 plus 1
Factorized It checks whether an integer or a polynomial is expressed as product of primes 2 to the power of 4 times 3 48
Common factors It checks whether the summands of the answer have no common factors 2 left parenthesis 2 plus 3 plus 4 right parenthesis 4 plus 6 plus 8
Common denominator It checks whether the answer has a single common denominator fraction numerator x plus 1 over denominator x minus 1 end fraction fraction numerator x plus 1 over denominator x minus 1 end fraction plus fraction numerator x minus 1 over denominator x plus 1 end fraction
Rationalized It checks whether the expression does not have square (or higher) roots in the denominator. It also checks whether the expression has a pure real denominator (in the case of complex numbers) fraction numerator square root of 2 over denominator 2 end fraction fraction numerator 1 over denominator square root of 2 end fraction
Minimal radicands It checks whether any present radicands are minimal 2 square root of 2 square root of 8
Match unit of measure It checks whether the unit of the answer is literally equal to the given one 3 text km end text, given text km end text 3 text m end text times text s end text to the power of negative 1 end exponent, given text m end text divided by text s end text

For a complete and advanced description of all the properties, see assertions.

The Define random variables and functions section is at the core of many of Wiris Quizzes' capabilities. We define variables here in a computer algebra system (CAS), and these are used in various parts of the question definition, mainly in the question's statement and correct answer. If you're familiar with CalcMe, then you have a head start. If not, it's easy to get started. You can think of it as a big scientific calculator, but it can also manipulate symbolic equations. You can always check CalcMe basic guide.

Declaring variables

Variables are defined by writing a name for a variable, an equal sign, and an expression on the right-hand side. For example:

There are two details to note:

Declaring variables

  • The left-hand side can be any letter or word without spaces, excluding reserved words (e.g. sin, cos)
  • The right-hand side can be any reasonable mathematical expression, be it numerical (as in the first variable above) or algebraic (as in the second).

Within this field, variables can be manipulated and acted on, and new variables can be defined from old ones, just as on paper. For instance:

Algorithm language

The algorithm field is available in multiple languages. By default, the language of the CAS will be the same as the Moodle, or English as the fallback. But you can choose another one of the available languages.

If you change the CalcMe language then any existing algorithm in it will be automatically translated. This is very useful if you have algorithms in other languages, like the ones in STEM collection.

Inserting variables

Those are the basics of how variables function inside of Wiris Quizzes Studio. What's very important though, is to know how to use these variables outside of Studio. The answer is simple:

To include a variable anywhere within a question type, write a pound symbol: # followed by the name of the variable (e.g. #a)

So we could include the above polynomial in a question just like this:

This would appear to the student as:

It's also possible to insert these variables in the question's feedback. Furthermore, you can use the student's answer there, learn how to do it here.

Random variables

Perhaps the most important use of variables is to introduce randomness in a question. There is a simple instruction in CalcMe that generates random numbers, random(). For example,

generates a random number between -10 and 10. This could then be used in the question text as we have seen. The result is that each time the question is opened, a random value for a is used. So, students viewing the same question will see potentially different values.

There are many ways to exploit this feature, and we list a few of them ourselves in the basic guide. Similarly, if you want to see examples of questions that use randomness at different levels, you can see their dedicated page
If you are interested in having the same random seed for the same student, learn how to do it here.

Output options

Different countries, education levels, or textbooks, use different notations. You can configure some output options in the Application settings section inside CalcMe to better match the notation you use.

These options apply only to the values generated in the Algorithm field, i.e. the variables. All generated values will be in the same notation; you can not generate values in different notations.

Imaginary unit

Choose between i and j (often used in electrical engineering).

Times operator

Choose between middle dot · and cross x. Set Implicit to hide all non-necessary products, that is, implicit products.

Precision

Precision must be an integer between 1 and 15 included, and it can be set as Significant figures or Decimal places. By default it is Precision = 4 significant figures.

All notations usually imply a rounding. When rounding, the rule used for tie-breaking is half-up.

For a complete detailed information about tolerance, precision and notation, visit our dedicated page.

Notation

These notations apply only to decimal numbers. Numbers and expressions without a decimal point in them are exact, and so these notations don't apply to them. You can always convert an exact expression to decimal by multiplying by 1.0 for instance.

For a complete detailed information about tolerance, precision and notation, visit our dedicated page.

Decimal

Choose the symbol for the decimal mark. Available options depend on the symbols in Validation tab, in Options... > Separators marked as Decimal digits. Trailing decimal points of integer numbers are never shown.

Thousands

Choose the symbol for the digit groups separator, that is, thousands separator. Available options depend on the symbols in Validation tab, in Options... > Separators marked as Digit groups.

List items

Choose the symbol for the list items separator. Available options depend on the symbols in Validation tab, in Options... > Separators marked as List items.

The Test this question section allows you to simulate the question behavior quickly, without having to save, exit the question editor, etc. Specifically, you can test evaluation criteria, automatic feedback, and variables. The preview interface looks like this:

We will now examine the separate elements of the preview panel.

Student answer

This is a formula editor exactly as the student will have, where you can write a test answer.

Note: It's easy to see the toolbar in the editor window presented to the student is different from the MathType toolbar you normally see. This simpler toolbar is easier to navigate, and contains all the symbols and templates the student will likely need when answering quizzes. For full toolbar documentation, see the Toolbar and icons page in the MathType docs.

Correct answer

The correct answer will be shown in the blank on the left. Click the arrow button to automatically input the correct answer into the answer blank above. If any variables are defined in the variable tab, there will also be a refresh icon . When clicked, all algorithms are executed again. In particular, any random elements will be newly generated.

Feedback

The defined feedback will be shown in the blank below. If there is more than one property required, it will show us which of them the student answer satisfies and which not.

You can Export and Import the contents of Wiris Quizzes Studio.

The Export button will immediately download an XML file containing all settings of all tabs of the studio. Your browser will automatically save this file or will ask you where to put it, like any other download.

If you are using Studio inside an LMS (Moodle, Canvas,…), then be aware you are not exporting the question; you are exporting only the studio settings.

The Import button is the reverse action of Export.

You can use Export and Import to help you to:

  • Move algorithms between questions.
  • Change the type of a question; for instance, from shortanswer into multichoice.
  • Move questions between LMS; for instance, from Moodle to Canvas.
  • Provide detailed bug reports to support at wiris.com

Wiris Quizzes is multilingual and it is today available in the following languages:

Language Original name Configuration code
Catalan català ca
Danish dansk da
English English en
French français fr
German Deutsch de
Greek ελληνικά el
Italian italiano it
Norwegian bokmal norsk bokmål nb
Norwegian nynorsk norsk nynorsk nn
Portuguese português pt
Portuguese Brazilian português brasileiro pt_br
Spanish español es