|Strange answers problem||topic started 11/6/2003; 1:16:55 AM
last post 11/6/2003; 1:16:55 AM
|John Jones - Strange answers problem
11/6/2003; 1:16:55 AM (reads: 496, responses: 0)
I get many reports that WW does things which make little sense (e.g., "It wouldn't take my answer, I went to get a coffee, clicked submit, and the same answer was suddenly marked right"). Recently, I had a similar report we were able to debug.
The claim was that WW was internally mangling the student's answer. The answer blank clearly had one thing entered, but when submitted it was showing something very different. I have had two reports of this problem from different courses.
Answer blanks, like in any web form, will scroll if there is more text in them than they can show. Here, they showed the student's intended answer, but then there were lots of blanks, and then more numbers (maybe from a copy-and-paste). WW interprets the space as an implicit multiplication, creating an answer different from what was intended.
Most of you probably guessed the problem right away, but few students will. My suggestion is to have strings of 2 or more consecutive spaces in student answers replaced by 2 spaces before storing the answer. Then, the problem won't be completely scrolled out of (most) answer blanks, it leaves a little latitude for students to add aesthetic spaces to their answers for readibility, and won't affect whether answers are right/wrong.