Features & Development

request option to require careful notation in answers

request option to require careful notation in answers

by Dick Lane -
Number of replies: 1
I have seen (mainly as Admin) a variety of student emails to colleagues of the form
    I used Wolfram Alpha to compute the answer,
    but WeBWorK did not give it credit.

In many cases where I have viewed those student answers, they involve a mess of characters with little attention to syntax, e.g,
Of course, from my vantage point, I do not know what input was supplied to Wolfram Alpha nor how faithfully its output was transcribed.

I encourage my students to use the Preview button.  Nonetheless, I would like an option to require all/most answers involving a function evaluation to have inputs enclosed, without ambiguity, in parentheses [or brackets, ...].  Providing suitable warning/alert messages about ambiguity would also be useful.
In reply to Dick Lane

Re: request option to require careful notation in answers

by Davide Cervone -
A couple of questions:

Do you mean a feature that could be included by the problem author to require parentheses for function calls, or something that can be turned on globally on a class-by-class basis (or something else)? (I'm not sure doing it on a problem-by-problem basis is a good idea, as I think it would be confusing to students to have the syntax change from one to the next.)

Can you give some examples of the ambiguities and messages that you have in mind?