Equations and math symbols


Is there an easy way to type math symbols (think advanced math courses and algebra) in the answers for multiple choice questions?


@jomoskowitz Would this How Can I Make A Division Symbol? help you?


Hi @jomoskowitz I’ve found a lot of keyboard shortcuts work with trial and error. For example, on a Mac
’option’ + p = π
’option’ + v = √
Here’s a list with many that I’ve tested myself in the answer field: http://sites.psu.edu/symbolcodes/mac/codemac/ I’m sure you could find a more encompassing list with more advanced symbols though.


@Jill_Nyahay That’s awesome, Jill. Thank you so much!


I use the Windows Character Map to find the symbols I need, usually using the Cambria Math font. Then, I copy the symbols that the students might need and paste them into a text box with the heading Math Symbol Table. My students, who use Chromebooks, copy and paste the symbols they need into the short answer answer block. As most of my formatives are created from PDFs, I put this text block between each page. I teach Algebra 2.

Here’s the current symbol table they are using on their quizzes and tests:

Math Symbols Table:
± x² x³ x⁴ √ ∛ ∜ ℝ ≤ ≥ π
Exponents Only: ² ³ ⁴ ⁵

This way, they can answer questions involving symbols without having to think about what ctrl + combo they need to use.

While this workaround does solve the problem right now, I REALLY, REALLY would like to see Formative provide a way to allow for math symbols to be directly input using a toolbar.


@mseitz that’s a good idea, I am going to use that! Thank you!


@jomoskowitz Thanks info for the link! My husband just got me a Mac a few weeks ago and it’s all new to me! That list is awesome!


Woah, this is a super creative workaround! We have definitely heard a lot of teachers wanting a way for students to respond with math text and hope to develop this in the near future! I appreciate the feedback :slight_smile:


Wow, super great idea! My students are always asking about symbols! Thanks for sharing.


Anybody ever do this on Chromebooks? As far as I know there is no “character map” in Chromebooks like there is in Windows.


If you’re using Chrome, there is an Extension called Equatio - formerly g(Math) - that I LOVE. It lets you create beautifully formatted equations and creates images of them that you can embed into Google Docs, Forms, Sheets, Slides, and Drawings easily. You could try that, too.


@jenny.santiano Please post the link to the extension. I didn’t find it in the web store.


https://www.texthelp.com/en-us/products/equatio/ is the link to their direct website.

Curious that it didn’t show up… Were you looking in Extensions?


@jenny.santiano Yes I was looking in Extension. My guess is, that there are different versions of Chrome Extensions (country based). However, with your provided link I was able to add the free version of EquatIO. A very useful tool for @Science_Educators as well with Chemistry and formulas tool! Check it out :point_up_2:


Thanks…our students are on iPads, so something that doesn’t rely on workarounds would be great! Thanks.


Thanks Jodi! I noted that you want this!


We are a 1:1 chromebook school and I am a Google Level 1 educator. I am not aware of a character map on the chrome. That’s why I came up with the symbols chart on a windows machine. It probably would also work if you are in the Linux environment.


I have to try this! I have a class set of Chromebooks.


@jenny.santiano Thanks for the info and link on the Extension Equatio! Just added it and plan to share it wth my department members! :slightly_smiling_face:


I have been typing the multiple choice answer choices in as text boxes (because there is an equation editor for that) and then adding the multiple choice question below it with “A”, “B”, “C”, and “D” as answer choices.