Students and teachers can type chemical equations and mathematical formulae directly into text boxes.
Basic maths functions such as subscript and superscript are available through their own buttons in your text toolbar. More complex expressions can be written using the Maths editor.
There are two different maths tools in Stile: one for questions and one for answers. You can find the maths question tool within your text toolbar in any question widget or text widget (learn more about text tools for teachers here).
The maths answer tool will appear for you in Multiple Choice answer options, and for students it will be available in the answer box for Written Response questions. The answer tool is not available to students in Table questions.
Each section of this article can be read independently as its own tutorial.
Click to jump to the section relevant to you, or continue reading below:
- Write a formula or equation as part of a question;
- Add a formula or equation to a multiple choice answer;
- Add maths or chemistry to a model answer;
- Visual Accessibility and Maths/Chemistry in Stile.
Write a formula or equation as part of a question
The standard text tools availble in your toolbar can handle simple equations and expressions with the help of the subscript and superscript buttons. Combine these with the characters available on your keyboard and you can write basic statements directly into your textbox, such as "H₂O" or "a² + b² = c²."
Use the equation editor for anything more complex. Click the square root button in your text toolbar to open the maths question tools.
The equation editor will pop up over your Stile lesson with a collection of symbols at the top, organized into tabs, and a large text box filling the rest of the space. Have a browse through each tab to see what it includes. The General tab includes sub and superscript, roots, fractions, brackets, and your most basic statement notation.
When you add an element that includes multiple boxes to fill in, such as the fraction, you can navigate through the boxes by either clicking into each box or using your keyboard's arrow keys. You can also do this to get your cursor out of those boxes. The best way to get comfortable with this tool is to just have a play!
Alternatively, you can push Stile's maths capabilities to its limits by typing raw LaTeX directly into the text box. We only recommend this option for teachers who are already comfortable with writing LaTeX expressions.
When you are happy with your expression, click the Save button and it will be added to your text box. You can click on the expression to move it and format it, such as centering it in the text box or pulling it down a few lines below the rest of your text.
Add a formula or equation to a multiple choice answer
Multiple Choice questions provide an excellent example of sets of maths tools because you use the question tools to write out the question, and the answer tools to fill in each of the possible answers.
Click the notation button at the end of the answer box to reveal the maths answer tools. The answer tools are very simplified compared to the question editor, however it can still provide a broad variety of choice. The available tools include arrows, brackets, symbols, and sub and superscript. These are adequate for the majority of what gets taught in Stile, but if you find yourself writing a lot of expressions then you may want to learn some quicker keyboard shortcuts.
The notation button also activates a maths text box within the answer box where you can directly type expressions. This method relies on some intuitive keyboard work (such as typing "/" to produce a fraction, "^" to enter superscript or "_" for subscript) and a little practice, and you can use this in combination with the buttons available in the answer tools. Check out our reference guide to maths notation here.
How to add a maths or chemistry model answer
The tools available to you when creating a model answer are the same as those given to students when answering questions. They are also the same tools available in Multiple Choice answers, illustrated in the previous section of this article.
Use a Written Response question when you want students to answer with maths or Chemistry. Write and format the question to your liking using the question tools described earlier in this article, and then click on the Model Answers tab to open the response box and tools.
The tools available to you and your students in the answer box include arrows, brackets, symbols, and sub and superscript. These are adequate for the majority of what gets taught in Stile, but if you find yourself writing a lot of expressions then you may want to learn some quicker keyboard shortcuts. Some symbols like parenthesis/brackets, plus, minus, and other basic characters are the same coming from your keyboard as they are from the toolbar in the answer box. Use whichever you are more comfortable with, and the result will be the same.
Visual Accessibility and Maths/Chemistry in Stile
The accessibility of the expressions you write in Stile depends, in part, on which tools you use to write them. The most accessible version is produced if you use the maths tools regardless if you are doing complex equations or more simple chemical formulae. Subscripts and superscripts are picked up correctly by screen readers if you use the maths tools instead of the basic sub- and superscript buttons in the text toolbar. Unfortunately, LaTeX is read as pure LaTeX and not as the rendered equation. The automatic narration in Stile is a good indication of how other screen readers will behave, so it's good practice to check how the narrator sounds before releasing your lesson to students who will be relying on accessible tools.
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