Buzz: Product Feedback

Feature Request - Fractions!

Feature idea (LEVEL 1)
Bruce Sharp

One of my top needs in Buzz is the ability for it to handle fractions. Mostly, some sort of function to reduce fractions to simplest form and recognize a fraction is undefined if the denominator happens to be zero.


The inability of Buzz to deal with fractions makes coding much more difficult and severely limits the question pool. For example, I want to give the students 2 points and ask them to calculate the slope of the line containing those points.

It would only take a minute to write:

Type: F

Var: x1 = -15..15

Var: y1 = -15..15

Var: x2 = -15..15

Var: y2 = -15..15

1. Write the slope of the line containing the points ($x1$, $y1$) and ($x2$, $y2$)

m = _________

a. ($y2-y1)/(x2-x1)


But of course it isn't that easy. Many of the fractions created would need to be reduced. There would also be the issue of the denominator ending up as 0. To get around these issues, I have to spend a great deal of time carefully choosing coordinates that don't need to be reduced. Then linking them using dot variables. Instead of having hundreds of possible questions I only have maybe a dozen or so with a much greater time investment.

I can sort of accomplish reducing if I use the option equivalent. The problem with that is if the student has the points (2,1) and (5,3) and I'm looking for the answer m= 2/3, they could type -2/-3 or even (3-1)/(5-2) in the answer blank and the server would count it correct.

Comments (3)

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Bruce Sharp

Not trying to be a pest, but I wanted to give this request a bump. Speaking for the many silent math teachers out there, we ALWAYS want answers in simplest fraction form. We rarely want decimals because the answers our students are finding now are only the middle step of a problem later in the year (or in later courses). For us it's all about exact answers.

Even if we did want decimal answers, we would want them rounded to a specific decimal place and not truncated. Unfortunately, Buzz can't do that either. I have another feature request for rounding decimals.

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Kevin McBride

I absolutely agree. It is very frustrating that Buzz cannot be used to a fuller extent with fractions.

From an elementary teacher standpoint, we do not always require fractions in simplest form, particularity when first learning how to work with fractions. Any improvement, though, in this area would greatly improve my ability to use Buzz for using variables with fractions.

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Bruce Sharp

Thanks for giving this a bump. :)

This is still among my top needs for Buzz.

I would think Kevin and I could be accommodated with a check box for reducing fractions or not.

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