Buzz: Questions & Answers

Help using variable feature in math assignments

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Christopher Antill

I'm a math teacher with a limited knowledge of code. I've been trying to figure out what the commands are (if any) so that I could use variables to create a problem, then create solutions using the same variables. Example: I wanted to create a problem where students reduce fractions, so I set variables for numerator and denominator, set the range, and it worked for the question. How do I make it so my answers reflect different operations using those same variables? i.e. if my fraction was 2/8, is there a way for one of the answer choices to be the simplified fraction like 1/4? I figured using a command for greatest common factor and division (or something). I tried to use the "$eval", but are there any other command prompts that perform other operations? The examples in the help section are basic addition and subtraction. Or possibly a way to convert a decimal to a fraction? I'm stuck and this is probably the most basic thing I will try to do with variables. If there was a guide other than the "How do I use Assessment Editor" about how to program, code, or use variables like this, I would appreciate the help.

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Bruce Sharp

I have a list of requests for math in Buzz. I think the ability for Buzz to reduce fractions is #1. Since Buzz won't/can't reduce fractions a question that could take a few seconds to write now becomes extremely time intensive. If I have time this weekend, I'll write a more detailed response for you with some sample questions.

For now, here is a link to a document I created to go along with a PD I presented over using variables in Buzz. It is certainly not exhaustive but it should at least get you started. 

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Bruce Sharp

Here is a simple question asking students to reduce a fraction. You can copy it and paste it into an assessment to try it out. Open a new assessment. Go to the questions tab. Click on the <> and paste in the question code. Save.

I'll try to explain what's going on so you can modify this to suit your needs and hopefully make your own. :)

The type is F for fill-in. the Match means match algebraic expression that way the students can click the equation editor at the end of the answer blank and see their fraction 1/2 as a vertical fraction.

The first two variables are linked list variables. They both start with f. - that means they are in the same group. So if Buzz picks the first number in the n (numerator) list it will also pick the first number in the d (denominator) list. If they weren't in the same group, they wouldn't be linked in this way. This ensures a final answer that cannot be reduced any further. When you call a variable in Buzz, you need to put it inside dollar signs.

Next, the variable c is a range variable. Buzz will pick a number from 2 to 5.

You can maybe see the basis of the fraction is f.n*c/f.d*c. The numerator and denominator are both multiplied by the same constant to provide a common factor. The eval is what tells Buzz to do the actual multiplication instead of just showing the multiplication problem. The $ in front of the eval is necessary if Buzz is going to display the product of the multiplication. The ,0 at the end is like a placeholder that will be replaced by the product of the calculation

I added an equal sign and an answer blank after the fraction.

You can see that the final correct answer will just be the numerator (f.n) over the denominator (d.n).

I hope this helps. :)

Type: F, Match
Var: f.n = 1,1,2,2,3,3
Var: f.d = 2,3,5,7,2,4
Var: c = 2..5
1) Completely reduce the fraction.

`$eval($f.n$*$c$,0)/$eval($f.d$*$c$,0) =` ___________
a. $f.n$/$f.d$

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