Choose a math entry mode

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Text Mode

Symbol Mode

To see how to choose a math entry mode:


Throughout your activities, you'll have the choice of two modes for entering your responses to mathematical questions:

  • Text Mode
  • Symbol Mode

TIP: You can toggle between the two math entry modes by clicking the change entry mode iconChange entry mode icon is an epsilon on a piece of paper.beside the response area.

The "Change entry mode" icon is located to the right of the response area field and after the preview response icon.

NOTE: If you move to a previous question where you've already entered an answer, your response is displayed in the entry mode that you most recently selected.

Text Mode

Text Mode is the default entry mode in Möbius where you can enter symbolic or numeric expressions in a single line using your regular keyboard.

The text box response area used in Text Mode is highlighted.

Text Mode follows the syntax similar to that used by a graphing calculator (Example — you would enter x squared divided by y as (x^2)/y).

TIP: Click the preview iconThe "Preview" icon is a magnifying glass on a piece of view your response as a typeset mathematical expression. The preview demonstrates how Möbius interprets your response so that you can inspect your entry for misplaced parentheses and other unintended keystrokes.

The "Preview" icon is immediately to the right of the response area entry field.

Use Text Mode

To enter a response using Text Mode:

TIP: Check out Enter my response with proper math syntax for help with how to properly enter your responses in Text Mode.

  1. Enter your response using standard mathematical notation within the entry field.

The response of sinx(1+2cosx) is entered in a response area using Text Mode.

  1. Click the preview iconPreview iconto inspect how Möbius interprets your entry.

The "Preview" icon is highlighted beside the response area to preview the entered Text Mode response.

TIP: The most common mistake is forgetting the parentheses () (Example — the expression 1/(x+1) is different from 1/x+1 which Möbius interprets asInterpretation by Möbius is shown as 1 over x plus 1.).

  1. Click Close to exit the preview.

The preview of Möbius's interpretation of the Text Mode entry is shown and can be exited using the "Close" button in the preview modal.

  1. You can then continue on to the next question if you're satisfied with your entry or edit it as necessary.

Symbol Mode

Symbol Mode allows you to enter mathematical expressions using the Equation Editor where a variety of symbols and operators can be selected from a range of symbol palettes.

Blank Equation Editor with a range of available symbol palettes to choose from.

Your expression is then displayed in standard mathematical layout as you type it in (Examplex squared divided by y appears asThe entry is interpreted as x squared over y by the Equation Editor.).

The Syntax Checker is an additional tool within the Equation Editor to help you ensure that your expressions don't have any typos or syntax errors.

TIP: Check out Work with the Syntax Checker to see how the Equation Editor displays potential typos and syntax errors.

Use Symbol Mode

To enter a response using Symbol Mode:

  1. Click the change entry mode iconThe "Change entry mode" icon is an epsilon on a piece of reveal the Equation Editor.

The "Change entry mode" icon is highlighted to the right of the response area text entry field and after the preview icon.

  1. Click a palette to display all symbols in the palette group.

The sin(a) palette is selected o reveal the symbols contained within that palette.

TIP: Check out View available Symbol Mode palettes to view all of the possible symbol palettes that you might see while working in Symbol Mode.

  1. Click a symbol or expression from the palette to use in your response.

The sin(a) symbol is selected from the sin(a) symbol palette.

TIP: Check out Navigate Symbol Mode to learn about the notation and navigational controls that are available in Symbol Mode.

  1. View your selection(s) in the Equation Editor entry field.

sin(a) is inserted into the Equation Editor entry field.

  1. Continue to add functions and symbols as needed and edit your entry as necessary.

(1 plus 2 cos (x)) has been added to the Equation Editor entry field.

TIP: You can manually edit the variable to match the variable that's used in the question.

NOTE: Some questions involving math expressions as the responses won't offer you the option of Symbol Mode. For these questions, you must enter your response in Text Mode. You can, however, still preview your entry using the preview iconPreview iconto see how Möbius interprets your typed response and inspect it for misplaced parentheses and other unintended keystrokes.

NOTE: Each time you change the math entry mode, Möbius remembers your responses on previous questions, and automatically translates them for you. You might notice that expressions that are converted by Möbius between Symbol Mode and Text Mode appear to have numerous parentheses (and potentially operators) inserted. This is normal and is caused by the very explicit method of conversion from symbolic syntax to text that is required to ensure your expressions are accurately translated. It doesn't affect the way your answer is interpreted by Möbius, or the correctness of your responses when graded.

Three scenarios: A: the response is entered using Symbol Mode. B: The user switches to Text Mode. C: Möbius added parentheses when the user switched back to Symbol Mode.

A. Response is entered using Symbol Mode.

B. Entry method is changed to Text Mode where a multiplication operator is automatically inserted.

C. Returning to Symbol Mode reveals additional brackets that are automatically added by Möbius.