A preview of our new question type

We've been hard at work with Part 2 of Hands-On Calculus and we're excited to give you a preview of one of the upcoming features!

One of the common problems in calculus is to find the derivative or antiderivative of a particular function, and students often gain a lot of understanding from this exercise.  This isn't easily adapted to something like a simple multiple choice question, though, so we came up with a new question format designed to make these sorts of questions clearer and easier for students to answer.

Using some of the work from our calculator improvements,  our new question format allows a student to input single-variable algebraic expressions as an answer.  One of the great things about this format is that minor differences in notation are ignored.  For example, if a student decides it looks more reasonable to swap the operands of an expression (e.g. 2 + 4x instead of 4x + 2) or uses 0.5 instead of 1/2, the engine will still allow these variations as being correct!

Having these types of questions will encourage students to have a deeper understanding of things like how to apply different rules when finding derivatives, so we're excited to launch this along with the rest of Part 2!