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The University of Arizona

Arithmetic (2+2)

Arithmetic questions enable you to assess participants' knowledge and comprehension of mathematics and number theory. If you would like for each participant to receive a unique question include set variables that randomly generate numbers within the problem.

To create an Arithmetic Question, do the following:

Arithmetic Question selection





1. Click the New button and select Arithmetic Question (2+2) from the drop down menu.

Tip: If you are using Sections to organize your questions, make sure to first click on the section where you want to build the question(s) in order to ensure the question is created there. If you have already built a question outside of its designated Question Section, use the Move button to move the question to the Question Section in which it belongs. For more information about moving questions see the help page on moving Question Library questions.

For a full list of supported operations, functions, and constants see the Arithmetic Formula Options help page.

From within the New Question page, complete the following fields:

New Arithmetic Question Properties - Top 2. Title (Optional): While you may use this field to title your question, we suggest leaving it blank. Doing so will cause the Question Text to be inherited as the title, allowing you to see the text of each question in the Question Library.

3. Points: Assign a point value for the question. This value will be carried over to the Quiz when the question is imported and will be used to determine the sum of all question points in the quiz.

4. Difficulty (Optional):  While optional, assigning a difficulty level (1 through 5) to each question allows you to add and sort your questions and to view statistics based on question difficulty.

5. Question Text: Enter the arithmetic question in this field. Enclose all variables with curly braces if you want to generate random numbers (see sample equation in the screenshot above).

6. Image (Optional): If you would like to attach a picture to this question, do so by clicking the Insert an Image button. Use the Description field if you need to provide information about the image; students will not be able to view text entered in this field.

7. Formula: Enter the solution's formula here. Variables should be set within curly braces (see sample formula in the screenshot to the right).

8. Answer Precision: Use this field to define the number of acceptable decimal places the answer may contain. Check the enforce precision if you want to require a specific number of decimal places in the correct answer.

Please Note: If you choose to use the enforce precision option, we suggest specifying at the question and/or quiz level  the number of decimal places a correct answer should contain.

New Arithmetic Question Properties - Middle9. Tolerance: To accept near-accurate, estimated, and/or rounded answers, enter a tolerance level for an acceptable answer in either the units+/- or percent +/- field.

Use the units+/- field if you would like to specify a numeric value that the answer may be off and still be considered correct (Ex. Setting a tolerance of 0.5 on a correct answer of 98 will instruct D2L to accept any answer between 97.5-98.5 as correct).

Use the percent +/- field if you would like to specify a percentage that the answer may be off and still be considered correct (Ex. Setting a tolerance of 1 on a correct answer of 50 will instruct D2L to accept any answer between 49.4-50.6 to be counted as correct).

10. Units: If the correct answer should include a unit of measurement (mm, cm, grams, inches, etc), enter it in the Units field. If you would like the unit of measurement to be worth some or all of the question points use the Worth field to assign a percentage.

11. Evaluation Options: Select from the following options:

  • Case Insensitive:  D2L auto-grading compares the participant's answer to the correct answer, disregarding letter case. 
  • Case Sensitive: D2L auto-grading compares the participant's answer to the correct answer while requiring letter case correctness.
  • Regular Expression: D2L Auto-grading uses alpha-numeric and meta-characters to compare the participant's answer with the correct answer. Case sensitivity is determined by the meta-character parameters you set. For more information about Regular Expression see the Regular Expression help page.

12. Variables: You may add or remove variables as needed to match the number of variables in the equation. Add a variable by clicking  the Add Variable link. Remove a variable by clicking the trash can to the right of the variable you want to delete. Within each variable you have the following fields:

New Arithmetic Question Properties - Bottom

  • Name: Type the character that represents the variable in the equation. You may use letters, numbers, and special characters, but be sure the variable you use precisely matches the corresponding variable in the formula.
  • Min/Max: Use the Min and Max fields to assign a range from which D2L may randomly assign a value to that variable. If you want the variable to be a set number type the same number in both the Min and Max fields.
  • Decimal Places: If you would like for the variable to use a decimal place, specify the number of decimal places you would like to use.
  • Step: If you would like D2L to randomly pull a number from the Min and Max fields use the Step field to tell D2L which intervals to use when pulling a number (Example: If you set Min at 10 and Max at 100 and a Step of 5 D2L would randomly pull a number between 10 and 100 in intervals of 5).

13. Question hint and feedback (Optional): Click Expand question hint if you would like to provide a question hint to participants. Click Expand question feedback if you would like to provide feedback to all participants, regardless of how they answer the question.

14. After completing all above items, choose from the four options below:

  • Save: Saves and closes the question, returning you to the Question Library.
  • Save and Copy: Saves the question, creates a copy, and displays the copy for you to edit.
  • Save and New: Saves the question and opens a new, blank, Arithmetic question for you to edit.
  • Preview: Use to preview your question to see how it will appear when being taken by participants and when being graded by a member of the instructional team. This does not save the question, so when you are finished previewing the question click the  Done button to return to the question, then use one of the three save options above to save your question.


If you are editing a question that has already been imported into a Quiz, Survey, and/or Self Assessment you will be presented with the option to also update the question in those locations (shown above). Be sure to update the question in every location that you want to apply the change. Any location that you do not choose to update will be left with the old version of the question and D2L will consider it an entirely different question from the modified version in the Question Library.

Important:  Never update a question in a live Quiz or Survey, as doing so can cause a variety of issues with participant attempts, grading, reports and statistics. Please wait until after the Quiz or Survey period has passed to make modifications to your questions. If you need to modify a question in a live quiz because it is not configured properly, contact the D2L support team using the Online Help Request form to determine the best way to correct the problem.

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