*In the Internet times, most learners will prefer online courses and practices to expand their mathematics knowledge, so math symbols and equations in online quizzes would be an essential part for educators. *

Undoubtedly, everyone needs mathematical knowledge to strive forward in the 21st century. As a central part of contemporary education and fundamental of other science subjects, certainly mathematics is abstract, and the mathematical courses are really difficult to learn. Most math or science instructor may believe that, better mathematical ability needs more parctices and assessments.

To prepare a mathematics test, a lot of practices are necessary for learners. Math instructors could design various questions for students to exercise before the formal test. In the era of Internet times, the way of online quizzes is supposed to be more acceptable by most learners. Certainly instructional designers can try a lot of online quiz makers, such as Discovery Education (http://school.discoveryeducation.com/), but for mathematics test, the adding of math symbols could be a really serious problem. Especially, most mathematical equations in algebra or geometry need special symbols to complete. How can a math or science instructor achieve this?

The difficulty associated with including symbols and equations in online quizzes for mathematics test or preparation practice might be the barrier of better online math teaching and learning. The primary problem is that standard Web browsers, such as Internet Explorer and Netscape, are incapable of displaying common math symbols.

To deal with this limitation simply, instructors resort to turning symbols and equations into image files (e.g., gif) which can then be displayed by browsers. In Windows, go to Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> **Character Map** to insert special math symbols. Then, make use of free built-in **Paint** in Windows Accessories to convert the mathematics equations with special symbols to images. About Paint program, just refer to:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paint_(software)

A second approach is to create symbols using a XML-based language called **MathML** (Mathematical Markup Language), which then requires a MathML "plug-in" to be installed to a browser to display the symbol. MathML is a low-level specification for describing mathematics as a basis for machine to machine communication by the W3C Math working group. It provides a much needed foundation for the inclusion of mathematical expressions in Web pages. Get more information about MathML at
http://www.w3.org/Math/

The better approach so far is made possible through Flash-based **QuizCreator** with equation editor feature, which creates equations in Flash mathematics test, as Flash could be easily embedded in Web pages. Certainly it doesn't require the users to manually install a plug-in to the browser. In addition, it runs alongside the learning management system (such as Moodle, BlackBoard, WebCT) so that the mathematics test preparation practices with math symbols by instructors can be better accessed as course content and assessments. Try Wondershare QuizCreator with math symbols supported from:
http://www.sameshow.com/quiz-creator.html

It's worth trying more solutions of online quizzes for mathematics test to deploy appropriate tools. However, most instructors would favor the Flash way, as the original mathematics test with math symbols can be easily edited in equation editor in the future.

**William Peterson
Presentation Veteran**

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