TEI Expression Evaluator

Introducing our second question type in the TEI Showcase: Expression Evaluator!

Why are TEI’s so valuable?

Here’s what Arne Duncan said about the value of next generation assessments in a video interview for a ED.gov Blog – US Department of Education:  

“You have many many states going to the next generation of assessments, less fill in of the bubble tests, more critical thinking skills, more writing skills, evaluating that, assessing that – we think that is a good thing.”

Next generation assessments provide an engaging experience for students, but they also have an enormous pedagogical value; the in-depth performance data teachers amass offer unique insights into where misconceptions and achievement gaps reside.

With this unique performance and response data, teachers and district leaders can intervene faster—offering more meaningful remediation solutions with a 360-degree view of students’ conceptual understanding. This new level of insight also provides a substrate for crafting more effective personalized and differentiated assessments that are tailored to an individual’s learning needs.


TEI Expression Evaluator

Standards & Learning Objectives Covered

| 7.EE – Expressions & Equations | 7.EE.A.1 – Manipulating linear expressions with rational coefficients | 7.EE.A.2 Rewriting an expression in different forms |

Use properties of operations to generate equivalent expressions.

Apply properties of operations as strategies to add, subtract, factor, and expand linear expressions with rational coefficients.

Understand that rewriting an expression in different forms in a problem context can shed light on the problem and how the quantities in it are related.

What You Want Students To Do

Generate and manipulate math symbols, equations, and expressions.

Pedagogical Value

Evidence-based; tests students’ higher-order thinking skills. First step in their journey to solving real-life mathematical problems using numerical and algebraic expressions and equations.


Used in Mathematics Assessments. Grading = auto-scoring.

Creating a Expression Evaluator Question

Below I’ll cover step-by-step how you can create a Expression Evaluator question to add to your technology-enhanced assessments. *Click each image for an enlarged view. 

The question featured in the following example:

Use the distributive property to expand this expression: 10(-6w + 1/2)

Step 1

Step 2

From your dashboard click on the main menu button to access Assessment. From there, click on + New Assessment and then Create New Assessment.

Make sure you have the correct subject and grade level—and then select the standard you’d like to create an assessment for. 

Step 3

Step 4

After clicking Create, choose Expression Evaluator from the interactive question types list.

Start by creating your question with the Text Editor. From the example above enter: “Use the distributive property to expand this expression.” You will be able add the equation with the Math Editor (displayed as the square root of x).

Step 5

Step 6

Once you click on the Math Editor (thumbnail image above), you can now enter the equation. 

  • First choose the Close Matrix with Parenthesis to setup your equation.
  • Next add your first values and insert the Fraction.
  • The Math Editor has the following insert features: Fraction; Square Root; Root; Superscript; Parentheses; Matrix with Parenthesis; Binary Operators; Constants; Greek Variables; and Editing options (explore each to learn more).

After you have entered the question and equation:

  • Enter the correct answer for the Expression Evaluator.
  • (*Note) If your problem has more than one acceptable answer you can enter each one by clicking the plus sign button and accessing the Math Editor.  

Step 7

Step 8

You have the option of adding in a Solution. Because the Text Editor feature, along with the Math Editor, is available throughout any question type you can build a detailed distributed property example. 

You also have the option of giving students a Hint to help them along the way. In this example, you can even add a hyperlink to a supplemental resource to help guide students. 

Step 9

Review your entire question and then remember to click “Accept Answer”! Next click Save and then Review to make sure your question is correct before assigning it to your class. 

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