Discovering common answers using charts in Imvoto


Head of mathematics and co-creator of Imvoto

We’ve improved the bar charts in Imvoto that show how students have answered a particular question.

Our improvements make it easier to quickly notice trends and similarities in answers. The major difference is that the bars are now ordered to position similar answers next to each other.

In the video below, Jamie explains how he’s used these charts in a lesson with Year 9 students:

Numeric answers

For questions with numeric answers, these are shown in increasing order of size. This can be used to highlight extreme values that are clearly not sensible: it’s always frustrating when students calculate mobile phone bills that run into tens of thousands of pounds.

We retain and show the exact precision that each student enters. So, in the below example 14° and 14.0° are shown separately: we hope this will prompt some fruitful discussions about the differences. (Note, too, the one student who added their own degrees sign in their answer.)

In this example, the rows below and above the correct answers also provided a useful prompt for discussion. The 68.1° answer was truncated rather than rounded. The 69.19859051° answer was either misread from a calculator or mistyped.

Bar chart


Text answers

These bar charts can be illuminating for short text answers too. We arrange answers alphabetically and ignore any capitals, so numerator and Numerator are combined into the same bar.

This can be a useful way of spotting common mistakes as well as things like typical misspellings, for example in this question (on the spelling of the top number of a fraction):

Bar chartMathematical answers

We’re really excited that the bar charts also work with mathematical answers. These are great for highlighting common misconceptions, for example on this question about coordinates:

Bar chartWe are still looking at how best to sort answers such of these. At present it’s done somewhat nondeterministically. Let us know if you’ve got some suggestions for us!

Future improvements

We have written these changes on the request of a teacher who said “wouldn’t it be great if…”. Do you have ideas that would help you teach? We’d love to hear your ideas using the Feedback & Support tab in the bottom left of the screen.