I'm currently working with a Math professor in putting some of his activities and assignments online. Here's what I've learned so far:
- It's not reasonable to expect all undergraduates doing Math courses (it may not even be their major) to learn LaTeX. Graduates on Math programmes "should" but they'll need guidance. Moodle supports MathJax (for rendering LaTeX snippets) as standard.
- Writing Math on physical paper, with a pen/pencil seems to be the most acceptable medium for the majority of students. Internet connected phones can take and send reasonably good photos of pages but they need to submit one file per page if the assignment is several pages long. Scanning pages is preferable.
- Writing Math on electronic devices with some kind of stylus, e.g. tablets, large phones, laptops with graphic tablets, seems to work for those that have them and have had enough practice to develop the necessary computer graphics expertise. The Poodll graphics feature can greatly simplify this in some cases.
- PDF is one of the worst formats for to-and-fro feedback and resubmission. If at all possible, use online text and embed photos/scans. PDF annotations aren't standardised and often show up differently in different PDF software.
- Be prepared to accept a range of submission solutions/options for learners to use; whatever they're most familiar/comfortable with.
There's a Math plugin called WIRIS that claims it makes submitting Math easier. It doesn't use LaTeX or format users' input into LaTeX, it uses a proprietary notation format, making it difficult to do anything with the resulting Math outside of the limited features available in WIRIS. WIRIS is not free, it will only work by connecting to their servers and downloading a Java applet. WIRIS requires Java Runtime Environment (JRE) which is not installed on most operating systems by default and is blocked on many computer labs and institutional computers by admins who regard it as a security risk.
Personal experience: I installed WIRIS on a development server and when I tried to uninstall it, I had to contact WIRIS directly for instructions on how to do so: They don't provide the standard Moodle uninstall procedure. When I followed their instructions, the uninstall script wiped everything from the computer hard drive that wasn't protected with root privileges; Moodle code, plugins, moodledata, other web apps and their files, etc. (No, I didn't call "$ rm -rf /" from the command line!) Luckily it wasn't a production server (It's prudent to thoroughly test 3rd party plugins before installing them on production servers). If it had been, it would've lost whatever work had been done on the server between the last backup and the uninstall catastrophe, assuming that backups are not stored on the same server as Moodle (regular Moodle backups were deleted too).
I think you can imagine how annoying this was.
I hope this helps!