I am using Moodle 3.5. I have found that once the magnitude of the numbers comprising the range of a parameter or worse, the answer to the question goes below around 1e-8 (probably corresponding to the maximum number of digits (9)), it becomes impossible to use the calculated question type - you just get it calculated to zero, which puts it outside the range (under Answers Tolerance Parameters). For instance, if I want to set a question based on the size of the electron charge (this is just an illustrative example) where the answer is a small multiple of q (the multiple being physically meaningful), you cannot define the question with say 150 datasets - it will just treat the answer as zero as it goes beyond 9 digits. Why can't answers accept scientific notation at the definition time? The students can enter it in that form, but I as the instructor can't do this when I set up a question.

I accept that it is possible to use multiplicative units, such as attocoulombs etc. to express such answers, but those are artificial-looking and can needlessly confuse students. In this case, it simply is traditional (at least since 1915 or whereabouts) to say that q=1.602e-19 coulombs. No one I know writes 0.1602 aC as the fundamental electron charge. C is the SI unit, not aC. If we are supposed to encourage students to use SI units, it would look singulalrly weird to abandon that overarching effort at exam time just becaue of a technical limitation. Asking students to explicitly calculate the ratio (charge/q) can give away an important hint to the solution of the question (which I may not want to do), so that is not an option either.

And even if you could do that, what would you do about cases like h=6.626e-34, which can be the LCM of angular momenta in quantum mechanics, or m=9.109e-31 which is the rest mass of an electron in SI units? It gets ugly. I have intentionally picked these examples to make this point. In engineering, you would be stuck with permittivity which is of the order of 1e-13 for most materials in cgs units, and 1e-10 in SI units.

Can this Moodle limitation be fixed? Sometimes, the parameters and answers need to be such ranges for the question to not look contrived/weird.