In the past, I have not required my students to typeset math in their homework. They had the option of using Equation Editor or doing it by hand within their word processed documents. I have also encouraged them to use Google Docs, which has a TeX-like interface for math equations.
I recently started using the MS Word 2007 equation editor, which is quite different from the MathType editor they had before. For one thing, you type everything in-line, not in a separate window. You can also use a TeX like syntax to build up your equations, although the point and click feature is what is on the menu. The syntax is not documented within Word 2007, though, and I suspect most people will simply use point and click. You can find more about the Unicode syntax for building up equations here. It’s still a much better equation editor, and next time my students have an assignment using the word processor, I will require that they use some type of equation editor.