Faculty at Heilongjiang University in China wanted to develop a “Wisdom Campus”, a virtual environment that would allow the school to move all assignments and exams online. They wanted a tool to help them achieve this objective and improve the learning environment for students.
The school adopted Maple T.A. to help them implement their vision of an online testing and learning environment, to create a more efficient and convenient educational experience for students, and to ease some of the burden on instructors.
Maple T.A. was successfully implemented at the University and in 2016, more than 6,500 students completed their Advanced Mathematics mid-term exam using the software. Using Maple T.A. has helped make the university’s Wisdom Campus vision into a reality.
In an attempt to improve the learning environment for both teachers and students at Heilongjiang University in China, the institution implemented Maple T.A. into its Information Construction and Educational Reformation project. The goal of the project is to construct a virtual environment, referred to as a “Wisdom Campus,” that will see Heilongjiang University move all assignments and exams online. Maple T.A. was used to assist the University in meeting this objective.
The project was a success and in 2016, under the supervision of instructors at the School of Mathematical Science, more than 6,500 students completed their mid-term exam in Advanced Mathematics using Maple T.A. The University officers consider the change to be a significant step towards the University’s mission. University officials said Maple T.A. is of great importance as a testing platform due to its stability, flexibility and interactive environment. All questions in the exam were generated using Maple T.A.’s unique algorithmic question generation feature where each student gets a variation of the same question. This meant students couldn’t copy answers and it truly tested the understanding of each student. Maple T.A.’s ability to integrate with existing course management software further solidified it as an ideal solution for the University. Students accessed Maple T.A. from the same account as their Campus Information Portal. Once integrated with the University’s course management system, courses and classes could be imported to Maple T.A. automatically, and tests and assignments inherited from the parent courses.
Maple T.A.’s powerful online mathematical equation editor allowed students at Heilongjiang University to easily input their responses, with the system grading these responses automatically. Most of the questions were multiple choice and calculation questions in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses. After submitting the assignment, students received an instant grade, along with feedback on their work, allowing them to not only check their results, but also review their knowledge and understanding. Once the exam was completed, teachers were able to immediately obtain the results from Maple T.A.’s grade analysis tool and gain a better understanding of the student response.
Given the number of students in the average university course in China, Maple T.A. allows teachers to save valuable time on evaluating assignments. Eliminating the need to evaluate by hand, Maple T.A. provides instant grading and feedback of assignments, significantly reducing the time and effort spent on this task. Maple T.A. also allows the sharing of content between different teachers and departments. This further reduces the time instructors spend developing course materials, which in turn provides more time to focus on other teaching activities, including more one-on-one time with students. Students also provided positive feedback on the use of Maple T.A., as the unlimited practice questions and instant feedback improves their level of understanding and the quality of their time spent studying course materials.
The successful implementation of Maple T.A. into the advanced mathematics course strongly enhances the Educational Reformation project at Heilongjiang University. Maple T.A. provides significant improvement to the teaching and learning environment and the University is already planning to use it in other courses in the future.
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