Consider a sample question that explores the concept of binomial coefficients from Maple T.A. The question states:
To initialize the random variables $A and $B, you might see the code like this in Maple T.A.'s algorithm section.
The range command in Maple T.A. generates a random integer in the specified range. This command is now mirrored in Maple 18 when you load the MapleTA:-Builtin package. We will do this implicitly via the uses command in the following procedure:
The last line of the initialize procedure above makes the connections between computed variables and those used for grading or display. This is not necessary if you just want to compute with the commands in the MapleTA[Builtin] package.
For completeness, we will also show how this question could be created and graded using the Grading[Quiz] command:
Now that we have the essential ingredients for the question, we can play it inside Maple as follows:
There are balls of different colors in a sack.
How many distinct combinations of balls can you remove from the sack?
Click the "Try Another" button a few times to see how the variables inside the question change. Inside Maple, a student can explore calculations. One may discover the expression palette has the choose notation. For removing two balls from a bag of eight, you could compute:
Or, you might discover Maple's binomial command:
Or, you may derive the answer from the binomial coefficient formula:
Letting students explore solutions within Maple creates the opportunity for discovery; that is, learning in a way that will stick with the student, rather than being forgotten as soon as the exam is submitted.
Finally, this question can also be exported for use directly inside Maple T.A.
We re-ran the Quiz command with the option, output=mapleta to produce a form suitable for export (rather than display an interactive question). This result is then given to MapleTA[Export] in order to generate the file named "coursemodule.zip". This file can be imported into Maple T.A. as a course module and used in assignments.
Similarly, course modules exported from Maple T.A. can be loaded into Maple, and the questions they contain can be played using the Quiz command in the Grading package.