What’s New in Maple T.A. – Online Assessment System for STEM Courses - Maplesoft
What's New in Maple T.A.?

Customer feedback plays a big role in determining what goes into each Maple T.A. release, so you get the functionality you need and the features you want.

Release 2017

Maple T.A. 2017 includes significant enhancements to learning management system integration, as well as security, performance, and other improvements.

LTI Connectivity

The LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability) standard is used to integrate Maple T.A. with a wide variety of learning management systems, such as Blackboard®, Canvas, Brightspace™, and Moodle™. With this release, you can integrate Maple T.A. with your learning management system in more ways, more easily.

  • Creating links between Maple T.A. and many systems is even easier because Maple T.A. now supports the LTI Deep Linking/Content-Item Message (CIM) specification.
  • Setting up the links for a new offering of an existing course is greatly simplified through the addition of a custom LTI parameter that facilitates semester-to-semester rollover.
  • You can give students direct links to the Maple T.A. Gradebook, without requiring them to navigate through other areas of Maple T.A., so they can get easy access to their completed, graded assignments, grading details, and comments from the instructor.
  • More browser configuration checks occur up front, so that when a student enters Maple T.A. through an LTI connection, the system ensures that they have the proper browser settings to use any part of Maple T.A., not just the target page.

Other Improvements

  • Timely communication of assignment policies: When a student opens an assignment, they are now presented with a summary of the assignment policies, such as the time limit and maximum number of attempts. The student can then choose to start the assignment or leave without penalty.
  • Security improvements:
    • Security restrictions designed to prevent the execution of malicious code, such as enhanced XSS filtering of input and preventing buffer overflows
    • Ability to set custom HTTP headers from the System Settings page in order to customize the security profile and support integration with other platforms
  • Content delivery network: Web resource files can now be served via a content delivery network rather than the Maple T.A. server in order to improve speed and reduce server load.
  • Performance improvements: This release includes a large number of improvements throughout Maple T.A. that are designed to reduce loading times.


Release 2016.1

Maple T.A. 2016.1 includes a wide range of features and improvements that have been requested by customers, including new options for questions and assignments, improved content management, and enhanced integration with course management systems.

Questions and Assignments

  • Embedded videos. You can now include videos directly inside your Maple T.A. questions. Videos can be included in any Maple T.A. question type, including free-response, essay, multiple choice, and more.
  • Uploaded documents from students. You can request that students upload electronic documents to complete or supplement an assignment, such as digital images of paper-based assessments or rough work done during a test. Uploading is done by the student as part of the submission process, and the documents are visible to the instructor through the gradebook.
  • Password protection. You can password-protect a high stakes test, and then provide the password in person, just before the test begins. This option gives you increased security without the logistical overhead of having a proctor sign in each student individually.
  • Increased feedback on multi-part questions. For questions containing more than one student response area, you can provide feedback to the student for each response, not just for the entire question. In this way, you can give targeted feedback to students based on where they made their mistakes.
  • Better looking math. Math notation in questions and responses looks even better with the incorporation of the most recent release of MathJax, the state-of-the art math rendering technology for web pages.

Additional Improvements

  • Enhanced content repository. Maple T.A. 2016.1 includes organizational improvements to the work on the content repository that make it even easier to manage your content.  These enhancements, which are based on customer feedback, result in an even smoother workflow for instructors.
  • Expanded international language support. Offering both a translated interface and translated student help content, Maple T.A. language packs are now available for the first time in Italian, and updates are available for  Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, French, German,  Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, and Spanish.
  • Improved LTI connectivity. Connectivity with course management systems through the Learning Tools Interoperability® (LTI) standard now includes automatic grade syncing of manually updated grades. If you adjust a student grade inside Maple T.A., the results are automatically pushed to the gradebook of your course management system, such as Blackboard®, Canvas, Moodle™, or Brightspace™, with no explicit action required on your part.
  • Numerous enhancements. Maple T.A. 2016.1 contains a substantial number of small enhancements and corrections across all areas of the product, providing improved responsiveness, more efficient load handling, and smoother workflow for instructors and students.
Release 2016

Maple T.A. 2016 provides major enhancements for content authors, making it faster and easier to create and modify questions and assignments, as well as new built-in connectivity options for integration with course management systems.

Authoring Workflow

After extensive consultations with customers, the basic authoring workflow has been completely redesigned in Maple T.A. 2016 to make it easier to create content. As a result, the process of authoring new questions and assignments is more intuitive and flexible, and the learning curve to become a productive author is greatly reduced.

Enhanced Content Repository

  • A consolidated content repository stores all questions, assignments, themes, course modules, and more in a single location, so everything you need is always at your fingertips.
  • Improved search tools make it easy to limit the field of your search so you can find exactly what you are looking for, faster. You can search the entire repository or limit your search, for example, to a group of questions, a course module, or a question type.
  • Enhanced browsing tools make it easy to navigate through your content and keep track of where you are in the content hierarchy.
  • The new drag-and-drop facility makes it easy to organize your content.
  • A unified import process lets you bring content into Maple T.A. using a single operation, regardless of file type.
  • New options allow you to search the Maple T.A. Cloud for content from a particular institution, making it is easy to find content by your favorite community contributors.
  • The Maple T.A. Cloud now supports assignments and course modules, as well as questions.

Simplified Authoring Environment

  • Use the question designer as the starting point for all question authoring, regardless of question type.
  • Save or preview your questions periodically as you create them, without leaving the authoring environment.
  • Save a partially completed assignment at any time, without having to walk through all the assignment creation steps first.
  • Create and modify questions while editing an assignment, without leaving the assignment editor.
  • Take advantage of syntax highlighting and commenting while defining or modifying algorithmic questions.
  • Easily insert non-graded objects, such as videos and Math Apps, into your questions.
  • Easily control the look of your questions, such as font size and style, by defining a custom CSS theme and then applying this theme to your question to make all the changes in a single operation.
  • Organize assignments on the class homepage into groups, such as listing them by unit or week, to reduce clutter and make it easier for students to find their assignment.

Enhanced Question Types

  • Sorting questions can now be created easily using the question designer, eliminating the need for coding.
  • Clickable image questions are much simpler to create, and no longer require the use of a Java plug-in.
  • Custom HTML5 questions can be authored directly in the question designer.
  • Math Apps can be created in Maple and then immediately uploaded from Maple directly to Maple T.A., ready for use.
  • Authors can specify a maximum word count for essay questions, and provide a list of keywords that will be highlighted in the student essays during grading so instructors can quickly see if the student included key points. Instructors can also include custom comments on selected portions of the essay and assign partial credit to those points.
  • A new scanned document feature lets instructors upload and even grade scanned documents, such as paper-based assignments or rough work associated with a Maple T.A. assignment question.

Course Management Integration

Expanding on existing connectivity options, such as dedicated connectors for Blackboard and Moodle, and a web services API for custom development that allows Maple T.A. to be integrated into virtually any course management or learning management system. Maple T.A. 2016 also includes built-in support for the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard.

  • Officially certified by the IMS Global Learning Consortium as being in compliance with the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard.
  • Enables easy integration of Maple T.A. with Canvas, Brightspace, Sakai, Blackboard, Moodle, and any other course management system that supports the LTI standard.
  • Provides single sign-on, a consolidated gradebook, and access to all assignments from one location.
  • Supports both the LTI 1 and LTI 2 standards.
  • Available for both Maplesoft-hosted and customer-hosted models, including the student-purchase model.

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