4.3 Question Authoring in the Question Editor - Maple T.A. 2016 Help
Maple T.A. Online Help

Instructor
Search Maple T.A. 2016 Help:

4.3 Question Authoring in the Question Editor

Creating a New Question or Editing an Existing Question

To create a question:

  1. From the Class Homepage, click Content Repository.
  1. Click Create New then select Question/Text.
  1. The Question Editor screen appears, where you can author your questions.
  1. Click Response Area () and choose the type of question you would like to author.
  1. Enter the content of your question.
  1. After you have completed the question, click OK.
  1. Click Preview to view and test the question.

To edit a question:

  1. In the Content Repository, click All Content Types.
  1. Click the name of the question you wish to edit.
  1. Click Edit.
  1. Make the necessary changes.
  1. Click Finish to save your changes.

To share or clone a question:

To share or clone a question, see Sharing Questions and Cloning Questions .

Avoiding System Time-outs during Authoring Sessions

If you do not interact with the system for 30 minutes, the system logs you out of your session and purges the question data (losing any changes that have not been saved). Important: If you plan to stop interacting with the system for more than a few minutes, it is strongly recommended that you save your work.

Question Designer

The Question Designer is a powerful and flexible question container, where you can create multiple question types called Response Areas. A variety of grading behaviors can be combined and placed anywhere within the formatted HTML that defines the question. For example, questions can be placed inside tables, formatted text, bulleted lists, and can include embedded images or media objects.

The Question Designer supports the following features:

  • Questions can contain any number of response areas. Parts of your question can require text, numeric or formula answers while other parts can require multiple choice, essay answers—all in a single question. You can even create a Question Designer question without any response areas. This allows you to have questions that are purely informational.
  • Response areas can anywhere in the body of a question.
  • Standard HTML elements. You can include character formatting, HTML tables, embedded images and media objects.
  • Any number of images, tables, algorithmic variables and inline math expressions as required.
  • You can add, view or delete Algorithms, Hints, Feedback, Information Fields, and/or Question Details. For more details, see:

Question Designer Toolbar

The Question Designer provides an environment similar to a word processor. See Figure 4.1. You can apply character formats such as bold, italics, and fonts using an extensive toolbar. With this toolbar, you can also insert images, tables, or links to other file resources. When you are satisfied with the appearance of the question, insert answer regions and then apply grading and other behaviors.

Question Designer Toolbar Figure

Figure 4.1: Question Designer Toolbar Figure


Tip: In the Question Designer toolbar, you can hover over each icon to receive a tool tip on that icon's function.

Some of the features of the Question Designer include:

Text Formatting in Questions

You can use HTML tags to control the display of character formatting in most question fields. To do so, click Source () in the toolbar of the text editor region of the question and include the appropriate format tags. You can use Table 4.3 as a guide.

Note: This requires an HTML or text editor and knowledge of HTML.

Table 4.3: Examples of HTML Tags to Use for Formatting Text

HTML Formatting 

Function

<p>Text of paragraph</p>

Sets the enclosed text as a paragraph

<br>Text of new line

Sets a new line break (carriage return) in the current paragraph

<b>Text</b>

Boldfaces the enclosed text

<i>Text</i>

Italicizes the enclosed text

<sub>TexFot</sub>

Subscripts the enclosed text

<sup>Text</sup>

Superscripts the enclosed text

<font face="..">Text</font>

Sets text font

<font size="..">Text</font>

Sets text size

<font color="..">Text</font>

Sets text color


Questions with Labeled Images

You can include a GIF or JPG image with labels in a question. The labels can be static or use algorithmically generated variable data.

You must first upload an image to the class using the Class File Manager. For more details, see Images and Reference Files in Questions or Uploading Images and Reference Files to the Class File Manager

To add an HTML label to an image in a question through the Question Designer, use the Edit Source functionality and include the following HTML code in your question.

To edit the source of a question, click Source () in the Question Designer toolbar and include the following code:

<div class="labelledImage" style="height: IMAGEHEIGHTpx; width: IMAGEWIDTHpx; float: none;">
<img src="IMAGEURL">
<div style="left: LABEL_LEFT_OFFSETpx; top: LABEL_TOP_OFFSETpx" class="centered">LABEL_CONTENT</div>
</div>

where

  • The height and width parameters IMAGEHEIGHT and IMAGEWIDTH specify the dimensions of the image in pixels. To determine the height and width of the graphic, use a third-party graphics application (for example, Microsoft® Paint).
  • The image parameter IMAGE_URL specifies the path and filename of the image file.
  • The size parameter value specifies the number of labels. You can specify zero or more labels.
  • The class="centered" tag is optional, and centers the label. If omitted, the label will be left aligned to your left offset.

You can create multiple labels for one image by adding multiple <div> labels.

The location and contents of each label are specified using three parameters.

  1. The left parameter LABEL_LEFT_OFFSET specifies the horizontal offset (in pixels) of the middle of the ith label from the left side of the image.
  1. The top parameter LABEL_TOP_OFFSET specifies the vertical offset (in pixels) of the baseline of the ith label from the top of the image.
  1. The LABEL_CONTENT specifies the content of the label. It can include algorithmic variables.

You can also add an HTML label to a question using plain text script authoring by adding this code to the question field (or, any HTML field in the question definition in the .qu script file).

See Also:

Images and Reference Files in Questions

Plotting Using Maple

Overview of Algorithmic Question Capabilities

Using a Maple Repository

You can access your personal Maple library archives from within your Maple questions. To do this, you must first upload your archive files into the class file space on the server. When you create a Maple-graded question, you then specify the location of the archive as part of the question definition. When executing the Maple code associated with that question, the Maple libname variable will automatically be set to access the archive files specified.

Important: When setting up multiple archives inside the same directory, ensure that there are no name conflicts. If you want to share your question bank with another class, you must share the Maple files and the test bank files.

Uploading a Maple Repository

A Maple repository is a .mla file.

To use a repository, you must upload the .mla file.

  1. From the Class Homepage, select Content Repository.
  1. Select Create New, then click Question/Text.
  1. Click Response Area ().
  1. From the Choose Question Type list, select Maple-graded.
  1. Under Maple Repository, the Class File Manager screen is displayed.
  1. Select a folder (location) to which to import the Maple repository.
  • You can expand an existing folder by clicking the arrow icon.
  • To create a new folder, click the Create new subfolder icon (). The folder arrow points down. The repository will upload to this folder location.
  1. Click the Upload files(s) to this point icon (). The Upload files screen is displayed.
  1. Click Choose File to locate the .mla file.
  1. Select from Single file with file name or Zip archive to save the uploaded file.
  1. Click OK. The file is now saved in the Class File Manager.
  1. Select the file on the Class File Manager screen. The Question Statement & Answer screen opens with the .mla path and filename in the LIB location field.
Linking to a Maple Repository

To use an existing repository, you must link to the .mla file.

  1. From the Class Homepage, select Content Repository.
  1. Select Create New, then click Question/Text.
  1. Click Response Area ().
  1. From the Choose Question Type list, select Maple-graded.
  1. Under Maple Repository, the Class File Manager screen is displayed.
  1. Expand the folders containing library files by clicking the arrow icon.
  1. Select the file on the Class File Manager screen. The Question Statement & Answer screen opens with the .mla path and filename in the LIB location field.
  • If you have multiple archives in the same directory, you must specify the directory name and not the .mla file. To specify the directory, edit out the .mla file name in the path that populates the LIB File Location field.

Note: Maple libraries are not available for use in algorithm variable definition statements.

See Also:

Maple-graded Questions

Images and Reference Files in Questions

You can use image files in GIF, JPEG, or PNG formats in questions. To place an image in a question, first upload the file to your Class File Manager. Then include a reference to the image in the question.

In addition, you can link to a file that has been uploaded to your Class File Manager. The following file formats are supported: .htm, .aspx, .gif, .jpg, .png, .pdf, .xls, .class, .jar, .js, .css, .shtml, .exe, .zip, .swf, .lib.

For more information, see Uploading Images and Reference Files to the Class File Manager.

Uploading Images and Reference Files to the Class File Manager
  1. From the Class Homepage, click Content Repository.
  1. Click View Files to access the Class File Manager.
  1. Navigate to the appropriate subfolder on the Class File Manager or click the Create new subfolder icon () to create a new subfolder. For maintainability, it is recommended that you create a subfolder and place your images in it.
  1. Name your folder.
  1. Click Upload file(s) to this point icon ().
  1. To the file to upload, click Choose File/Browse.
  1. You can upload a single file or a .zip archive.

To upload a single file:

  1. Select Single file with file name.
  1. To specify a new name for the uploaded file on the web site, enter it in the Save As text field. It is important to retain the file extension in the name. The default name is the file name on your computer.
  1. Click OK to upload the file.

To upload a .zip archive:

  1. Select the Zip archive.
  1. To extract the files from the selected zip archive and upload them, click OK. (This is the recommended method for uploading multiple files.) If the file is not a zip archive, the system does not upload the file.

The system returns to the Class File Manager screen. The uploaded file(s) appear in the explorer.

  1. To upload additional files, repeat steps 3 to 7.

Important: The default maximum size of a file that can be uploaded is 5 MB.

Example of Reference to Image on the Class File Manager

To include an image in a question using the Question Designer:

  1. Create or edit a question in the Question Designer.
  1. In the field where you want to include the image (question text, feedback, or hints), click the image icon () from the toolbar menu.
  1. Under the Upload tab, click Choose File.
  1. Select the image. You will be shown a preview of the image.
  1. Click OK to add the image.
Example of Link to File on the Server

To include a link to a file (for example, a PDF) in a question using the Question Designer.

  1. Create or edit a question in the Question Designer.
  1. In the field where you want to include the link (question text, feedback, or hints), click the link icon () from the toolbar menu.
  1. Under the Upload tab, click Choose File.
  1. Select the file.
  1. Click OK to add the link.
External Images or Reference Sources

You can use any URL that points to a resource or reference, provided the URL will be continuously available to you and your students. However, it is recommended that you use only images and references from your Class File Manager. For external resources, enter the full URL.

Notes
  • File names can consist of only alphanumeric characters and a single period.
  • To include an image in a question, comment, or hint, you must first upload the image file to the Class File Manager on your server.
  • If the image is not uploaded to the Class File Manager, the question text appears with a lost image icon. You cannot check the appearance and behavior of the question properly until you upload the files to your Class File Manager.
  • You can browse and tag images in the Class File Manager during Clickable Image question creation or editing in the Question Designer.
  • Note on Uploaded Questions: If you upload a third-party question, you may need to edit the image reference URLs in the .qu script file before installing it. Also, you must upload any image or reference files to your Class File Manager.
  • Note on the Proctored Browser: When an assignment is taken in the Proctored Browser mode, all links to image files, reference files, and external URLs will exit the fullscreen mode. When creating an assignment for which you require students to use the Proctored Browser, you should take care to ensure that the questions do not use any such files. It is recommended that you always preview and test an assessment in Proctored Browser mode to ensure it behaves as expected before administering it. For more information on the Proctored Browser, including information on how to preview an assignment in the Proctored Browser, see Using Proctored Browser.

See Also:

The Class File Manager

Creating Popup References in Questions

To add a popup reference to a question, insert and customize the sample HTML code (from the example below) in your question.

Example

To create a popup HTML reference file in a question:

  1. Create an HTML file containing instructions or reference information. For example,
instructions.aspx
  1. From the Class Homepage, under Class Details, click Class File Manager to upload this file to the class. For more details, see The Class File Manager or Uploading Images and Reference Files to the Class File Manager.
  1. Add the following sample HTML code to your question:
<a href="javascript:window.open('../classes/yourclassURL/instructions.aspx',
   'instructions',  'width=450,height=650,scrollbars').focus();">
Click here for instructions</a> 

where http://www.yourschool.com/classes/yourclassURL is your Class File Manager URL.

To add HTML code through the Question Designer, click Source () in the top toolbar. You can also add a popup reference to a question using plain text script authoring by adding this code to the question field (or, any HTML field in the question definition in the .qu script file).

Behavior

The question contains a link called Click here for instructions. When you click the link, a new window of size 450x650 pixels opens containing the instructions.aspx file contents.

To change the description of the content in the HTML file, the filename, or the window size, edit the sample code in the example above.

Flash Movies in Questions

You can use Flash movies or Java applets in questions. The process is similar to using an image in a question. In addition, you can create questions where students are graded directly on their interaction with the Flash movie or the applet.

To include a Flash movie in a question, you must first upload the Flash movie to a subfolder on the Class File Manager. Next, you can include a reference to the Flash movie in your question. To do this in the Question Designer, follow these steps:

  1. Create or edit a question in the Question Designer.
  1. In the field where you want to include the movie (question text, feedback, or hints), click the flash icon () from the toolbar.
  1. Under the Upload tab, click Choose File and select the movie you have uploaded to the Class File Manager. You will be shown a preview of the movie.
  1. Click OK to add the movie.
Maple Plots

Use the Maple computer algebra system to generate sophisticated 2-D and 3-D plots in your questions and feedback. See Plotting Using Maple. You can add a Maple plot using any authoring method.

See Also:

Plotting a Student Response

Plotting Using Maple

Authoring Tips

Formatting Tips

The Question Designer makes it easy to apply formatting to your question. The following tips are offered to help you achieve the best results.

As with other web content, you may observe differences in the display of your question in various operating systems and browsers.

Character Formatting
  • Use the toolbar icons to apply character formatting.
  • HTML tags are allowed and will be rendered as HTML.
Math Expressions in Questions
  • Use the Quick Symbols palette () for quick access to common symbols. See Figure 4.2.
  • Use the Equation Editor () to create mathematical expressions. The default palette is shown in Figure 4.3.
  • A Chemistry palette is also available. In the Equation Editor, from the Palette drop-down box, select Chemistry.
Quick Symbols Palette

Figure 4.2: Quick Symbols Palette


Equation Editor Palettes

Figure 4.3: Equation Editor Palettes


Algorithmic Variables in Questions
  • Insert variables by typing their name. Use the required "$" at the beginning of the variable name: $variable.
Displaying the $ Sign and the @ Symbol in Questions
  • Insert the "$" sign by using the escape sequence "\", as follows: \$.
  • Insert the "@" symbol by using the escape sequence "\" as follows: \@.

Important: When saving elements, remember to click Finish to save changes. If you change a value by simply typing content and do not click Finish, your changes will be lost.

Adaptive Questions in the Question Designer

Description

Question Designer can be used to create adaptive, multi-part questions in which students are presented with one subquestion (or section) at a time and the question behavior depends on whether the student answers the subquestion correctly. Adaptive questions are created in a similar way to Question Designer questions, which is further described in Question Designer.

The following features are available:

  • Adaptive sections are displayed sequentially, unless the question is designated as complete when a section is finished.
  • You can specify the number of attempts permitted on a section.
  • A section is finished when it is answered correctly or when the maximum number of attempts has been reached.
  • You can opt to display or hide a section when it is finished.
  • Adaptive questions support partial credit.
Presentation of an Adaptive Question

An adaptive question in an assignment has the following presentation:

  • First, a student is presented with this first section of the adaptive question.
  • A note is displayed telling the student that this is an adaptive question, and the number of attempts allowed is shown.
  • The student answers the displayed question and presses Verify.
  • Depending on the question's design and whether the student response is correct or incorrect, one of the following occurs:
  • The student is given another attempt at this section.
  • This section is finished and the student is presented with the next section of the adaptive question.
  • The question is complete. The student can navigate to the next question on the assignment by pressing Next at the top of the assignment.
  • If many attempts are allowed on a section, you may decide to offer an option called Next Part. This enables a student to move past one section of the adaptive question without completing all possible attempts. If this option is shown, a note is displayed telling the student that there may be a penalty for skipping the section.

Adaptive Question Example

Figure 4.4: Adaptive Question Example


Grading

For adaptive questions, the instructor organizes the questions by difficulty. The questions students see are dependent on the correctness of their previous responses. You can give partial credit as well as penalty deductions for repeated attempts. Adaptive questions offer flexible partial credit because they contain one or more response areas (each with their own defined question mode and grading behaviors).

The total grade for an adaptive question is the sum of the grades for each adaptive section. The grade of an adaptive section that is answered correctly is given by the formula (RA Grade) * (Correct Weight) - (# Incorrect Attempts) * (Penalty), where RA Grade is the total grade for the response areas within the adaptive section. In the case where this formula gives a negative number, the grade is given as 0. The grade of an adaptive section that is answered incorrectly is Incorrect Weight.

Instructions

To create an adaptive question:

  1. From the Class Homepage, select Content Repository.
  1. Click Create New, then select Question/Text.
  1. Click Response Area ().
  1. On the Question Editor screen for Adaptive Question Designer, enter the Question Name.
  1. In the Question Text section,
  1. Enter the question statement.
  1. Add multiple sections to a question by inserting additional subquestions and response areas. For more information, see Question Designer.
  1. Insert divisions between the sections by clicking the Adaptive Section () icon. The Edit Adaptive Section dialog appears, as shown in Figure 4.5. These options are thoroughly explained in Table 4.4.
Specify Settings for a Section in an Adaptive Question

Figure 4.5: Specify Settings for a Section in an Adaptive Question


The dialog is described in the table below:

Table 4.4: Properties of the Adaptive Section Dialog

Column in Dialog

Property

Description

Section

Attempts

Number of attempts allowed for the section. Enter a positive integer.

Allow Skip

Determines whether Next Part appears for the section, which allows students to move on without completing all attempts at this section.

Passing Score

Determines the passing grade for the section.

Penalty

Determines the penalty to apply for each incorrect attempt in the section; a number between 0 and 1.

Correct

Weight

Relative weighting of the section in the overall adaptive question, if answered correctly. Enter a number between 0 and 1.

Show Answer

Determines whether the correct answer is displayed when the section is finished and answered correctly.

Display

Determines whether to display the section after it is finished and answered correctly.

Question Complete

Determines whether the question is designated as complete when this section is finished and answered correctly (in which case no more sections are shown) or whether to continue to the next section.

Incorrect

Weight

Relative weighting of the section in the overall adaptive question, if answered incorrectly. Enter a number between 0 and 1.

Show Answer

Determines whether the correct answer is displayed when the section is finished and answered incorrectly.

Display

Determines whether to display the section after it is finished and answered incorrectly.

Question Complete

Determines whether the question is designated as complete when this section is finished and answered incorrectly (in which case no more sections are shown) or whether to continue to the next section.


  1. Once settings have been configured, click OK.
  1. In the Question Text section, the a marker appears as a horizontal line. These sections can be double-clicked to be edited.
  1. You can add algorithms, custom CSS or feedback in the following sections. For more details, see Adding and Editing Algorithms and Adding and Editing Feedback.
  1. Once you have completed the question, click Save & Close.

For a tutorial on creating a sample adaptive question, see Tutorial: Adaptive Question.

Next Steps

To edit further details in the Content Repository, see Editing Question Details.

Tutorial: Adaptive Question Creation

This tutorial describes how to create an adaptive question that asks: "What is the derivative of w.r.t. ?"

If the student answers the question correctly, they receive full credit and the question is complete. However, if the student answers the question incorrectly, he or she is taken through a sequence of subquestions that guide him or her to the final answer. The student will receive reduced credit for answering the question that way.

To create an adaptive question:

  1. From the Class Homepage, select Content Repository.
  1. Click New Question. The Question Editor is displayed.
  1. Enter the following for Question Name: Adaptive Question - Derivative
  1. In the Question Text field, enter the following:

What is the derivative of w.r.t. ?

  1. Click Response Area ().
  1. The Edit Response Area dialog opens.
  1. Select the Maple-graded question type.
  1. In the Answer region, enter the following:

diff($eqn,x);

  1. In the Grading Code region, ensure the grading code is:

is(($ANSWER)-($RESPONSE)=0);

  1. In the Expression Type field select Formula.
  1. Click OK.

  1. Click the Adaptive Section () icon.

  1. Insert the cursor after the first bullet item:
  1. In the Question Text field, enter the following text beginning on a new line:

Differentiate the function in the following steps:

  • Apply the product rule:
  • Apply the power rule:
  • Apply the cosine rule:

  1. Click Response Area ().
  1. The Edit Response Area dialog opens.
  1. Select the Maple-graded question type.
  1. In the Answer region, enter the following:

Diff(x,x)*cos(x)+x*Diff(cos(x),x);

  1. In the Grading Code region, ensure the grading code is:

is(($ANSWER)-($RESPONSE)=0);

  1. In the Expression Type field, select Maple Syntax.
  1. In the Text/Symbolic entry field, select Text entry only.
  1. Click OK.
  1. Click the Adaptive Section () icon.
  1. Insert the cursor after the second bullet item:
  1. Click Response Area ().
  1. The Edit Response Area dialog opens.
  1. Select the Maple-graded question type.
  1. In the Answer region, enter the following:

cos(x)+x*Diff(cos(x),x);

  1. In the Grading Code region, ensure the grading code is:

is(($ANSWER)-($RESPONSE)=0);

  1. In the Expression Type field, select Maple Syntax.
  1. In the Text/Symbolic entry field, select Text entry only.
  1. Click OK.
  1. Click the Adaptive Section () icon.
  1. Insert the cursor after the third bullet item:
  1. Click Response Area ().
  1. The Edit Response Area dialog opens.
  1. Select the Maple-graded question type.
  1. In the Answer region, enter the following:

diff($eqn,x);

  1. In the Grading Code region, ensure the grading code is:

evalb(($ANSWER)-($RESPONSE)=0);

  1. In the Expression Type field, select Maple Syntax.
  1. In the Text/Symbolic entry field, select Text entry only.
  1. Click OK.
  1. Click the Adaptive Section () icon.
  1. Click Response Area ().
  1. In the Question Text field, enter the following text beginning on a new line:

What is the derivative of w.r.t. ?

  1. The Edit Response Area dialog opens.
  1. Select the Maple-graded question type.
  1. In the Answer region, enter the following:

diff($eqn,x);

  1. In the Grading Code region, ensure the grading code is:

evalb(($ANSWER)-($RESPONSE)=0);

  1. In the Expression Type, select Formula.
  1. Click OK.

The overall question layout with section boundaries is shown in Figure 4.6.

Adaptive Question with Three Sections

Figure 4.6: Adaptive Question with Three Sections


Next, define the section divisions and the properties for each section. For a more thorough explanation of each field, seeTable 4.4.

  1. Double-click the first Adaptive Section section.
  1. The Edit Adaptive Section dialog opens.
  1. Under the Section heading, set Attempts to 3. This gives the student three attempts to answer section one correctly.
  1. Under the Section heading, select Allow Skip. This presents the Next Part option alongside Verify. If a student does not want to attempt the question three times, they can move to the next section by clicking Next Part.
  1. Under the Correct heading, select Question Complete. This means that the question is finished if this section is answered correctly.
  1. Click OK to return to the question.
  1. Double-click the second Adaptive Section section.
  1. The Edit Adaptive Section dialog opens.
  1. Under the Section heading, set Attempts to 2. This gives the student two attempts to answer this section correctly.
  1. Also under the Section heading, set the Passing Score to 0.6.
  1. Under the Correct heading, set the Weight to 0.4.
  1. Under the Correct heading, select Display. This means that if this section is answered correctly, the answers given in this section remain displayed when the question progresses to the final section.
  1. Under the Incorrect heading, select Display. This means that if this section is answered incorrectly, the answers given in this section also remain displayed when the question progresses to the final section. Click OK.
  1. Double-click the third Adaptive Section section.
  1. The Edit Adaptive Section dialog opens.
  1. Under the Correct heading, set the Weight to 0.5.
  1. Click OK.
  1. Enter the following for Algorithm:
$eqn=x*cos(x);
  1. Click Refresh algorithm preview to preview the variables you defined.
  1. Click Save & Close.
  1. Click Preview to view the question.

See Also:

Edit Adaptive Section

Adaptive Questions in Question Designer