4.4 Additional Options in the Question Editor - Maple T.A. 2016 Help
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4.4 Additional Options in the Question Editor

The instructor has options to add various components while developing questions. For more details, click on the following:

The Algorithm Designer

For every question type, you can use algorithmically generated variables in question statements, answers, hints, or feedback. Using variables in questions you can generate variations on a single template question.

To create a question that uses randomly generated data in a question, you must define variables.

Maple-generated plots to be included in questions are also defined in the Algorithm Editor using the plotmaple command. When you define a plot in the Algorithm Editor, you can use Preview to see the plot image, verify the plot statement is correct, and edit it if necessary. For more information, see Plotting Using Maple.

When editing a question in the Question Designer, you can add or edit algorithms.

To add or edit algorithms:

  1. In the Question Designer screen, expand the Algorithm area.
  1. The Algorithm Editor opens. See Figure 4.7. The buttons above the algorithm text box perform the following tasks.
  • Show Designer displays the Algorithm Designer. After you click Show Designer, the system replaces it with Hide Designer. Clicking Hide Designer hides the Algorithm Designer. Only one of these two options is visible at a time.
  • Refresh algorithm preview evaluates your variable definition and control statements, and returns a value for each variable in the Variable/Value region located below the algorithm text region. If you define a plot in the Algorithm Editor, the plot image is displayed. You can verify the plot statement is correct, and edit it if necessary.

Algorithm Editor

Figure 4.7: Algorithm Editor


  1. Add or edit algorithm statements (variable definitions and variable control statements).
  • If you know the system algorithm syntax, directly add or edit statements in the algorithm text region.
  • If you don't know the system syntax, click Show Designer to display the Algorithm Designer. You can only add (not edit) statements using the Algorithm Designer.

4. When you have finished adding and editing variable statements, click Finish to save your changes and return to the Question Details screen.

Note: When refreshing the algorithmic variable with a plot statement, you need to change the plot statement in order for the new image to appear. Changing a plotdevice or plotoption entry will not update the plot.

See Also:

Overview of Algorithmic Question Capabilities

Plotting Using Maple

Adding and Editing Algorithms

Use the Algorithm Designer to simplify adding algorithmic variables.

  1. You can add any type of algorithmic statement. In the appropriate section of the Algorithm Designer, enter and select the required information in the template.
  1. To add the statement and refresh the values in the algorithm text box, click OK.
  1. Repeat these steps to add other statements.

For detailed information, see the appropriate section:

Generating Random Number Variables

Create a Random Number Variable

Figure 4.8: Create a Random Number Variable


You can use the Algorithm Designer to create range-based variables.

  1. Enter the variable name in the first cell. You do not need to use the $ or ${} notation.
  1. Select the type of number to generate (whole number or decimal number generation with 1 to 8 decimal places).
  1. Enter the minimum and maximum values for the range, and the increment (step).

Note: For each expression, you can enter a:

  • Variable name, for example, x or monthly totals. You do not need to use the $ or ${} notation.
  • Number, for example, 5 or 2.67
  • Math expression or formula, for example, x^2 + 1
  1. To add the variable definition to the algorithm text box, click OK.
  1. You can use the Algorithm Designer to generate multiple variables.

Generating Condition-based Variables

You can also set variable values based on conditions and relationships to other variables.

  1. Enter the variable name in the first cell. You do not need to use the $ or ${} notation.
  1. Enter the expression defining the variable if the condition is satisfied.
  1. Enter the condition by:
  1. Entering two expressions
  1. Selecting the relation
  1. Enter the expression defining the variable if the condition is not satisfied.

Notes:

  1. Each expression you use must be a:
  • Variable name, for example, x or monthly totals. You do not need to use the $ or ${} notation.
  • Number, for example, 5 or 2.67
  • Math expression or formula, for example, x^2 + 1
  1. You must define variables referenced in the condition before defining the conditional variable.
  1. To add the variable definition to the algorithm text box, click OK.
  1. You can use the Algorithm Designer to generate multiple variables.

Using Maple to Generate Random Number Variables and Generate a Plot

You can use Maple commands to define random variables using any Maple function.

  1. Start by adding the variable name in the first cell. You do not need to use the $ or ${} notation.
  1. Select the type of variable to generate, variable or plot.
  1. Enter the Maple commands used to define the random variable or enter the plot statement. The plot statement accepts plot device options. See Setting Plot Options for a list of plot options.

Guidelines for Maple Commands in Maple-based Variables:

  1. To generate a random number using Maple, you must use the multiple commands: randomize(): <random_command> for each random variable. Otherwise, the same output is generated in each instantiation of the question.
  1. When entering multiple commands, ensure that all (except the last) have a trailing colon. The last command must not have a trailing colon.
  1. You must use the $ or ${} notation when including variables in a Maple command.
  1. When referencing negative, random variables in a maple variable definition, be sure to place the negative variable in parentheses, otherwise an error message will return.
  1. To add the variable definition to the algorithm text box, click OK.
  1. You can use the Algorithm Designer to generate multiple variables.

You can also use a Maple repository when generating random variables. Click Maple Repository to import and link to a Maple repository.

Establishing Conditions Between Variables

You can also use the Algorithm Designer to set conditions that must be met when the system generates variable values.

  1. Enter the condition by:

a. Entering two expressions

b. Selecting the relation

Notes:

  1. Each expression you use must be a:
  • Variable name, for example, x or monthly totals. You do not need to use the $ or ${} notation.
  • Number, for example, 5 or 2.67
  • Math expression or formula, for example, x^2 + 1
  1. You must define variables referenced in the condition before defining the condition statement.
  1. To add the condition statement to the algorithm text box, click OK.
  1. You can use the Algorithm Designer to define multiple condition statements.

See Also:

Overview of Algorithmic Question Capabilities

Generating Random Numbers in Questions

Mathematical and Logical Operators in Algorithms and Answers

Working with Variable Data

Adding and Editing Information Fields, Hints, Feedback, or Themes

Adding and Editing Information Fields

When editing a question in the Question Editor, you can add or edit information fields. Information fields allow you to add information subfields to a question to indicate subtopic, learning objective, level of difficulty, authorship, ownership, or other information. The information field values allow sorting and filtering in the Content Repository and during assignment creation, and they facilitate performance reporting by information field category.

To add or edit the information fields:

  1. From the Content Repository, find the question you want to update the fileds for, then open it to display the Question Summary pane (shown below).

  1. On the Question Summary pane, click Edit Details in the Details area.
  1. Enter or edit field names and corresponding values in the Field and Value text boxes.

Information Fields, Hints, or Feedback

  1. Each question can contain any number of information fields. To add rows, click Add Row.

  1. Click Save to save all changes.

Adding and Editing Hints

When editing a question in the Question Summary pane, you can add or edit hints.

To add or edit the hints:

  1. In the Question Summary pane for your question, click Add in the Hints area to see the following screen:

  1. Enter the following information:
  • Name: Enter the name of the hint.
  • Order: If you are authoring multiple hints, they can be sorted in a specific order. Use the drop-down menu to specify the order.
  • Penalty: Define a penalty for the question if you want students to be penalized for using a hint during an assignment. Assign a weight between 0 and 1 for the penalty. By default, the penalty has weight of 0.0, which means a student will not be penalized if they use the hint.
  1. In the textbox provided, enter your comment for the hint. Hints can include text, HTML-formatted text, symbolic math expressions, algorithmic variables, inserted objects, JavaScript code, variables, and more. To add or edit HTML-formatted text, click Source () in the menu bar.
  1. Click Save to save all changes.
  1. Each question can contain any number of hints. To display an additional, repeat steps 1-4.
  1. Once a hint has been added, the Add button will change to Edit. Click Edit to edit the hint.

Adding and Editing Feedback

When editing a question in the Question Designer, you can add or edit the feedback a student receives during or after an assignment.

To add or edit feedback:

  1. On the Question Designer screen, scroll down and expand the Feedback panel.
  1. Enter or edit the comment in the Text Editor. Feedback can include HTML-formatted text, JavaScriptTM, symbolic math expressions, algorithmic variables, inserted objects, and more. To add or edit HTML-formatted text, click Source () in the menu bar (Text Formatting in Questions).
  1. Click Save.

See Also:

Configuring Feedback Options

Adding and Editing Themes

Themes are stylesheets that can be created then applied to individual questions in the Content Repository.

To create or edit a theme:

  1. From the Class Homepage, click the Content Repository.
  1. Click Create New and select Theme.
  1. Assign the Theme Name.
  1. Enter the theme you wish to apply to question(s) in your class.
  1. Click Save & Close. This moves it directly into the Content Repository, where you will see the following pane:

  1. You have the ability to Share, Delete or Edit the theme.

Tip: Custom CSS is applied after the themes are applied, so they have the ability to manually override the features of a theme.

Themes in Assignments:
  1. Use the instructions provided to create a theme initially.
  1. From Content Repository, select the desired assignment.
  1. Click Edit to proceed to the Assignment Editor.
  1. Select Step 2. Select Questions.
  1. Under the Navigation pane, click the question you wish to preview.
  1. To make modifications, click the icon. This brings you to the Question Designer.
  1. Click the add icon () to expand the Custom CSS panel.
  1. Click Theme (). The Choose Theme window appears.

  1. Drag the desired theme from the heading Available Themes and drop it under Applied Themes, as shown below:

Note: More than one theme can be applied, in which case priority is given in the order they were added to the Applied Themes list.

  1. Once the desired theme is under the Applied Themes heading, click Apply.
  1. To cancel the move, click Cancel.
  1. Click Save & Close to save the theme to that particular question and exit the Question Designer.
  1. Repeat steps 5-12 if you wish to apply the theme to another question.

Deleting Information Fields, Hints, or Feedback

To remove an algorithm, information field, hint or feedback:

  1. From the Content Repository, click Edit to open the Question Designer..
  1. Click the add icon () to expand Algorithms, Custom CSS, or Feedback.
  1. You can now edit or remove Algorithms, Custom CSS, or Feedback.
  1. Click Save & Close.
  1. Alternatively, you can remove Information Fields and Hints by opening the Question Summary pane and deleting the content.
  1. Click Save.

The system returns to the default behavior when grading the question.