## Formatting output of variables in Maple TA...

I apologize, as I'm still very new. I've flipped through a lot of pages, but I'm unsure of how Maple code translates to Maple TA.

I have randomly assigned an integer for the value of a year in Maple TA. I'd like it to appear as "2013" for example, but it will instead appear as "2,013". Is there a way to set the output formatting of a variable individually within a problem in TA?

Thanks!

## Problem with frac() in MapleTA ...

I am setting up a practice set on how to find a common denominator, add, and reduce.

If I do not set "allow arithmatic", there is no way for students to correctly type in the answer, which is CURRENTLY the return value for a frac() function call. If I DO set "allow arithmatic", the student can just literally type the question into the answer box to get full credit / never has to reduce, etc, which defeats the purpose of the lesson. This is also the case with the Maple Graded answer type unless I do something fancier than I'm doing.

I can set up the answer properly without using frac() and reduce the fraction, but then--when the answer should be a whole number--the student has to type in "3/1" as an example.

I've also tried setting up an if statement for the answer, but when i convert the numbers to strings, then "2/3" becomes .2.0/3.0".

So, at this point, I'm super open to ideas.

# Define the denominators. We want them to be between 2 and 8.
\$B=rint(2,8);
\$D=rint(2,8);

# Make it so that the numerators can be between 1 and 1 less than the denominators.
# We also want to make sure they're not 0.
# Hashtag dividingby0.
\$R=rint(-\$B+1,\$B-1);
\$A=if(\$R,\$R,1);
\$S=rint(-\$D+1,\$D-1);
\$C=if(\$S,\$S,1);

# Calculate the numerator multiplied by the denominator. We'll do this step expressly
# because we'll want it for our feedback.
\$X=(\$A*\$C);
\$Y=(\$B*\$D);

#Calculate the greatest common factor and the answer.
\$G=if(gcd(\$X,\$Y),gcd(\$X,\$Y),1);
\$ANS=frac(\$X,\$Y);

Greetings, all!

I'm extremely new to Maple T.A., and I am building tools for my math department since I'm the only one with a programming background. I have a generic question, and sincerely apologize if I've missed it being answered elsewhere. It's a case that will probably come up multiple times for us, so I was hoping to find an answer =).

I have a problem where students are adding exponents of like bases. As an example, you get questions that look like this.

When the coefficient is 1, I'd like to accept a blank answer in the first response area as a correct solution. Is there an easy (or less easy =) way of making this happen?

## New release of Placement Test Suite

by: Maple T.A.

Maple T.A. MAA Placement Test Suite  2016 is now available. It leverages all the improvements found in Maple T.A. 2016, including:

• A redesigned authoring workflow that makes it faster and easier to create and modify questions and assignments
• A new content repository that makes it substantially easier to manage and search for content
• New built-in connectivity options for integration with course management systems

To learn more, visit What’s New in Maple T.A. MAA Placement Test Suite 2016.

Jonny
Maplesoft Product Manager, Online Education Products

## Cell padding in tables does not work...

Hi All,

I seem to have problems with the table formatting in Maple TA 2016, concretely changing the cell padding has no effect. Is this a general issue ? I don't have this problem in Maple TA 10 (I tried both versions using the same browser (Safari)).

Thanks!

Elisabeth

## Can Maple T.A. be a 'tolerant' marker?

by: Maple T.A.

Disclaimer: This blog post has been contributed by Prof. Nicola Wilkin, Head of Teaching Innovation (Science), College of Engineering and Physical Sciences and Jonathan Watkins from the University of Birmingham Maple T.A. user group*.

Written for Maple T.A. 2016. For Maple T.A. 10 users, this question can be written using the queston designer.

## Format of algorithmic variables...

Hello,

I am using algorithmic variables to generate questions about the greatest common divisor of two integers.

Unforuntately the integers come out as 1,664 instead of simply 1664 (for example). How can I change the format to the simple version ?

Elisabeth

## Maple T.A. 2016 is here!

by: Maple T.A.

I’m pleased to announce the release of Maple T.A. 2016, our online assessment system.

For this release, we put a lot of effort into streamlining the authoring experience. We worked closely with customers to find out how they authored content, the places where they found the interface awkward, the tasks that took longer than they should have, and what they’d like to see changed. Then we made it better.

Right away you’ll notice that questions and assignments are no longer in separate places in Maple T.A. All your content is stored in a convenient location that makes it simple to browse your content. Contextual navigation, filtering options, sorting tools, question details, drag and drop organization, combined import feature, and more make it easier than ever to find and organize your content. The Maple T.A. Cloud also sees improvements. Not only can questions be shared, but assignments and entire course modules can be as well.

For question creation, we consolidated all question authoring into the question designer, so you have a single starting point no matter what kind of question you want to create. We have also refined the text editor to help authors find the tools they need to modify their questions. This includes embedding external content, importing questions from the repository, text formatting options, and more.

Of course, once you have questions, you’ll want to put them into an assignment, and assignment creation is now easier than ever. A key change is that you can now create and modify questions while you are creating an assignment, without having to leave the assignment editor. There are also changes to how you preview questions, set properties, and even save your assignments, all of which contribute to making assignment creation simpler and faster.

Of course, there’s more than just a significantly improved author workflow. Here are some highlights:

• Assignment groups for efficient organization, both in the content repository and on the class homepage.
• Easy-to-create sorting questions – no coding required!
• HTML questions, which can be authored directly in the question designer.
• Clickable image questions are Java-free and easier to author.
• Maximum word counts and other improvements to the essay question type.
• A new scanned document feature lets instructors upload and even grade scanned documents.
• Officially certified LTI integration for connectivity with a wide range of course management systems

See What’s New in Maple T.A. 2016 for more information on these and other new features.

Jonny Zivku
Maplesoft Product Manager, Online Education Products

## Creating a drag and drop exercise...

Hi,

I'd like to create a graded drag and drop exercise so that my students can click on an item and place it into various places (one of which is the correct place). I don't think any of the Question types support this though .. is there a way to build such a quesiton in Maple TA ?

Elisabeth

## Complex numbers in Maple T.A....

Is it possible to work with complex numbers in Maple T.A?

How could you for instance make a question where two complex numbers in polar form should be added. For instance (10<30deg)+(15<-10deg). I'm thinking of letting answers be in two fields, one for the absolute value and one for the angle but I would like to use random numbers in the two complex numbers to be added and would prefer to be able to use complex math in calculating the right answer.

## Cannot use StringTools[Search] in Maple T.A....

Dear All,

I use Maple T.A. 10. I try to use StringTools[Search] in algorithm variables but have not succeeded. Any help would be appreciated.

Algorithm Variable definitions

`\$pattern1=maple('"sin(1/2*Pi)"');\$text1=maple('"sin(1/2*Pi)"');\$test1=maple("StringTools[Search](\$pattern1,\$text1)");\$test2=maple('StringTools[Search](\$pattern1,\$text1)');`

give us the following result, whereas I expect the return value 1.

 pattern1 "sin(1/2*Pi)" text1 "sin(1/2*Pi)" test1 com.maplesoft.server.router.MapleSyntaxException: on line 116, syntax error, `,` unexpected: test2 module () local Testing, Bitmap, BF, SuffixArray, LyndonFactorPositions, CheckMaximalRepeat, slowLyndonFactors, SerialCorrelationCoefficient, ChiSquared, LongestCommonSubSequenceLength, PrintSentences, `difficult?`, matchMatrix2, _randperm, _permute, _config, trampoline, Sequitur, passign, defun, compressImpl, uncompressImpl; export Length, IsUpper, IsLower, IsAlpha, IsDigit, IsAlphaNumeric, IsControlCharacter, IsSpace, IsPunctuation, IsGraphic, IsIdentifier, IsIdentifier1, IsPrintable, IsASCII, IsHexDigit, IsOctalDigit, IsBinaryDigit, IsVowel, HasUpper, HasLower, HasAlpha, HasDigit, HasAlphaNumeric, HasControlCharacter, HasSpace, HasPunctuation, HasGraphic, HasIdentifier, HasIdentifier1, HasPrintable, HasASCII, HasHexDigit, HasOctalDigit, HasBinaryDigit, HasVowel, Has, ExpandCharacterClass, Random, Randomize, IndexOfCoincidence, Entropy, ArithmeticMean, Kasiski, Repeats, Explode, Implode, Chop, Chomp, Fence, MatchFence, PadLeft, PadRight, Centre, Center, Trim, TrimRight, TrimLeft, Squeeze, DeleteSpace, Reverse, Insert, Delete, IsPrefix, IsSuffix, CommonPrefix, CommonSuffix, LongestCommonSubString, LongestCommonSubSequence, Soundex, Metaphone, Levenshtein, HammingDistance, EditDistance, PrefixDistance, SuffixDistance, DifferencePositions, Compare, CompareCI, CamelCase, UpperCase, LowerCase, OtherCase, Capitalize, FirstFromLeft, FirstFromRight, Take, Drop, Snarf, CharacterMap, LeftFold, RightFold, Map, AndMap, OrMap, Char, Ord, SubString, Select, Remove, SelectRemove, Group, Split, CaseSplit, LengthSplit, StringSplit, Readability, Sentences, Words, WordStart, WordEnd, WordContaining, NGrams, SimilarityCoefficient, WordCount, Join, CaseJoin, RegMatch, RegSub, RegSubs, RegSplit, ApproximateSearch, ApproximateSearchAll, HammingSearch, HammingSearchAll, Search, SearchAll, Substitute, SubstituteAll, PatternDictionary, FormatMessage, FormatTime, ParseTime, Fill, Repeat, Iota, Visible, Escape, Encode, Decode, Compress, Uncompress, WildcardMatch, NumbOccur, CountCharacterOccurrences, Shift, Rotate, Exchange, Stem, Permute, SortPermutation, Sort, Unique, Hash, IsSorted, IsAnagram, Anagrams, SyllableLength, Generate, NthWord, Support, IsBalanced, IsSubSequence, IsPalindrome, IsEodermdrome, IsPermutation, IsDerangement, IsMonotonic, IsPrimitive, PrimitiveRoot, Border, BorderLength, BorderArray, Overlap, IsConjugate, MinimumConjugate, Period, IsPeriod, Fibonacci, ThueMorse, MonotonicFactors, LyndonFactors, LexOrder, ShortLexOrder, RevLexOrder, ShortRevLexOrder, LeftRecursivePathOrder, RightRecursivePathOrder, ToByteArray, FromByteArray, CharacterFrequencies, MaximalPalindromicSubstring, MinChar, MaxChar, Tabulate, StringBuffer, ExpandTabs, WrapText, Indent, PatternEquivalent, PatternCanonicalForm, GenerateIdentifier, _pexports; options package, noimplicit, `Copyright (c) Maplesoft, a division of Waterloo Maple Inc. 2005`; description "a package of string manipulation utilities"; end module(Search)("sin(1/2*Pi)","sin(1/2*Pi)")

I confirmed that one can use StringTools[Search] in the question source code as explained in http://www.maplesoft.com/support/help/MapleTA10/MapleTAInstructor/ch06s04.aspx#Chapter06_UsingMapleCodetoPreventCheatinginMapleSyntaxQuestions

maple=evalb(0=StringTools[Search]("factor","\$RESPONSE")) and evalb(\$RESPONSE=factor(x^2-1))

I note that searchtext or SearchText procedures could be used instead in algorithm variables.

## Can you grade conceptual understanding with Maple...

by: Maple T.A.

Disclaimer: This blog post has been contributed by Dr. Nicola Wilkin, Head of Teaching Innovation (Science), College of Engineering and Physical Sciences and Jonathan Watkins from the University of Birmingham Maple T.A. user group*.

We all know the problem. During the course of a degree, students become experts at solving problems when they are given the sets of equations that they need to solve. As anyone will tell you, the skill they often lack is the ability to produce these sets of equations in the first place. With Maple T.A. it is a fairly trivial task to ask a student to enter the solution to a system of equations and have the system check if they have entered it correctly. I speak with many lecturers who tell me they want to be able to challenge their students, to think further about the concepts. They want them to be able to test if they can provide the governing equations and boundary conditions to a specific problem.

With Maple T.A. we now have access to a math engine that enables us to test whether a student is able to form this system of equations for themselves as well as solve it.

In this post we are going to explore how we can use Maple T.A. to set up this type of question. The example I have chosen is 2D Couette flow. For those of you unfamiliar with this, have a look at this wikipedia page explaining the important details.

In most cases I prefer to use the question designer to create questions. This gives a uniform interface for question design and the most flexibility over layout of the question text presented to the student.

1. On the Questions tab, click New question link and then choose the question designer.
2. For the question title enter "System of equations for Couette Flow".
3. For the question text enter the text

The image below shows laminar flow of a viscous incompressible liquid between two parallel plates.

What is the system of equations that specifies this system. You can enter them as a comma separated list.

e.g. diff(u(y),y,y)+diff(u(y),y)=0,u(-1)=U,u(h)=0

You then want to insert a Maple graded answer box but we'll do that in a minute after we have discussed the algorithm.

When using the questions designer, you often find answers are longer than width of the answer box. One work around is to change the width of all input boxes in a question using a style tag. Click the source button on the editor and enter the following at the start of the question

` <style id="previewTextHidden" type="text/css">input[type="text"] {width:300px !important}</style> `

Pressing source again will show the result of this change. The input box should now be significantly wider. You may find it useful to know the default width is 186px.
4. Next, we need to add the algorithm for this question. The teacher's answer for this question is the system of equations for the flow in the picture.

` \$TA="diff(u(y),y,y) = 0, u(0) = 0, u(h) = U";\$sol=maple("dsolve({\$TA})");`

I always set this to `\$TA` for consitency across my questions. To check there is a solution to this I use a maple call to the dsolve function in Maple, this returns the solution to the provided system of equations. Pressing refresh on next to the algorithm performs these operations and checks the teacher's answer.

The key part of this question is the grading code in the Maple graded answer box. Let's go ahead and add the answer box to the question text. I add it at the end of the text we added in step 3. Click Insert Response area and choose the Maple-graded answer box in the left hand menu. For the answer enter the `\$TA` variable that we defined in the algorithm. For the grading code enter
`a:=dsolve({\$RESPONSE}):evalb({\$sol}={a}) `

This code checks that the students system of equations produces the same solution as the teachers. Asking the question in this way allows a more open ended response for the student.

To finish off make sure the expression type is Maple syntax and Text entry only is selected.
5. Press OK and then Finish on the Question designer screen.

That is the question completed. To preview a working copy of the question, have a look here at the live preview of this question. Enter the system of equations and click How did I do?

I have included a downloadable version of the question that contains the .xml file and image for this question. Click this link to download the file. The question can also be found on the Maple T.A. cloud under "System of equations for Couette Flow".

* Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the University of Birmingham unless explicitly stated otherwise.

## Indexed variables in Maple TA?...

I try to make a question with an equation with numbered variables. This works fine when evaluating:

y=x1/x2

I need to have the lefthand variable indexed also like this:

y2=x1/x2

When entering y2=x1/x2 as the answer Maple TA won't evaluate it as a correct answer!?

## Why use Maple T.A. for STEM courses?

by: Maple T.A.

Disclaimer: This blog post has been contributed by Dr. Nicola Wilkin, Head of Teaching Innovation (Science), College of Engineering and Physical Sciences and Jonathan Watkins from the University of Birmingham Maple T.A. user group*.

If you have arrived at this post you are likely to have a STEM background. You may have heard of or had experience with Maple T.A or similar products in the past. For the uninitiated, Maple T.A. is a powerful system for learning and assessment designed for STEM courses, backed by the power of the Maple computer algebra engine. If that sounds interesting enough to continue reading let us introduce this series of blog posts for the mapleprimes website contributed by the Maple T.A. user group from the University of Birmingham(UoB), UK.

These posts mirror conversations we have had amongst the development team and with colleagues at UoB and as such are likely of interest to the wider Maple T.A. community and potential adopters. The implementation of Maple T.A. over the last couple of years at UoB has resulted in a strong and enthusiastic knowledge base which spans the STEM subjects and includes academics, postgraduates, undergraduates both as users and developers, and the essential IT support in embedding it within our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), CANVAS at UoB.

By effectively extending our VLE such that it is able to understand mathematics we are able to deliver much wider and more robust learning and assessment in mathematics based courses. This first post demonstrates that by comparing the learning experience between a standard multiple choice question, and the same material delivered in a Maple TA context.

To answer this lets compare how we might test if a student can solve a quadratic equation, and what we can actually test for if we are not restricted to multiple choice. So we all have a good understanding of the solution method, let's run through a typical paper-based example and see the steps to solving this sort of problem.

Here is an example of a quadratic

To find the roots of this quadratic means to find what values of x make this equation equal to zero. Clearly we can just guess the values. For example, guessing 0 would give

So 0 is not a root but -1 is.

There are a few standard methods that can be used to find the roots. The point though is the answer to this sort of question takes the form of a list of numbers. i.e. the above example has the roots -1, 5. For quadratics there are always two roots. In some cases two roots could be the same number and they are called repeated roots. So a student may want to answer this question as a pair of different numbers 3, -5, the same number repeated 2, 2 or a single number 2. In the last case they may only list a repeated roots once or maybe they could only find one root from a pair of roots. Either way there is quite a range of answer forms for this type of question.

With the basics covered let us see how we might tackle this question in a standard VLE. Most are not designed to deal with lists of variable length and so we would have to ask this as a multiple choice question. Fig. 1, shows how this might look.

Fig 1: Multiple choice question from a standard VLE

Unfortunately asking the question in this way gives the student a lot of implicit help with the answer and students are able to play a process of elimination game to solve this problem rather than understand or use the key concepts.

They can just put the numbers in and see which work...

Let's now see how we may ask this question in Maple T.A.. Fig. 2 shows how the question would look in Maple T.A. Clearly this is not multiple choice and the student is encouraged to answer the question using a simple list of numbers separated by commas. The students are not helped by a list of possible answers and are left to genuinely evaluate the problem. They are able to provide a single root or both if they can find them, and moreover the question is not fussy about the way students provide repeated roots. After a student has attempted the question, in the formative mode, a student is able to review their answer and the teacher's answer as well as question specific feedback, Fig. 3. We'll return to the power of the feedback that can be incorporated in a later post.

Fig. 2: Free response question in Maple T.A.

Fig. 3: Grading response from Maple T.A.

The demo of this question and others presented in this blog, are available as live previews through the UoB Maple T.A. user group site.

The question can be downloaded from here and imported as a course module to your Maple T.A. instance. It can also be found on the Maple TA cloud by searching for "Find the roots of a quadratic". Simply click on the Clone into my class button to get your own version of the question to explore and modify.

* Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the University of Birmingham unless explicitly stated otherwise.