ASKSAGE: Sage Q&A Forum - Individual question feedhttp://ask.sagemath.org/questions/Q&A Forum for SageenCopyright Sage, 2010. Some rights reserved under creative commons license.Mon, 04 Feb 2013 02:06:22 -0600Excercises, randomly generated and automatically checkedhttp://ask.sagemath.org/question/9759/excercises-randomly-generated-and-automatically-checked/I've been authoring excercise questions for students using [Maple T.A.](http://www.maplesoft.com/products/mapleta/). These questions are randomly generated, and answers checked online, which gives immediate feedback to students. Students like this service, but I as an author was severely annoyed by the workflow, and thought that it should be possible to achieve something better using Sage.
**Is there any project underway which attempts to use Sage to generate questions and check answers in a web-based setup?** If so, how mature is it?
If you want an *example* question, I'd be particularly interested in a question asking students to find an orthogonal basis for a vector space spanned by a given set of vectors. As that basis isn't uniquely defined, a fixed answer won't work, so the provided answer has to be checked using custom code. As the dimension of that vector space might vary between randomizations, a fixed input form doesn't seem a good idea, so I'd prefer either some JavaScript tool to manually adjust the number of vectors in the HTML page, or some way to enter a set of vectors as a single expression. The latter is the approach I currently take with Maple T.A., but it requires students to not only worry about their computations but also about the syntax for entering the results. And it raises the question of how to restrict the set of possible inputs, as executing arbitrary user-entered Python code would be a road to disaster, unless some reasonable sandbox were available.Fri, 01 Feb 2013 03:40:23 -0600http://ask.sagemath.org/question/9759/excercises-randomly-generated-and-automatically-checked/Comment by Bétréma for <p>I've been authoring excercise questions for students using <a href="http://www.maplesoft.com/products/mapleta/">Maple T.A.</a>. These questions are randomly generated, and answers checked online, which gives immediate feedback to students. Students like this service, but I as an author was severely annoyed by the workflow, and thought that it should be possible to achieve something better using Sage.</p>
<p><strong>Is there any project underway which attempts to use Sage to generate questions and check answers in a web-based setup?</strong> If so, how mature is it?</p>
<p>If you want an <em>example</em> question, I'd be particularly interested in a question asking students to find an orthogonal basis for a vector space spanned by a given set of vectors. As that basis isn't uniquely defined, a fixed answer won't work, so the provided answer has to be checked using custom code. As the dimension of that vector space might vary between randomizations, a fixed input form doesn't seem a good idea, so I'd prefer either some JavaScript tool to manually adjust the number of vectors in the HTML page, or some way to enter a set of vectors as a single expression. The latter is the approach I currently take with Maple T.A., but it requires students to not only worry about their computations but also about the syntax for entering the results. And it raises the question of how to restrict the set of possible inputs, as executing arbitrary user-entered Python code would be a road to disaster, unless some reasonable sandbox were available.</p>
http://ask.sagemath.org/question/9759/excercises-randomly-generated-and-automatically-checked/?comment=18311#post-id-18311What is an "excercise" ? :-)Mon, 04 Feb 2013 02:06:22 -0600http://ask.sagemath.org/question/9759/excercises-randomly-generated-and-automatically-checked/?comment=18311#post-id-18311Answer by kcrisman for <p>I've been authoring excercise questions for students using <a href="http://www.maplesoft.com/products/mapleta/">Maple T.A.</a>. These questions are randomly generated, and answers checked online, which gives immediate feedback to students. Students like this service, but I as an author was severely annoyed by the workflow, and thought that it should be possible to achieve something better using Sage.</p>
<p><strong>Is there any project underway which attempts to use Sage to generate questions and check answers in a web-based setup?</strong> If so, how mature is it?</p>
<p>If you want an <em>example</em> question, I'd be particularly interested in a question asking students to find an orthogonal basis for a vector space spanned by a given set of vectors. As that basis isn't uniquely defined, a fixed answer won't work, so the provided answer has to be checked using custom code. As the dimension of that vector space might vary between randomizations, a fixed input form doesn't seem a good idea, so I'd prefer either some JavaScript tool to manually adjust the number of vectors in the HTML page, or some way to enter a set of vectors as a single expression. The latter is the approach I currently take with Maple T.A., but it requires students to not only worry about their computations but also about the syntax for entering the results. And it raises the question of how to restrict the set of possible inputs, as executing arbitrary user-entered Python code would be a road to disaster, unless some reasonable sandbox were available.</p>
http://ask.sagemath.org/question/9759/excercises-randomly-generated-and-automatically-checked/?answer=14504#post-id-14504The canonical answer about open source randomly generated exercises is [WeBWorK](http://webwork.maa.org/). There are some WeBWorK problems which use the Sage cell server to generate stuff on the fly, and the infrastructure is all there for a lot of interaction back and forth. But what you are looking for is probably done best through them, using Sage to do certain things for them (such as compute the types of things you're looking for). Certainly nontrivial problems of the type you are describing need some finessing, but I think WW is flexible enough for this.Fri, 01 Feb 2013 06:15:50 -0600http://ask.sagemath.org/question/9759/excercises-randomly-generated-and-automatically-checked/?answer=14504#post-id-14504Comment by benjaminfjones for <p>The canonical answer about open source randomly generated exercises is <a href="http://webwork.maa.org/">WeBWorK</a>. There are some WeBWorK problems which use the Sage cell server to generate stuff on the fly, and the infrastructure is all there for a lot of interaction back and forth. But what you are looking for is probably done best through them, using Sage to do certain things for them (such as compute the types of things you're looking for). Certainly nontrivial problems of the type you are describing need some finessing, but I think WW is flexible enough for this.</p>
http://ask.sagemath.org/question/9759/excercises-randomly-generated-and-automatically-checked/?comment=18318#post-id-18318... and there is work embedding Sage into webwork problems: https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!topic/sage-edu/0L-YwBaoJTYFri, 01 Feb 2013 08:05:55 -0600http://ask.sagemath.org/question/9759/excercises-randomly-generated-and-automatically-checked/?comment=18318#post-id-18318Comment by kcrisman for <p>The canonical answer about open source randomly generated exercises is <a href="http://webwork.maa.org/">WeBWorK</a>. There are some WeBWorK problems which use the Sage cell server to generate stuff on the fly, and the infrastructure is all there for a lot of interaction back and forth. But what you are looking for is probably done best through them, using Sage to do certain things for them (such as compute the types of things you're looking for). Certainly nontrivial problems of the type you are describing need some finessing, but I think WW is flexible enough for this.</p>
http://ask.sagemath.org/question/9759/excercises-randomly-generated-and-automatically-checked/?comment=18319#post-id-18319And the project is certainly mature, though its GUI is somewhat dated. Volunteers welcome :)Fri, 01 Feb 2013 06:16:33 -0600http://ask.sagemath.org/question/9759/excercises-randomly-generated-and-automatically-checked/?comment=18319#post-id-18319