MapleTA - Frequently Asked Questions

Questions related to converting quiz content from Moodle to MapleTA.

Question Behaviors

Calculated Questions

Other Question Types



How can I create interactive questions with infinite tries and no penalty?  

Any MapleTA assignment can be placed in this mode by enabling "How Did I Do?" in the quiz policies.  This mode will allow students to submit any number of answers for each question until they eventually get all the questions right.  This is most useful for questions with open response answers such as (randomized) numbers or formulas.   If you want to allow this mode for most questions in an assignment, but not for certain questions (e.g. multiple choice questions) then you can selectively add adaptive questions to limit the number of attempts.   Adaptive questions define their own policies and do not use the "How Did I Do?" feature.  For more information on adaptive questions, see the following questions.

How can I create interactive questions with multiple attempts and penalties?

This feature is configured at the question level.  For every question where students should have multiple tries, add an "Adaptive Section" (Icon)   at the end of the question text and then configure the number of attempts and penalty.  If you wish to show the student feedback after their final answer, add the feedback after the adaptive marker in the question text.

Example: Allow at most 3 tries, and gives a penalty of 25% for each wrong answer.
The options checked under Correct and Incorrect ensure students are shown the question and the answer after completing the adaptive section.

     adaptive settings
This feature is configured at the question level.  As in the previous question, add an "Adaptive Section" (Icon)   at the end of the question text and then configure the number of attempts to be 1.  If you wish to show the student feedback after their answer, add the feedback after the adaptive marker in the question text.

Example: Allow only one try, and show the student immediate feedback. Note that the penalty doesn't matter here, since an incorrect answer is always scored as a 0.

      adaptive settings
This is the default mode for MapleTA assignments when "How Did I Do?" is not enabled.  Students can attempt questions in any order and change their answers at any time, but grades and feedback are given after the assignment is submitted.  Adaptive questions can still be mixed in to provide immediate feedback on individual questions.

Moodle allows multiple questions to be locked together so that a student has to answer one before moving on to the next.   This is supported in two different ways in Maple TA:

Option 1: Locking all questions in an assignment
This is enabled by deselecting "Allow Resubmit" in the assignment Policy.  In this mode students will not be able to jump back to previous questions during an attempt and will be forced to answer the questions in order.

Option 2: Locking specific questions together.  
This is accomplished by grouping the locked questions together into a single Maple TA question, separated by Adaptive sections (adaptive).  Each adaptive section should be set to allow one or more attempts, and have "Display" enabled under both Correct and Incorrect branches if you want students to see a section after they answer it.  Once a student completes an adaptive section they are not able to go back and change their previous answers.

How can I create Moodle-style calculated questions?

MapleTA supports calculated (randomized) questions through the use of an algorithm in the question definition.  The algorithm can choose random numbers, make decisions based on the values chosen, enforce assumptions about the randomized values, and even call arbitrary Maple code.  This approach is more flexible than in Moodle, where question datasets are pulled from predefined lists of values.  Refer to the MapleTA Documentation for general information on algorithms.

To emulate the Moodle behavior, define arrays of values and then choose one at random.

For example, this algorithm chooses $a and $b from a list of 5 possible pairs:
$sel = rint(5);
$a = switch($sel, 1,3,5,7,11);
$b = switch($sel, 3,3,6,7,7);

How can I create shared dataset questions?

Moodle questions can be "synchronized" so that the same choice of variable is available in each question in a quiz attempt.  This isn't possible in the same way in MapleTA, where every question is randomized independently.  However, MapleTA allows any number of answer elements to be embedded in a single question, all of which share a common algorithm.  So we can combine all synchronized parts into a single MapleTA question and this achieves the same goal as synchronized questions in Moodle.

For example, the following question contains two parts, each using common variables $a and $b:

multi-part question

The algorithm chooses $a and $b to be integers between 2 and 6:

$a=range(2,6);
$b=range(2,6);

During an attempt, atudents will be shown the entire problem and asked to answer both parts.  If the question allows immediate feedback, then both parts will be graded at the same time.  If this is not what you want, for example if you want students to be able to check the first part before answering the second, adaptive sections can be used to break up the question.  For example:

adaptive multi-part question


Students will be shown the first part, and possibly be given multiple tries at it, and then asked the second part when they complete it.  The default setting for adaptive sections is to hide the previous section when the next is displayed.  In most cases you'll want to change the settings to "Display" and possibly "Show Answer" after both correct and incorrect attempts.

How can I create pattern match questions?

Moodle pattern match questions allow short responses to be graded using 'pattern match' logic.  MapleTA supports a similar notion using regular expressions.  To create a regular expression graded question, add a 'List' response area and include regular expressions in the answer choices.   MapleTA supports POSIX 1003.2 extended regular expressions.

One limitation we've found is that per-answer feedback isn't supported in List questions.  To give feedback, either use the general feedback area or use a subsequent adaptive section.  List question responses are also limited to a single line of text.

How can I create multiple attempt questions that don't show students exactly what is right or wrong between attempts?

Moodle supports interactive missing-word questions where only right/wrong feedback is given after each attempt.  This is useful since breaking the feedback down for each answer element may give too much information to the student about the correct answer.

The standard behavior in MapleTA is to give feedback for each response area independently.  However, adaptive sections behave differently and show only right/wrong for each section as a whole.  The solution therefore is to use adaptive sections when multiple tries are allowed.


How can I provide per-answer feedback in adaptive multiple choice questions?

MapleTA allows per-answer feedback when defining multiple-choice questions, however this feedback is not shown in adaptive questions.  This is a known limitation, and the workaround is to include general feedback in a subsequent adaptive section.

How can I apply customized weights for multiple-choice answers?

MapleTA does not support customized weights.  The student score is given by:   Grade = (# right - # wrong) / (# correct answers).

How can I create matching questions as in Moodle?

MapleTA Matching response areas are one solution.   In “Matching” areas, MapleTA allows arbitrary HTML and Math content in the choices and so it doesn’t try to display the choices in a dropdown menu (which are typically plain-text only).  The advantage of doing it this way is that math formulas can be matched, the downside is that it’s more cumbersome for students to use when the answers are plain-text.  

As an alternative in MapleTA, using multiple “List” answer areas works well, although this type of question is a bit more tedious to author since the instructor needs to create multiple answer areas, each with all choices. Additionally see the question about "How can I create multiple attempt questions that don't show students exactly what is right or wrong between attempts?".

How can I create calculated questions with binary or hexadecimal answers?

The correct responses can be defined using algorithm code, and the student responses graded using List response areas.

For example, suppose $x is an integer variable.  Then:

$xbinary = maple("convert($x, binary)");                     # x in binary
$xhex = maple("printf(convert($x, hex))");                   # x in hex notation.  Note the 'printf' is required to convert from a maple symbol to a string.
$xhexprefix = maple("printf(cat(`0x`,convert($x, hex)))");   # x in 0x___ hex notation.

Any of these variables can then be used as a case-insensitive answer match in a List response area.


How can I format numbers for output?

This is possible with the built-in function numfmt.

For example:
$out1 = $x;               # default format:  48,359,215
$out2 = numfmt("0",$x);   # no separator: 48359215
$out3 = numfmt("###,###,###,###",$x);  # with separator: 48,359,215
$out4 = numfmt("####,####,####",$x);   # with separator: 4835,9215
$out5 = maple("printf(StringTools[SubstituteAll](convert(`$out4`, string),`,`,`_`))");    # with _ separator: 4835_9215 
This is done using question groups.  Add a question group to the assignment and edit the question group settings to randomly choose one or more questions.

How can I create drag and drop questions?

Drag and drop questions are not currently supported by MapleTA.



Keywords:MapleTA quiz moodle converting FAQ questions   Doc ID:78354
Owner:Matt P.Group:Moodle
Created:2017-11-21 10:52 CSTUpdated:2017-11-22 12:53 CST
Sites:Moodle
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