Assignments and Exams

Creating an exam

Problems must be created before the exams. However, the website already comes with problems sampleProblem01, sampleProblem02, \(\dots\), and sampleProblem06. Take a look at these six problems, and if you are OK with them being on your homework, then you need to do nothing more for this early exercise. You can now make homework 1 consisting of the first three problems.

Go to the main course page, then to Assignments and Grades. Then click on the letter H at the top of the grading table. Then click on H1 from the top of the new table. You are at the main page of Homework 1. Go to Grading Room, click on the button Create, and at the bottom of the form click on the button Submit. Every time you do this with such a speed you will end up assigning your students a homework or exam that asks them to identify the capital of the United States in a multiple choice question where one of the choices is Moscow. But that's what the sampleProblem01 is all about. At the moment, your website does not have many problems to choose from.

Warning: Students who register late for the class will not be able to see the assignments that are created before their registration. Once you run into this trouble, you should click on the link below to see the details and solution to this problem.

Turning on the exam

Students still won't see anything. You can log in as one of your students, go to Assignments and Grades and click on the link to Quiz 1. You will see the information that the exam is not open. With the administrator account you should go back to the Homework 1 grading room by following the links listed in the previous paragraph. You can now turn on the exam by clicking on the button E On. It stands for Exam On. You may have guessed it already.

Your students are now able to access the exam. You should log in as one of the students and solve the exam. Students are able to change their answers for as long as the exam is open. Only the instructor can turn off the exam and prevent further submissions. Students simply log out when they are no longer interested in solving the exam. You may want to repeat the procedure with an account of another student.

Warning: The above steps are sufficient for Homework 1 and Homework 2. The future will be a bit more complicated. The table in the page Assignments and Grades contains the links only to homework 1 and homework 2. You can edit the page Assignments and Grades to add more links once the homeworks are ready.

Turning off the exam

At the end of the exam, you have to manually close it. In the Grading Room there are several buttons that can do that. The button E Off replaces the exam with the message that it is not open. The button E QA prohibits further edits by students. However, the students can see the questions and their answers to the questions. The button & Sol adds the official solutions to the list of things that will be displayed to students. The buttons & Pts> and & Comments should be used only after grading is over. The first one will let students see their points, and the second one will let them see the points and the comments that the grader has made.

Grading the online exams

Once the exam is turned off, you should click on G On to turn on the grading. If you want to assign students to grade each other, you should click on the button Graders. The simplest two options are a and s. The letter a means that all students will be graders. Each of them will grade someone assigned randomly. The letter s is for self-grading. Each student will grade their own exam.

Instead of a and s you can put the usernames of people that you want to be the graders. They can be TAs or students within the class. If they are students from the class, then the random number generator will do its best to make sure that nobody grades their own exam. For example, if instead of a and s you put the following texts

_n*_JamesMadison_/n*_
_n*_GWashington_/n*_
_n*_JohnAdams_/n*_ 
then these three users will grade everything.

The button Auto-grade will activate the automatic grader. The automatic grader will only grade multiple-choice questions, questions whose answers are integers, and computer code. The other problems will be left ungraded. The human grader can override the grade of the automatic system. In addition, if the human grader has submitted a grade, the automatic system will not grade that problem.

After the grading is over, you should turn it off using the button G Off.

In-class exams

The support for giving in-class exams consists of:

  • Generating a fixed number of versions for the in-class exams.
  • Generating printable pdf files (and latex source files) for each of the versions of the in-class exams.
  • Assigning the correct version of the exam for each of the students, after the exams are taken and collected.
  • Auto-grading the questions that can be auto-graded.
  • Displaying the scores to students.
  • Including the scores in the main grading records.

The exam creation is the same as in the case of online exams. After the exam is created, you can visit the "Grading room" and click on the button Custom Versions or on the button PDF. The computer will generate 10 random versions of the exam. We will call these 10 versions, favorite versions. You do not need to use these favorite versions that the computer offered you. You can replace them with anything else you would want. However, these favorite versions are generated only once. The computer will remember them, so whenever you click on the button Custom Versions or on the button PDF for this particular exam, the very same favorite versions will be offered to you. This is very convenient, because printing the PDF files usually occurs days (or weeks) before assigning the custom versions to students. Printing has to happen before the in-class exam, while assigning the custom version has to happen after the exam.

Once you click on PDF, you will be offered a pre-filled form. If you do not change any of the parameters, then the form will make paper copies for the online exam that was generated randomly. However, if you want to print the favorite versions, then you need to place them instead of the word no between the tags _inClassExams*|_ and _/inClassExams*|_. The favorite versions are listed immediately below for easy copy-pasting. By default, they are kept outside of the tags _inClassExams*|_ and _/inClassExams*|_. Once you put them between the tags, you will trigger the generation of latex code and the PDF file. Remember, if you did not use favorite versions, you will need to remember the exact one that you used. It is worth noting that the version of the exam is not printed anywhere in the pdfs. The exams are sorted according to the version numbers, but the versions are not publicly announced. You can either keep them secret and design a cover page that hides the version so only you can find it out, or if you are not interested in hiding this information, you can edit the latex source and write the version in plain sight on each exam.

After the exam you should go to the button Custom Versions. You have to scroll down, past the favorite versions of the exam. There you will see the list of students and you will have an option of assigning the version of the exam to each of them. If you did not use favorite versions, then you must put the correct parameters instead of the pre-filled ones before assigning versions to students.

If you want to use auto-grader, then you need to manually insert the answers of students to multiple choice questions, and questions with short answers. Otherwise, you can manually grade an leave comments on the website. The exams are directly connected to the students records and grading administration is done in the same way as with online exams.