Things to consider in developing WeBWorK problems with embedded Flash applets

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The Flash applets are protected under the following license: 
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[http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/ Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License].
  
  

Revision as of 10:09, 10 August 2011

Contents

Applets in the body of a WeBWorK problem

Where is the solution computed?

In WeBWorK

In the applet

Applets in Hints and Solutions

For many types of problems, you may not need an applet in the main part of the problem, but you may want to use one to provide the student with a hint or to help the student understand the solution.
Sinxoverx.jpg


The Flash applets are protected under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.


PG problem file Explanation

##DESCRIPTION
##  understanding derivatives graphically
##ENDDESCRIPTION

##KEYWORDS('derivatives', 'graph')

## DBsubject('Calculus')
## DBchapter('Limits and Derivatives')
## DBsection('Derivatives')
## Date('7/25/2011')
## Author('Barbara Margolius')
## Institution('Cleveland State University')
## TitleText1('')
## EditionText1('2011')
## AuthorText1('')
## Section1('')
## Problem1('')

###################################################
# This work is supported in part by the National  
# Science Foundation under the grant DUE-0941388.
###################################################
 

This is the tagging and description section of the problem. Note that any line that begins with a "#" character is a comment for other authors who read the problem, and is not interpreted by WeBWorK.

The description is provided to give a quick summary of the problem so that someone reading it later knows what it does without having to read through all of the problem code.

All of the tagging information exists to allow the problem to be easily indexed. Because this is a sample problem there isn't a textbook per se, and we've used some default tagging values. There is an on-line list of current chapter and section names and a similar list of keywords. The list of keywords should be comma separated and quoted (e.g., KEYWORDS('calculus','derivatives')).

DOCUMENT();       

loadMacros(
"PGanswermacros.pl",
  "PGstandard.pl",
  "AppletObjects.pl",
  "MathObjects.pl",
);

This is the initialization section of the problem. The first executed line of the problem must be the DOCUMENT(); command. Note that every command must end with a semicolon.

The loadMacros command loads information that works behind the scenes. For our purposes we can usually just load the macros shown here and not worry about things further.

# Set up problem
TEXT(beginproblem());
$showPartialCorrectAnswers = 1;
Context("Numeric"); 

$ans =Compute("1");

$showSolution = 0;
if(time>$dueDate){
   $showSolution = 1;
}

$isit2der = 1; #match first and second derivatives

This is the problem set-up section of the problem.

The derGraphMatchWW.swf applet requires the student to match three sets of graphs. If $isit2der is set to zero, the student must match three pairs of graphs of functions and their derivatives. If $isit2der is set to one, the student must match three triples of graphs of functions and their first and second derivatives. The screenshot above shows the applet with $isit2der=1. $showSolutions is turned on when the due date is passed. The solutions are shown within the applet. The problem author can add some explanatory text in the pg file. The applet shows the graphs in the correct positions with shading turned on so that the student can see the function is concave up where its derivative is increasing and the second derivative is positive.

###################################
# Create  link to applet 
###################################
    $appletName = "derGraphMatchWW";
    $applet =  FlashApplet(
       codebase              => findAppletCodebase("$appletName.swf"),
       appletName            => $appletName,
       appletId              => $appletName,
       setStateAlias         => 'setXML',
       getStateAlias         => 'getXML',
       setConfigAlias        => 'setConfig',
       getConfigAlias        => 'getConfig',
       maxInitializationAttempts => 5,   # number of attempts to initialize applet
       answerBoxAlias        => 'answerBox',
       height                => '600',
       width                 => '550',
       bgcolor               => '#ffffff',
       debugMode             =>  0,
       submitActionScript  =>  
  qq{getQE("answerBox").value=getApplet("$appletName").getAnswer() },
     );
###################################
# Configure applet
###################################
 
#initialization data - problem setup
#  $problemSeed - random seed used to setup problem
#  $isit2der - set to 1 if student must match function 
#             to first and second derivate
#           - set to 0 if student must match function 
#             to first derivative
#  $showSolution - set to 1 if $dueDate is passed, 0 otherwise
#  success - 0 if work not complete yet

$applet->configuration(qq{<xml><seed>$problemSeed</seed><isit2der>$isit2der</isit2der>
<showSolution>$showSolution</showSolution><stat success="0"/></xml>});
$applet->initialState(qq{<xml><seed>$problemSeed</seed><isit2der>$isit2der</isit2der>
<showSolution>$showSolution</showSolution><stat success="0"/></xml>});


TEXT( MODES(TeX=>'object code', HTML=>$applet->insertAll(
  debug=>0,
  includeAnswerBox=>1,
#   reinitialize_button=>$permissionLevel>=10,
   )));

This is the Applet link section of the problem.


Those portions of the code that begin the line with # are comments and can be omitted or replaced with comments appropriate to your particular problem.

You must include the section that follows # Create link to applet. If you are embedding a different applet, from the derGraphMatchWW applet, put your applet name in place of 'derGraphMatchWW' in the line $appletName = "derGraphMatchWW";. Enter the height of the applet in the line height => '600', in place of 600 and the width in the line width => '550', in place of 550.


The lines $applet->configuration(qq{<xml><seed>$problemSeed</seed><isit2der>$isit2der</isit2der> <showSolution>$showSolution</showSolution><stat success="0"/></xml>}); and $applet->initialState(qq{<xml><seed>$problemSeed</seed><isit2der>$isit2der</isit2der> <showSolution>$showSolution</showSolution><stat success="0"/></xml>}); configure the applet. The configuration of the applet is done in xml. The $showSolution variable is set zero initially and to one after the due date, the problem seed is the WeBWorK environmental variable $problemSeed. Success is set to zero until the student solves the problem. $isit2der records whether the student is to match one or two derivatives. If $isit2der=1, then the student must match the graph of the function with the graphs of its first two derivatives.


The code qq{getQE("answerBox").value=getApplet("$appletName").getAnswer()} is called when the 'Submit Answers' button in the problem is pressed. This code queries the applet as to whether the student has succeeded in matching the graphs. A "1" is returned if the graphs are matched. "0" is returned otherwise.


TEXT( MODES(TeX=>'object code', HTML=>$applet->insertAll( debug=>0, includeAnswerBox=>0, reinitialize_button=>$permissionLevel>=10, ))); actually embeds the applet in the WeBWorK problem.


When the submit button is pressed the work in the applet is checked via the WeBWorK answer checker.

BEGIN_TEXT

$BR


$BR Put the tiles into place, then press 'submit answers'.

END_TEXT
Context()->normalStrings;

This is the text section of the problem. The TEXT(beginproblem()); line displays a header for the problem, and the Context()->texStrings line sets how formulas are displayed in the text, and we reset this after the text section. Everything between the BEGIN_TEXT and END_TEXT lines (each of which must appear alone on a line) is shown to the student.

Since the student answers the question within the applet, no answer blank is provided here.

##############################################################
#
#  Answers
#
## answer evaluators

NAMED_ANS('answerBox'=>$ans->cmp());


ENDDOCUMENT();     

This is the answer section of the problem. The pg file compares the answer returned from the applet (either a "0" or a "1") to the correct answer (a "1") and grades the question accordingly.

The solution is embedded in the applet and becomes available when the due date has passed.

The ENDDOCUMENT(); command is the last command in the file.

Useful links: GraphLimit Flash Applet Sample Problem
GraphLimit Flash Applet Sample Problem 2
Derivative Graph Matching Flash Applet Sample Problem
trigwidget Applet Sample Problem
uSub Applet Sample Problem

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