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Documentation and Goals

Note that we use two terms for multi-part and/or compound problems:

Compound Problems (also called MultiPart, or sequential problem or (most recently) Scaffolded Problems)
have multiple parts that are displayed in sequence, and for which subsequent parts are not shown until conditions are satisfied about previous parts (e.g., until the earlier parts are correct).
  • For example, in a problem that asks for the derivative of a problem that requires the chain rule, the problem may ask for the inner and outer functions in the function that is being differentiated. After the student has correctly identified those, the second part of the problem would be shown, which asks for the actual derivative of the inner and outer functions. Finally, once that is done correctly, the problem would ask for the actual derivative.
Multi-Answer Problems
(previously, Multi-part) are problems with multiple answer blanks (shown at once), for which several answer blanks are treated together, so that the provided answers may be used to evaluate the correctness of other answers.
  • For example, the problem may have two answer blanks, the first of which may ask for a function modeling some situation and the second of which asks for the derivative of the function. Then the second problem part could be marked correct as long as it was the correct derivative of the first part, even if the first part was not the correct function.

Resources and New Features

creating multi-answer problems

creating compound problems

    • Having different parts of a compound problem have different number of attempts.
    • Scrambling the order in which the different parts of a problem show up.
    • Allowing some parts of the problem to have no answer blanks, being only informational. (done in compoundProblem5)
    • Adding an "I give up" option that allows someone to advance to the next part of the problem while forfeiting credit on that part. This would need a criterion for when to display that option (e.g., after three wrong attempts?).
    • Having a problem that looks normal, but then if someone misses it (enough times), they have a way to do it as a compound problem to step through the problem incrementally, possibly for reduced credit.
    • Adding a way for the instructor to see the entire problem (all parts) at once (e.g., in the Library Browser).
    • Having a way for someone to get multiple versions of a problem, e.g., drawn from a testbank.
    • Having students see when they open the problem that it is a sequential problem, and how many parts it includes. At each part of the problem students should see this information. (done in compoundProblem5)
    • Allowing an option to be set so that students can go back and see the parts of the problem that they've already completed. (done in compoundProblem5)

Uses for Compound Problems

  • A tutorial system: force students to work through the multiple steps of a problem.
  • Multi-step problems that use the information about the previous part to figure out what is displayed in subsequent parts. This may also force students to do more than solve a problem on their calculator.
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