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Assessment items for CAS usage

Assessment items for CAS usage

by Alasdair McAndrew -
Number of replies: 3
In many places, computer algebra systems (either computer-based: Mathematica, Maple, Sage, Matlab (+symbolic toolbox), Maxima and so on; or handheld: Casio ClassPad, TI-Nspire) are used either as an adjunct, or as the main paradigm for teaching and learning mathematics. However, most online testing systems still work on the "Question given to student" - "Answer given by student"system, and most questions of this sort are unsuited to a CAS environment. After all, why test students on their ability to, say, integrate
if their CAS can do it for them?

Has anybody investigated WeBWork for use in a CAS-rich environment? What do the assessment questions look like?

In reply to Alasdair McAndrew

Re: Assessment items for CAS usage

by Hedley Pinsent -
CAS - computer algebra system
had to look it up.

We are using WeBWorK to teach the financial calculator.
The responses are broken up into little bits; this makes it more of a formative item.
With WeBWorK the student can see which entry is incorrect whereas the calculator will only report the composite answer.

Attachment technology.png
In reply to Alasdair McAndrew

WeBWorK can call Sage

by Alex Jordan -
A recent-ish development is that WeBWorK can interact with Sage. It can use Sage in the problem preamble to help create a problem and its answer, or it can use Sage to process student input in a custom answer checker, which may be more along the lines of what you are thinking.

Since it's new-ish, I don't know that the online documentation is completely up-to-date, but even if it wasn't it is a good place to start. Try searching for "Sage in WeBWorK". One thing you will encounter is use of sage.pl, which is demonstrated here: http://webwork.maa.org/wiki/Sage_Embedding#.UySCGl6FVww

Another thing you will encounter is a function called AskSage, which is demonstrated here: http://webwork.maa.org/wiki/AskSage#.UySBvV6FVww. AskSage requires WeBWorK 2.8.
In reply to Alasdair McAndrew

Re: Assessment items for CAS usage

by John Travis -
Several examples where Sage has been integrated into WeBWorK are available at http://math.mc.edu/webwork2/sage_demos/ .  Log in as a guest.  I have not looked at these in a while but most should still work.

There are others but the main idea on many of them is to have Sage provide a nice picture (as WW can't) and to perhaps create the correct answer to check against based upon the WW input.  I have a few which actually incorporate a live Sage cell inside the problem with which the student can actually complete their calculations or do whatever.

Many of these questions are available in github and are in the OPL.  Directly from github:  https://github.com/openwebwork/webwork-open-problem-library/tree/master/OpenProblemLibrary/MC/Sage .  You can follow the director search in the library to find them as well so long as your system is up-to-date.  You will need the sage.pl macro which is also available at https://github.com/openwebwork/pg/tree/master/macros .