OPL Maintenance

Problem set collections tied to specific textbooks?

Problem set collections tied to specific textbooks?

by Debbie Yuster -
Number of replies: 1

Many of us have probably created/curated problem sets keyed to the textbooks we're using. Is there a way to contribute these to a repository? For example, I have problem sets created for many sections of Larson's Calculus ETF (covering Calc I, II, and III). These are not new problems that I've authored. Rather, I've pulled these from the OPL and arranged them into problem sets corresponding to the textbook sections, with problems progressing by difficulty or in order of how the material is presented.

I'd be thrilled to share these, and save hours for instructors using the same textbooks. Similarly, as I prepare sets for new courses (this Fall, it'll be Lay's Linear Algebra), it would be great to have someone's sets as a starting point.

Do we have some way of sharing these collections of .def files? If not, perhaps this is something we could start? I guess I could just upload them to the OPL, but they'd get buried and the next instructor to come along wouldn't have an easy way of locating them, since the problems I've selected are almost never tagged with my textbook name.

In reply to Debbie Yuster

Re: Problem set collections tied to specific textbooks?

by Nathan Wallach -
I don't think there is an existing approach for this, but the community would certainly benefit were there a nice way to share them. In the past I ran into some some collections of set definition files via Merlot and a quick search quickly found an example  https://www.merlot.org/merlot/viewMaterial.htm?id=1377405 . 

I would think that collecting the set definition files in GitHub (in a different repository than the main OPL) and maybe making a Merlot record might be better than providing a static zip file. Such a new GitHub repository could provide a simple home for collections of textbook/topic groups of set definition files.

If you are willing to take part in starting a project to share such collections of set definition files, I would recommend contacting Danny Glin and Marianna Bonanome to ask they can help create some infrastructure to work in.

Some quick thoughts: 
  • Maybe have the first level directory be the textbook name, the second for the "contributor" (so if multiple people want to provide sets for a given textbook they will be easily distinguished).
  • Inside the second level folder put a README file and the actual set definition files with names which indicate what section they belong to. (As necessary use some additional directory levels).