Randomised e-quiz development

Automatically marked maths e-quizzes for Chemists and Biochemists

Posts By: Jamie Lynch

Last Session

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Finished testing the fixes made to questions in response to 1st year feedback. I also managed to fix a few errors in the thermodynamics questions using the answer booklet. As this is probably my last session I've uploaded all my PHP files and XML files, and have also zipped my public_html folder and added it to Moodle.

I've enjoyed my time on the project and it has been valuable experience doing some programming - and helping next year's undergraduates with their maths skills. Before I leave permanently I have a few suggestions if the project continues next year:

Peer review of questions: getting everyone to test questions as we go would reduce obvious errors like missing hints/feedback/typos. It was a lot easier modifying mistakes for recent questions than coming back to something that was done 6 months ago.

MathJax: developing a function that transforms a mathematical string e.g. 5.5 mol^-1 into the correct MathJax would be very helpful. A fair amount of my time was spent debugging errors in MathJax syntax, along with PHP syntax errors caused by the % wildcard.

PHP templates: I found my PHP template for a question immensely useful as it meant all I had to do was modify one function and a few variables, rather than manually editing XML in fprintf calls. It would be good to use something like this as standard as it would be much easier to understand code written by different people.



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Tidied up questions according to 1st year feedback - a lot of the comments such as missing hints were due to incorrect configuration of a quiz so it appeared worse than it was. Next week will finish off the tidy-up by verifying the fixes have worked properly.



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Continued on with thermodynamics questions. Next week will likely involve more of the same, and testing the previously completed questions against the answer booklet.



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Finished work on adapting the methylene blue questions, and began programming some more complex thermodynamics questions.



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Continued with ideas for questions from 1st year practical sessions, mostly programming the methylene blue questions.



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Wrote a question to find the osmotic coefficient and began work on an elution volume/Mw question. Now adapting from the practical maths skills booklets.



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Continued to convert questions from the Quantitative Lab Skills booklet into randomised questions. Also tidied up filing system, uploaded some PHP/XML files to moodle, and created a word document to show what question each file asks.



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Continued to write more statistics questions, added a border to the new questions & used the /sf font to make Tex more readable.


Calculate Mean Height

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Completed a simple statistics question to calculate the mean height of a human population. The data look realistic and the tables appear to be working well on moodle.


Table Generation

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Wrote a function to create a table with an arbitrary number of columns/rows, and with two possible forms of orientation & border. This is now integrated with the statistics code so it should be relatively straightforward to create some questions next week.