The covid goddess appeared upon me in spring and told me to create
random exams for online examination so that the individual solutions
could not be shared. I started with auto-multiple-choice, but then I
noticed its basic computation capabilities, based on the latex package
fpeval, are not enough to build questions on many topics.
tried to call sagetex from auto-multiple-choice, and I did succeed, but
it was akward and buggy, since both sagetex and auto-multiple-choice
hack LaTeX in incompatible ways to bypass the limitations of the
Eventually, I wrote my own system for generating exams, based on sagetex alone. It works like this:
file.tex" compiles the latex file, but does not eval sage, as in
sagetex, so it is compatible with latex editors. This file has some
markup for the solution, and for multiple choice questions (optional).
- the standard sagetex sequence works as usual:
- pdflatex file.tex
- sage file.sagetex.sage
- pdflatex file.tex
- the command "./process file.tex" is just the three above commands in succesion
- the command "./process file.tex all", however, reads all student data from "students.csv" and generates
- the statements id1.pdf, id2.pdf, etcétera, in the "question" folder
- the solutions, id1.pdf, id2.pdf, etcétera, in the "solution" folder
- If there are forms in the pdf, then "file.data" contains info about the questions and the correct solution for each question.
It can be used in two ways:
multiple choice exam for each student, which you can send by email or
distribute using a "folder" activity in moodle, and collect using an
"assign" activity in moodle. After downloading the filled exams from
moodle, the script in the "grade" folder helps grade automatically. It
only works if the students fill the pdf forms correctly, it doesn't work
if they draw on top using whatever means.
- An open question exam.
both of them a detailed solution is useful to the student. For open
questions, it can also be interesting for the grader, since it makes
easier to detect mistakes in the computations. In the examples that you
can find in the adjoint zip file, you will not find that possibility,
but I did it in the messy exam with auto-multiple-choice and sageexam,
it could be done with this system and I'm sure you know well what I
I'd be glad to have some feedback. It is important to
work out the details, so that a system like this can be used by more
people that know little sage and python. There are many possible
improvements, like text field questions that are checked with sage
symbolic capabilities, exporting to moodle questions, and many others.
The real treat will come when we start to design questions where the
number of vectors, the dimension of each of the subspaces and their
intersections, and so on, are different each time, so that the same
question can be used for sparring a few times.
But I'd like to get the basics right first. Maybe the R exams module is
showing the righteous way? But it doesn't work in a latex editor...