Ubiquitous Computing and Communication Journal
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Title: Testing and Assessing Mathematical Drill & Practice Exercises and Examinations by Interfacing a CAS and a Learning Platform
Authors: Dr. Thomas Risse
The ever decreasing level of mathematical skills of students beginning their engineering studies calls for radical countermeasures. To gain time for developing high-order competencies we have to unload crude drill & practice exercises to a computer program. As a solution we propose the system FiM, Fit in Mathematics which combines an open source e-learning platform with an open source computer algebra system, CAS, in order to generate custom-made question/answer type tests via using CAS-scripts, which in turn assess each answer of every learner. Coupling of a CAS with a learning platform allows for a division of labor: the problems, i.e. the question/answer type tests are efficiently programmed and then generated by CAS scripts, rendered and thus posed by the learning platform, the answer of the learner may provoke specific feedback generated by the scripts and rendered by the e-learning platform which also stores the result of the assessment of the answers of the learner for later evaluation. This approach allows for efficient programming of (classes of) question/answer type tests and for fully utilizing the e-learning platform’s book-keeping, evaluation, and statistics features. We will discuss and illustrate our approach by relevant examples, illustrate experiences and provide an outlook on further developments of FiM.