# Do you know of any third-party math-friendly testing software?

At a previous institution, we used moodle for our learning management system, which has a fairly useful tool for creating quizzes that make it more difficult for the student to cheat. In particular, you are able to use TeX code, as well as input "wildcards" so that you can add parameters to problems, and most importantly, you can put these wildcards within the TeX code itself.

• For example, I could type into moodle "Solve for $$x$$: $$[k]x + 1 = 2$$." Here, the parameter would be $$k$$, I can decide on a range values of $$k$$ to consider, and moodle would give each student this problem with a random value of $$k$$ from my range. The student would simply see: "Solve for $$x$$: $$3x + 1 = 2$$.", where $$3$$ was one of the values of $$k$$ in my range.

However, at my current institution, we use Blackboard, which allows use of TeX code and parameters, but doesn't allow you to use these parameters inside the TeX code (as far as I know).

Are you aware of any third-party software besides moodle that accomplishes all of these things:

1. Understands TeX code,
2. Allows the use of parameters in some way to randomize numbers for each student,
3. Allows of these parameters within the TeX code?

Thanks.

• This is not an answer, but make sure that if you are in a somewhat-online situation, you are targeting the most likely causes of cheating first (symbolab, mathway, chegg, friend in the room with them) before you target the less-likely modes of cheating (students talking to each other and sharing answers). I also really want to see an answer to this though. Aug 4, 2020 at 20:31
• Thanks Chris. Agreed with the other likely causes of cheating. I've tried to be a little bit more clever with the way I've asked questions so that they can't get much besides the answer online. This, in conjunction with parametrized problems, worked out very well for me last semester, and during the summer. Aug 8, 2020 at 17:20

I'll reiterate my recommendation of MyOpenMath. To your points:

1. It understands TeX (a simplified version, using  math  instead of \$math \$)
2. It sllows the use of parameters in some way to randomize numbers for each student
3. It allows these parameters within the TeX code.
4. It can be integrated into Blackboard (that's how I've been using it) using an LTI link. (video)

Here are some problems I wrote, each with two randomized versions I got by clicking "New Version":

Problem #1. [Same problem coding, initiated by random "seed" numbers. This problem took 6 lines of code to write, and you can get pretty specific with how you want students to enter their answers. I left it totally open to accept decimals, fractions or expressions, provided they are equivalent to the correct answer.]  Problem #2. [Again, same problem coding, initiated by random "seed" numbers. Note that you can randomize function names and randomly order the presentation of the problem.]  Problem #3. [Same problem coding, initiated by random "seed" numbers. For the answers involving expressions, you can enter any algebraic expression equivalent to the correct answer (e.g. x(3x-1/x) or 3x^2-1+sin(0). It has built-in graphing capabilities that can accept random elements. Again, you can specify how the answer must look, such as being factored, etc. This particular problem was "scaffolded" so a student must get the first part correct before moving on to the next part. Each part can have hints, etc.]  The math is almost TeX, just with slightly simplified commands (MOM was coded in php). For example, one can type frac(3)(4) or just 3/4 to get $$\frac{3}{4}$$. Or for integrals, you can type int_5^(3x) g(t)dt to get $$\int_5^{3x} g(t)dt$$. [Notice the use of ( ) instead of { }, as well as the lack of \ characters.]

Anyway -- I hope this helps. This program has really saved me these past few terms.

 In case you wanted to see the code for that first problem:

\$anstypes="calculated,numfunc" \$answerformat="equation"

\$a,\$b,\$c,\$d=nonzerodiffrands(-6,6,4)

\$func=makexxpretty("\$a x + \$b") \$answer=\$a*\$c + \$b \$answer="x=(\$d-\$b)/\$a" Then the problem text looks like: Suppose f(x)=\$func.

Evaluate f(\$c). Answer: \$answerbox

Solve the equation f(x) = \$d. [Remember to give your answer in the form "x = ..."] Answer: \$answerbox

• This looks very promising, thanks for the answer! Aug 8, 2020 at 17:01
• Are these screenshots you're sharing being displayed in your LMS or are the shots of what students get after following a link onto the MyOpenMath page? Aug 12, 2020 at 15:18
• These are from inside MyOpenMath (in the teacher view), so that's why the little "key" icons appear after each entry blank. [I click those to see the answers.] Students would see exactly the same thing for the questions, but without the key icons, and they only have the "submit" button at the end. Aug 12, 2020 at 15:21
• @Mathprof Note: The assignment opens up inside the LMS, so students don't have to leave and go to MyOpenMath. Aug 12, 2020 at 16:27
• @NickC Thanks, that's really nice. Aug 12, 2020 at 18:12

I'm the developer of the STACK online assessment system, which is a question type for the Moodle quiz. STACK is used by about 1000 sites including some very large institutions including the University of Edinburgh, The Open University, Aalto, Loughborough University and the University of Birmingham.

https://stack-demo.maths.ed.ac.uk/demo/

1. STACK uses MathJAX to embed LaTeX mathematics environments (not document structure)
2. STACK has full CAS support using Maxima which allows the use of parameters throughout the question.
3. STACK allows these parameters within the TeX code.
4. STACK is a question type for the Moodle quiz, and at the University of Edinburgh we integrate this into Blackboard using an LTI link.

We published some comprehensive case studies (with example questions) last year: https://stack-demo.maths.ed.ac.uk/demo/question/type/stack/doc/content/2019-cate-case-studies.pdf

If you would like to talk directly, drop me an email at Edinburgh.

Chris Sangwin

You might want to look at WeBWorK. It's open-source, supported by the MAA and NSF.

I don't know if it has BlackBoard integration though.

This site provides free math calculators,formulas and lessons.On this site you could calculate many complex equations including Quadratic Equations, Polynomials etc. You can select a calculator that's most convenient for you. It provides list of multiple calculators :

1. Standard Deviation Calculator
It's really helpful tool for calculations. Following images show the options you'll have on the homepages :   