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I am considering using Maple T.A. as a tool for formative assessment (and possibly at some stage, summative assessment) for courses such as calculus and linear algebra. What are your experiences and tips on using Maple T.A. effectively? Is there evidence that using Maple T.A. or similiar tools leads to more comprehensive understanding of the material and/or higher grades?

Related: Effective use of Moodle (or similar)


Edit: I recognize that there is a risk that using a software system for formative assessment might not facilitate developing good mathematical writing skills (see James S. Cook's answer to How can we help students learn to write about their mathematics?). Suggestions on how to deal with this issue either in Maple T.A. or alongside it are also welcome.

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    $\begingroup$ On the flipside to that answer you link above, I will say that I think more integration of Maple, Mathematica, Maxima whatever... in parallel with standard courses would be helpful in the long-run for our students. I have not found time to make it a reality, but it is something I wish to accomplish at some point. Moreover, the allocation of course points seems an inevitable need given the study habits of today's students. So, in as much as Maple TA ushers students into the wise use of a CAS, this is worthwhile. For good writing, I really think we need human assessment. I'm not sure where that $\endgroup$ – James S. Cook May 24 '14 at 21:27
  • $\begingroup$ ..........fits. $\endgroup$ – James S. Cook May 24 '14 at 21:29
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    $\begingroup$ I'm just starting to get acquainted with Maple TA. While exploring the help, I found that you can have questions with free-text (or free-tex) answers, that you grade manually. I plan to investigate whether this is useful for setting assignments that combine maths writing questions with computer graded ones. $\endgroup$ – Jessica B Feb 21 '15 at 21:47
  • $\begingroup$ @JessicaB, I am curious what your experiences have been since posting your comment. $\endgroup$ – J W Dec 20 '15 at 14:55
  • $\begingroup$ @JW I have made use of the free-text box for allowing students to say things to me, but not yet for actual assessment questions. I've found it's nice to have a comment box at the end of the assessment, which allows them to tell me about questions they had particular issues with. It doesn't help with the many problems that arise from submitting an assignment, but possibly it gives them enough of a hint that they can email me. $\endgroup$ – Jessica B Dec 20 '15 at 16:04

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