[LON-CAPA-admin] Placement Tests

Amos Lee lee at math.usask.ca
Wed Jun 3 00:55:02 EDT 2015

Sorry, Mark. I did not see your posting from over a year ago!!

We use a scheme similar to the one described below to randomly generate a
question from an existing pool of four or five questions that are all
testing on similar concepts.

For example, the files 001.problem (shown in XML below) and each
00x.library (where x = 1,2,3,4) are all placed in the same sub-directory.
Then 001.problem randomly picks one of those four library files to render
the actual question.

<!-- 001.problem -->
<randomlist show="1">
    <import id="11">001.library</import>
    <import id="12">002.library</import>
    <import id="13">003.library</import>
    <import id="14">004.library</import>

   The scheme has worked reasonably well for our purposes.  Since moving
library files between folders in the authoring space was not really an
enjoyable task the last time I tried it, I planned and organized folder and
subfolder structures well before coding the questions (which might be a
good thing to do anyway).

   For example, I would organize my folders from the top-down (algebra,
geometry, trig, etc), and then within each of those top-level folders,
branch into topic folders (such as inequalities, laws of exponents,
radicals, etc for algebra).  For easier lookup, I usually name the .problem
file with a more descriptive filename such as

   You can see our current version of the sample test here:


It uses a similar scheme to generate each of the 30 sample questions.

Amos Lee
math & stats
univ of sask

On 12/02/2014 12:11 PM, Mark Lucas wrote:
> I'm being approached by our math department to look at the option of using LON-CAPA for placement
> tests. They are currently using blackboard and there have been some issues. 
> Where is the system currently being used for placement tests and how is enrollment and reporting handled?
> Is it still being used at the University of Saskatchewan for this?
> Their selection of problems includes 4 pools of questions from which they select a pre-selected number from
> each pool. I know that a single folder can be created from a pool, but can a single folder be created gracefully
> from 4 separate pools or does this require 4 separate folders?
> Thanks!
> Mark

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