[LON-CAPA-users] changing random seeds

Raymond Batchelor batchelo at sfu.ca
Mon Sep 3 03:47:26 EDT 2012

See below.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Justin Gray" <jgray at math.sfu.ca>
To: "Discussion list for LON-CAPA users" <lon-capa-users at mail.lon-capa.org>
Sent: Sunday, 2 September, 2012 18:25:41
Subject: [LON-CAPA-users] changing random seeds

I have two questions about random seeds used to generate assessments in LON-CAPA: 

Scenario 1 
A student is interrupted by a fire alarm while writing a test and a makeup test is granted. In addition to resetting the status of the test for this student, how can a course coordinator generate a different version of the test? Is it possible to change the random seed that is used to generate the test for this student? 

Navigate to any problem in the sequene and open up the grading interface.
Choose "Manual Grading/View Submissions".
Under "Grade Complete Folder for One Student", Check the radio button for "The complete page/sequence/folder: For one student". Click "Next".
Type something in the "Use CODE:" field (make a note of it, for future reference  -- although you may not actually need it, unless you chose to reset the same student again to something different later on).  This is the "CODE" which would appear on the exam, if printed.  I usually use a 4-digit number.

Check the radio button for the specific student, for whom you wish to produce the new exam version.  Click "Next".
On the next screen enter a score of zero for each and every question part in the sequence, for which you wish the new randomization seed to take effect.  You could use the "0" radiobutton for this, or you could type "0.0" (for example) in the score field.  The important thing is that you need to make the system recognize that the score has been "changed".

Finally, click "Save" at the bottom.  This will reset the seed for this one student.  The new seed will continue to be in effect, and any printout for that specific student and his web display and grading etc will reflect this new seed, lthough the associated RefCODE which you used is not displayed anywhere (I believe).

Scenario 2 
A staff person needs access to a blind student's assignments so that she can offer assistance. If assignments are randomized, how can a course coordinator ensure that the staff person has access to exactly the same assignment set with only a student role? Is it possible to set the same random seed used to generate assignments for two students? 

Yes. If you use the same refCODE in the above process, but for a different student, I believe that they will get the same randomization.  You can easily check this out by generating a printout for either of the two "Students" after having set the same "CODE" for them, for all the same questions.

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