Smart Assignments Help - Assignment Editor

This page allows you to compile and edit an assignment.

The central part of the web page displays the assignment's template (we call it assignment) as it will be processed by SmartAss to create QUESTIONS, SOLUTIONS and SHORTANSWERS files.

Typical assignment contains text, a set of TeX clauses and control operators.

Typical usage involves creating an assignment file and then calling question templates from the assignment file with CALL operator.

Each control operator begins with "%%" symbols at the start of a line. Currently there are operators:
CALL, REPEAT, MULTI and also BEGIN/END section operators.

Their purposes are:

1. CALL would be used to call question template from the assignment file.
Syntax:
%%CALL template-name.tex
Example (calling a question on equation with absolute values):
%%CALL AbsEquationTemplate.tex

SmartAss allows template nesting, i.e. template can be called using the CALL operator within this template. SmartAss includes the result of processing nested templates into the text of this template.

2. Cycle operator REPEAT forces SmartAss to repeat the chosen part of the template a specified number of times. Useful for generating several variants of the same assignment.
Syntax:
%%REPEAT integer_number
Template code to be replicated
%%ENDREPEAT
Example (repeating the same question template five times in assignment, SmartAss will generate 5 different questions on equations with absolute values):
%%REPEAT 5
%%CALL AbsEquationTemplate.tex
%%ENDREPEAT

3. Text randomisation operator MULTI allows random selection of one or many blocks of text from the specified set of blocks inside the template.
For instance, user may want to create an assignment with two randomly chosen questions out of ten available templates on a particular topic. To achieve this, the user will list all ten templates (using the operator CALL) in the template, and then apply MULTI 2 to randomly select two. If there is no parameter [n] with %%MULTI, SmartAss assumes n=1 (one selection made) by default.
Syntax:
%%MULTI [n]
Code to be placed in every choice
%%CHOICE
Code for the first choice
%%CHOICE
Code for the second choice
...
%%ENDMULTI
Example (randomly picking one of the two questions, either question on simultaneous equations solved by elimination, or the question on simultaneous equations solved by substitution):
%%MULTI 1
%%CHOICE
%%CALL SimultaneousEquationsLines1Template.tex
%%CHOICE
%%CALL SimultaneousEquationsLines2Template.tex
%%ENDMULTI

4. Sectioning: all SmartAss output is separated into three sections, comprising questions (output from section QUESTION), short-answers (section SHORTANSWER) and fully-worked solutions (section SOLUTION). Also there is a section DEF that typically contains declarations of variables, the text from section DEF will not be placed into any of the output files.
Each section of the template will be processed and written in a corresponding file.
Any text outside of sections will be placed in all of the output files.
Syntax:
%%SECTION name_of_section
Code for this section
%%ENDSECTION
Example:
%%BEGIN QUESTION
This is section \emph{QUESTION}
%%END QUESTION

Any Tex code, such as TeX/Latex operators or simple text within a template is passed directly into the output files without any further processing by SmartAss. The standard LaTeX and pdfTeX are used to process these formatting commands after the output files are generated.

Assignment Editor web page has the following controls to assist user in creating an assignment on-line.

Buttons on the left part of the screen are used to insert or edit text and operators into an assignment. Text or operators are inserted immediately after the line selected with the radio button. So, to add a new text / operator into the assignment you need to click on a radio button where you want to make an insertion and then click on one of the following buttons:

Add text - to add any text (including tex) in any part of the assignment.

Add CALL - to add %%CALL operator with a question template.

Add REPEAT - to add a cycle with %%REPEAT operator.

Add MULTI - to add %%MULTI operator.

Add CHOICE - to add a new %%CHOICE within MULTI operator.

Add SECTION - to add a new section (QUESTION, SHORTANSWER or SOLUTION).

Edit - to edit selected text or operator.

Delete - to delete selected text or operator.

At the bottom part of the web page there are the following controls:

View code - to view and edit the assignment code.

Download - to download the assignment code (for example, you can save this assignment template on your hard-drive).

Execute - to process the assignment with SmartAss engine and produce Tex/Pdf QUESTIONS, SOLUTIONS and SHORTANSWERS files.

Clear - to clear all the existing content of this assignment (including all Latex operators).

New assignment - to start a new assignment.

Upload - to upload an assignment template from an external source. For example, you may have an assignment template stored on your computer. You can upload it to Assignment Editor, edit it and generate Tex/Pdf files on-line.

Exit - to exit Assignment Editor.

Check box Decorate assignment constructions with LaTeX is used to enable automatic addition of Latex operators into your assignment. For example, SmartAss will use enumerate environment to produce a numbered list of questions. Uncheck this box if you don't want any Latex operators being automatically added into the assignment. Also, you need to be careful not to add Latex into existing and processed assignments, where Latex operators are already present.

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