- From: Manolis Mavrikis <m.mavrikis@ed.ac.uk>
- Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 12:20:55 +0100
- To: www-math@w3.org
- CC: Neil Soiffer <neils@dessci.com>, sangwinc@for.mat.bham.ac.uk

Indeed, this issue has been in our interest for quite a while. Whether employing MathML or OpenMath we always needed a way to mark which elements of an equation or a formula we would like to leave empty during an interactive exercise. The problem was bypassed by assigning IDs to the element which we wanted to leave blank. Then in several formats for interactive exercises where we needed this capability (for example MathQTI -an information model based on QTI - or in the language of two -as far as I know- web based systems WaLLiS and ActiveMath) appropriate elements were employed to specify that we would like the specific element to be blank. For example in the language format of WaLLiS one could writes <math> <apply> <eq/> <ci>x</ci> <cn id="replaceme">3</cn> </apply> </math> and later in the file when response elements are mapped there is this element: <blank type="*num*" for="*replaceme*" id="*response1*" max_chars="*3*" /> The approach is more or less similar in other formats like MathQTI or ActiveMath and was first described here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.entcs.2003.12.025 in some previous work that Alberto González Palomo and me did a while ago. More links and info can be found here: http://www.maths.ed.ac.uk/mathqti/. One of the advantages of this approach is that the MathML representation of the mathematical expression does not have to be changed. It can be copied-pasted from an editor and the author of the interactive exercise has the simple task of assigning IDs to the elements that she wants to substitute and leave as blanks. So the problem of specifying what we need to be blank is not so significant as assigning IDs is an acceptable approach in XML. What is problematic for us is to have an interoperable way of presenting this to the user using presentation MathML. So far our engines could transform the format described above to output something invalid the rendering of which worked (prob by accident) only in Mozilla-like layout engines like the following: <mfrac> <mrow><mn>1</mn></mrow> <mrow><input xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" type="text" size="2" name="std_form_1" id="std_form_1" /></mrow> </mfrac> As you understand, in cases where our users were using other browsers or renders this didn't work and we had to convert our output to HTML that included the input elements or to resort to other work-arounds. Therefore, it would be useful to allow such input elements in presentation MathML (with xform or other ways) in as a clean way as possible. In terms of requirements it turns out that the possible inputs that we needed so far are (obviously) text input but also drop down boxes (these could be used inside an equation to let the student choose, for instance, the sign of a coefficient). I don't think that other input methods (like radiobuttons) could be possibly incorporated inside a mathematical expression as it would look awkward. I hope this helps... Manolis Mavrikis School of Mathematics The University of Edinburgh 6313 JCMB, Kings Buildings, Mayfield Road, EH9 3JZ, Edinburgh, Scotland. http://www.maths.ed.ac.uk/~manolis W Naylor wrote: >Hi Neil, > >I believe that this issue of test taking markup is an area that the CAA >(Computer Aided Assessment) community is interested in, I'm sure that they >have a lot to say about the matter, and I know for a fact that they are >already using MathML markup for marking up mathematical objects, though >I'm not sure the mechanism they use for eliding 'answer' objects. I have >CCed this mail to Chris Sanguin, who is the current editor of the on-line >CAA journal. > >I hope this is of help. > >Bill > >On Thu, 22 Sep 2005, Neil Soiffer wrote: > > > >>The MathML interest group is in the final process of collecting suggestions for what a MathML 3 Working Group should consider as part of its scope. >> >>I proposed that the committee should consider the needs of people taking tests. One such need is the ability to say that a certain area is editable so that the test taker can only fill in (for example) the right hand side of an equation or the coefficients of a polynomial. > >>Does anyone else have any suggestions for requirements related to test taking? >> >>Does anyone think this is *not* an area a working group should explore? >> >>If you have any burning issues that you haven't found a good solution with the current MathML spec, now is the time to raise them so that they can be considered by the next working group. You don't need to propose a solution, just a general area for which the group should explore a solution. >> >>Neil Soiffer >>Senior Scientist >>Design Science, Inc. >>neils@dessci.com >>www.dessci.com >>~ Makers of Equation Editor, MathType, MathPlayer and MathFlow ~ >> >> >> > >-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-* >- >- Dr. W.A. Naylor >- >- http://www.cs.bath.ac.uk/~wn >- http://orcca.on.ca/~bill >- >- work tel: +44 1225 386183 >- >-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-* > > > >

Received on Monday, 26 September 2005 11:19:40 UTC