Disclaimer: This blog post has been contributed by Prof. Nicola Wilkin, Head of Teaching Innovation (Science), College of Engineering and Physical Sciences and Jonathan Watkins from the University of Birmingham Maple T.A. user group*. 

Written for Maple T.A. 2016. For Maple T.A. 10 users, this question can be written using the queston designer.


How can one make Maple T.A. apply the judgment of the human eye to its marking?

This is often raised as a question for lecturers when want to have more control of the student input and marking within Maple T.A. Let's see how this can be done for the above example.

The image if Fig. 1 gives an example of an automatically generated plot in maple of the form 


Fig 1: Maple generated plot

The answer form can be specified in the question as a list [x,y].

In the above plot a student may identify the minimum as [2,5] but equally they may enter [2.1,4.9]. We need to reward both of these attempts equally, just as we would if being marked by a person.

Let's go through the steps to create this question.

Step 1
watch on youtube



Start by clicking Create New -> Question/Text

Step 2

Enter the question text

Below is a plot of a function


From the graph find the minimum of the function. The answer should be entered as a list. e.g. [1,2]

For the response area, choose Maple graded and enter the grading code

evalb(abs($TA[1]-$RESPONSE[1]) < $abserr and abs($TA[2]-$RESPONSE[2]) < $abserr)

with the Answer as $TA. Choose Maple syntax and Text entry only.

Step 3


Enter this as the algorithm

#Define variables

#Calculate graph range

#Generate plot
$plot=plotmaple("plot((x-$a)^2 + $b, x=$bottomrange..$toprange), plotoptions='width=250, height=250'");

#Answer variables


That is the question completed. To preview a working copy of the question, have a look here at the live preview of this question. Try entering different values and clicking How did I do?


I have included a downloadable version of the question that contains the .xml file and image for this question. Click this link to download the file. The question can also be found on the Maple T.A. cloud under "Numerical tolerances on lists 1".

* Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the University of Birmingham unless explicitly stated otherwise.

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