# All entries for March 2006

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## March 16, 2006

### Pi in the Sky?

Follow-up to Come to lunch … from Computer-aided assessment for sciences

Around 30 of us joined forces on Tuesday (World Pi Day)${}^\pi$

in search of the CAA Grail, a package that truly delivers all the assessment needs of scientists and mathematicians. Our quest may have fallen short, the chalice may have been chimerical, but we travelled hopefully in the company of Maple TA, WeBWorK, STACK and Mathletics, and I will discuss them each in turn in later blogs.

Meanwhile, here are some snaps of the fine company.

${}^\pi$"World Pi Day" on 3/14 (transatlantic terminology) was celebrated by no less an authority that Radio Four's Today Programme. Marcus du Sautoy kept things in proportion by misremembering pi's third decimal digit and telling John Humphrys that, had humans evolved with four digits on each hand, we would probably have been celebrating the occasion three days earlier — in base 8 notation $\pi=3.1103755242...$

## March 03, 2006

### RU Autistic? The Eyes Have It

Try this test (it takes about 10 mins). It is created with the elegant Flash-based software Question Writer — see my earlier blog.

### Surprising Statistic

Imagine a test with 5 questions, where each question is selected randomly from a bank of 10 related alternatives. Some 100,000 different tests can be generated.

Question: How many of these would you need to generate, on average, to have sight of all 50 alternative questions?

This surprising fact should give pause for thought to an author of online exams concerned about cheating. One of my favourite models for driving learning through assessment is to offer students a number of attempts (say 5) at randomly-generated tests in formative mode before they take the one that counts for credit. In the given example, 10 students colluding could suss out all, or most of, the questions stored in the banks before they take their summative test.

## March 2006

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## Galleries

• The LaTeX equations are a little wobbly in their baselines That's because they use mimeTeX. I am try… by Steve Mayer on this entry
• Aha! You are right, John. I am familiar with a different terminology: Multiple Choice for what Quizb… by on this entry
• Haven't you used the wrong question type, Trevor? Your answers look, to my unskilled eye, to be mutu… by John Dale on this entry
• The usual factors in Information Assurance are: Confidentiality Integrity Availability And for syste… by Max Hammond on this entry
• Is the workshop next Monday,26 March 07, open to anybody interested in computer aided assessment? If… by Kuldeep Singh on this entry