Volunteer assignment:

MIT calculus test questions


The goal of this project is to create PEOI's calculus course with complete text, assignments, review and test questions that students can study, take exams and, if exams are successfully pased, receive PEOI's course completion certificate. In other words, MIT's calculus course is currently similar to a book in a library: the text is there, but there are no means for student knowledge assessment, and this is what PEOI wants to change by importing MIT's calculus course text to PEOI, then adding PEOI's assortment of learning tools and knowledge assessment.

The first step in creating PEOI's course is to have all the pages of MIT's PDF files in PEOI's course pages which are in HTML. This conversion has mostly taken place and is described in the project for MIT calculus typing. MIT Dr Strang calculus course is now at PEOI as MS221EN. You can see it, as it is now, in "Courses to read only" part of "Courses and programs" on PEOI. If you go through the pages of MS221EN, you observe a few errors and some equations have not been correctly imported compared to the original text at MIT's opencourseware . This means that there is still some editing to do, and that editing is outlined at the end of this page. What is a more important problem in the current state of MS221EN, and what is the objective of this project, is to deal with the missing test questions, assignments and review questions in PEOI's MS221EN.

Dr Strang's original document contains over 4,000 excellent questions spread out at the end of all chapter sections. It contains also answers to odd questions. These questions were imported to PEOI, and they will need to be verified for accuracy. More importantly, some of these questions are short and others are not. Those that can't be answered as in less than 60 seconds can't be used in PEOI's automated tests, and need to be redesigned as assignments.

The questions that can be answered in 60 seconds, can be placed into PEOI's test questions data bank. PEOI's test questions are mostly multiple choice questions, and are at the heart of PEOI's automated testing and knowledge assessment.

PEOI's data banks of test questions contain several parameters which allow to construct automated test that are diverse, do not have duplication, and are different each time a test is taken. Also when a question is not answered correctly, explanation are given, and a link to the course page opens where the underlying concept is presented. This means that volunteers working on this project must have advanced computer skills to understand and deal with questions parameters. For instance, one of the parameters is the name of the anchor tag which tells where the explanation for the question appears. PEOI haa a system for renumbering anchor tags to keep up with changes in course pages, and updating this parameter in all its data banks.

Of course, a volunteer's calculus skills are crucial in this project. First in selecting questions that can be selected for test questions. Second, in seeding erroneous answers when constructing a multiple choice question. Third in offering a proof of calculation where needed. And in giving the correct answer for the even questions that do not have answers in Dr. Strang's document.

Proofreading Calculus course

To proofread the calculus course you must look at the files that have been upload for MS221EN chapter assigned to you to determine if the files are rtf or html. If the uploaded files uploaded for the chapter are rtf, select "Import rtf" procedure and open the section you want to proofread. If the files are HTML, select "Import html". Separately you should have a copy of the chapter either printed on paper or open in its own window. It is also recommended to follow the text in a copy of the typed uploaded file which you can download in "Upload document" by right-clicking on the blue "docname" link.

You should check the text that appear in the pink "Preview box" in either "Import rtf" or "Import html" against the typed uploaded document and the original pdf file. In some case corrections can be made directly in the white TEXTAREA, and the section saved by clicking on "Save". But, it is likely to be more productive to make notes of all the corrections in a paper copy of the type document, then decide if make the corrections in the typed page, or in the TEXTAREA. Making corrections in the typed page using either Notepad, Wordpad or some other text only editing is recommended if there are more just or two corrections. The corrected typed page will then have to be uploaded again, as well as imported.

In some cases, the pink "Preview box" can be difficult to read in part because of the anchor tags that appear in it. The page can be viewed exactly how students will see it by clicking on the blue link to the temporary file appearing just just above the pink Preview box.

More information on how to do this assignment appears in comments of volunteers who are working on this project in "My discussion" which you are urged to read after log in.

All PEOI's tasks can be carried out from your home on your own computer and at your own time. New volunteers are invited to register as volunteer staff members. For more details, please write a short message indicating the volunteer opportunity you are interested in, attach a recent resume, and email to appropriate person in contact information.

To ask questions, and to offer your comments, criticism or suggestion, please mailto:peoi@peoi.org .