This Beta release is available as of February release 2023.
Numerical Simulation question type allows you to create auto-marked maths questions with programmed parameterization and response outcomes to achieve randomization and more authentic assessment through real-world scenarios. Using randomization in tests ensures test integrity by giving each candidate a unique question.
Numerical Simulation utilizes a Program Model that enables simulations using an expressive programming language of Maxima which is based on Lisp.
- Numerical Simulation question type
- How to author a Numerical Simulation
- How to Preview a Numerical Simulation
- How to Mark a Numerical Simulation
- Override an automatically marked question
Numerical Simulation question type
Numerical Simulation is based on Numeric Entry, where the question is answered by typing a numeric value that is automatically scored. Numerical Simulation differs from Numeric Entry in that you are able to edit the Program Model that generates the correct and incorrect answers based on defined input variables that can be parameterised. The allocation of values to the Program Variables happens when the test is started and in this way, each test can have unique Program Variables. Numerical Simulation questions are automatically marked.
The “Pump Water” example used in this document is shared with permission from the creator - the UNSW School of Banking and Finance, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
The Program Model is a set of instructions that produce a set of input variables that the candidates use to calculate the results. The Program Model supports all the programming structures required to build programs of any complexity.
You can find more examples of what a Program Model might look like in our Help Center article, Numerical Simulation example guide.
Variables are created within your Program Model. When authoring a question, ensure that the wording allows for the insertion of input variables. The following variables are available:
- Program Variable: Variables compiled from the code.
- Candidate Input: Candidate answer field.
How to author a Numerical Simulation
Create a new question
- Select the Author module > Questions.
- Click Create new.
- Under Automatically marked, click Numerical Simulation.
Edit and Compile Program Model
- On the right-hand side, within the Question options, navigate to Program Model.
- Select the Program Model drop-down > Edit program model
Compile the Program Model
- Enter your code manually, or copy and paste text within the Program Model editor. Click Compile when you are finished.
- You are shown a sample of your Program Variables on the right-hand side once the compilation is successful. The allocated values are not saved and are only for example purposes.
- To save your work, click Save.
Author question text
Once the program model is compiled, the Program Variables are available to view under the Program model drop-down.
- To insert a variable within your question text, click +Insert.
- You can Insert the following:
- Program Variable
- Candidate Input
Edit response outcome
Response outcomes are the scoring outputs of the Program Model for the candidate input. These outputs represent candidate answers, each can be defined as correct or incorrect and awarded marks accordingly.
Define the context by choosing a candidate input field
- To assign a response value to a Program Variable, click [Program Variable].
- Select the Program Variables drop-down > Choose a Variable.
- Click Close.
Define the Response outcome
- To assign a response value to the Candidate Input Variable, click candidate_input.
- To add a response outcome, select the Response outcome drop-down > +Add response outcome.
- To add an additional outcome, click +Add outcome.
- Click Save.
Response outcome options
To determine the Response outcome, you can select from a dropdown list that includes the following options: Comparison Operators, Program Variables, and whether the conclusion is Correct/Incorrect.
- Comparison operators: Equal, Unequal, Greater than, Less than
- Program Variables: Variables compiled from the code
- Conclusion: Correct, Incorrect
The actual marks for correct or wrong are set on the question.
You can further customise the response outcome by visiting the Options menu.
- Select the Options drop-down.
- From here, you have the following options for input validation which restricts what the candidate can type:
- Expected length
- Expand input field automatically
- Restrict number of characters to input width
How to Preview a Numerical Simulation
You can preview your question during the authoring process to see what it looks like for the candidate.
- Within the Author editor, in the upper right-hand corner, click Preview.
- Program variables are displayed with their numeric value in the preview pane.
- Enter an answer within the Candidate input field and click Check answer. To enter a different Candidate input, click Try again.
- Wrong answers are given the message Wrong.
- Correct answers are given the message Correct.
How to Mark a Numerical Simulation
Numerical Simulation is an automatically marked question. Automatically marked questions are automatically marked by Inspera Assessment once the candidate has submitted the test. As the Grader, you do not need to mark an Automatically marked question, unless you intend to override the mark. Automatically marked questions can be found within the Marks dropdown, and are identified with Automatically calculated.
Override an automatically marked question
As a Planner/Grader, you can override the automatically calculated marks.
- Within the Marks dropdown, Click Override.
- Within the text field, enter your marks (up to 2 decimal places).
- Click Apply.
Once you have overridden automatically calculated marks, the status of the question changes to Overridden.