Time got the better of me again, so here’s a big development update covering December, January, and some of February.
I went from paternity leave in September straight into the mêlée of our first entirely online semester. Here’s an update of development work on Numbas during the month of October.
The vast majority of changes are bug fixes, now that so many more people are using Numbas and discovering edge cases. (And I made a couple of mistakes when introducing Numbas v5, sorry!)
We’re continually working on Numbas, fixing bugs and adding new features. I thought that it would be a good idea to post more regularly about updates to the Numbas software, rather than waiting until each year’s major version release to list everything that’s changed.
I’m going to go into a bit more detail on changes than I normally would in major-release posts, to give an idea of what day-to-day development on Numbas looks like.
I’d like these posts to be monthly, but I’m about to embark on a month of paternity leave, so don’t expect another one until the end of October.
So, here’s what’s changed since Numbas v5.0 was released in June.
We’ve just released a minor new version of the Numbas LTI tool provider.
Changes in this version include:
- A global dashboard view, showing resources which are active today.
- An option to only show completed attempts when viewing the statistics for a resource.
- When the student ends their attempt, they’re shown an encoded receipt which they can use as evidence of their score, even if no receipt email is sent.
- Bug fixes around time zone handling, sending email receipts on attempt completion, cross-site security and text formatting.
We recommend updating any servers running the LTI provider as soon as possible, by following the upgrade instructions.
We’re releasing another major version of Numbas. This release incorporates a couple of exciting new developments, which greatly expand Numbas’ capabilities.
If you want to dive right in, have a go at the demo exam we’ve made to show off the new features.
The short story: We’ve written an extension to Numbas which adds a data type for handling quantities with associated units, and a custom part type which asks the student to enter a value with units.
Today we’ve released Numbas v3.0. It’s the thing I’m second-most proud of producing in the last year (my daughter was born last October).
The marking code at the heart of Numbas has been completely rewritten, to make it much easier for question authors to change how students’ answers are marked. This has also allowed the introduction of custom part types, to make it easier to use and reuse different marking algorithms.
During our project to create material for students making the transition to university, I did a bit of development work on Numbas based on issue that our interns raised. I’ll describe those here.
We’ve made a few changes to Numbas and the editor recently, with the aim of improving usability. It involved moving some parts of the editor around, so I thought I’d better show what we’ve done.
First of all, when you submit an answer to a part of a Numbas question, the input changes colour depending on the score you were awarded. (If you’ve got score feedback turned off, it turns the same colour no matter how you did)
Here’s an example: