Yearly Project in Software Engineering

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Dec 4, 2013 (3 years and 9 months ago)

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Yearly Project in Software Engineering


Lena Lempert & Ola Shor & Dima Moshe
y
ev


Preface



MCEM (Multiple
-
Choice Exam Management system) software is a wide
-
usage system for managing multiple
-
choice exams, students' answers, grading and
questions da
tabase. Additional feature



MCEM Internet Extension
(req
uire
s HTTP
-
server being installed on the lecturer computer)



allows students to solve exams
through the Internet.



The system was designed in a strict but intuitive manner. On the next pages
we wil
l guide you step
-
by
-
step through most basic features of the system, letting you
learn how to add, remove, move & copy courses, how to create exams and
print it.
Additional appendix is dedicated to online exams solving.



MCEM development staff wishes you e
njoyable and productive work with
MCEM System Software.


Chapter 1. System Requirements and Installation.


1.1. Pre
-
installation preparations and required software.



The MCEM program was written entirely in Java
™ programming language,
therefore i
t requires

pre
-
installed
Java™
Development K
it

(version 1.4 or above)
.

You
can download it from
http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.4.2/download.html
, (help and
install
ation instructions are available at that site as well).



In addition, the Internet
Extension requires pre
-
installation of a web (HTTP)
server that supports Java™ Servlets® technology. The customer may choose from the
Apache
®

(
http://www.apache.org
)
,
Microsoft IIS
®

(
http://www.microsoft.com/WindowsServer2003/iis/default.mspx
)
,
Sun
iPlanet®
(
http://wwws.sun.com/software/download/products/3f186391.html
)
or
others

web
servers.

Though, the MCEM staff suggests you to stick to the most easily
-
configured
Sun iPlanet® web server. You'll have to perform the initial configurati
on by yourself;
we'll guide you only to put servlets in the correct place


and for Sun iPlanet server
only.


NOTE:

the web server you've installed shall be configured to use Java™
SDK. On iPlanet web server, you can do it by opening the Web Server Authent
ication
Server (
http://comp:8888/https
-
admserv/bin/index
, if it is installed). Then choose
"Global settings"


"Configure JRE / JDK paths"


select "JDK"


enter the JDK
path (the folder where you'v
e installed Java
™ SDK to
, by default


c:
\
j2sdk1.4.0
) as
shown at the screenshot below:



System requirements of the program are same as for the Java™ Software
Development Kit (SDK), which you can check here:
http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.4.2/system
-
configurations.html
.


1.2 . Installation.



The installation is really easy. Just be sure to follow the list:


1)

Download and install Java™ SDK, as described above.

2)

If you wish to use the Internet Extension
feature
, download and
install a web
-
server that supports Java™ Servlets®, as described
above
, and configure it to use Java™ SDK (see note above)
.
If not,
skip this step.

3)

Download the
MCEM Software System and unpack it.

4)

Run the batch file "start.bat". This
will start the application.

5)

If you wish to use the Internet Extension feature
, copy all ".class"
files from the folder of MCEM Software Systems to the servlet
folder of the web server (in iPlanet web server, it's by default
c:
\
iPlanet
\
Servers
\
docs
\
servlet
)

and restart the web server.


If you experience any

problems, check the "Path" and "Classpath" system
variables.


Chapter 2. Getting started.



2.1. Creating a new course.



The most general unit of the system is a course. Course holds inside all its
categ
ories (which may contain subcategories) for cataloguing the questions and its
exams, both new and delivered to the students ("committed").



Let's start with creating a new course.
Right
-
click (click with the right mouse button) the
root and choose "New
course":



You'll be allowed to enter the course name.


As soon as you finish (and
press "Enter"), a new branch of the
tree will a
ppear. It will have two
leaves:
"CATEGORIES"

and
"EXAMS"
. All questions of the course
must be stored
only
in categories, (any

of which may have unlimited number
of subcategories). Right
-
click the
"CATEGORIES" leaf and choose
"New category", then enter a name for
the category and press "Enter". Now you've created a placeholder for your questions.
Until now could not create any qu
estion at all.


To add any other categories, just repeat the last step above: right
-
click the
location for the to
-
be
-
created category, choose "New category" and click "Enter".


Note that you cannot place categories in any place but in the "CATEGORIES"
brun
ch. Exams can't be mixed with categories.


2.2. Adding questions.



Now your course has at least one container for the questions, and you may
create a question.



Each question may have several versions. Version is a variation of the
question: versions are

almost similar questions on the same subject and with almost
the same answers. When you create a question, you create its first version. Later you
may add more versions if you wish to.



Open a category you'd like to add a question to, right
-
click its sub
item
"QUESTIONS" and select "New question".
(See the screenshot below).



Difficulty (from
-
3 to 3) is the lecturer's opinion about the difficulty of the
question. 3 means "impossible to solve", while
-
3 means "not too difficult". After the
exam is solved,

the lecturer may see the difficulty of the question as it's calculated
from the exam, and change the difficulty accordingly, if he wishes.




In the version text, enter the body text of the question.



NOTE:

You may use any language you wish to,
-

MCEM S
ystem, thanks to
Unicode encoding, works perfectly with just any language in the world (tested on
Hebrew, English, Russian and Ukrainian), but Internet Extension can display only
questions written in English. Other languages will appear as sets of question

marks:
??????.
Please
make sure the exam you want to be solved on
-
line is written in
English!



The answers shall be written on the dedicated
lines

below (one answer per
line).
Another line will be added automatically if you press "Enter" when you're
ente
ring text in the currently last line.
If an answer refers to some other answers to
this question (such as: "7. The correct answers are: 3, 5"), choose them in the "Choose
Refs" list. References currently set will appear in the "Refs" field.



Correct answe
r shall be m
arked as correct in the "Right". Only one answer
may be marked as correct, and one answer must be correct.



By checking the "Mix" checkbox, you allow this answer to be mixed during
the permutation (which happens each time when you print an exa
m or it is viewed
through the Internet).


If a question may be related to several categories, you may choose them using
the "Choose secondary category" button.


Don't forget to click "Save" after you finish your changes!



Adding a newer version of a quest
ion is exactly the same


just right
-
click the
question you intend to add a version to and choose "New version".


2.3.
Creating an exam.



When you've several questions ready, you may create an exam. Right
-
click the
"EXAMS" writing in the navigation tree a
nd select "New exam", then enter the name
for this exam and press "Enter". You'll find yourself in front of the following screen:




Choose the year, semester and term (A, B or Special) of the exam. Then add
questions to it. (What is actually added are th
e versions of the questions, not the
questions themselves).



Versions may be added in several ways:


1)

Drag'n'drop of a version into the exam in the navigation tree.

2)

Drag'n'drop of a question into the exam in the navigation tree. In
this case, the latest ve
rsion of the question will be added to the
exam.

3)

Right
-
click
on the version (while exam is still selected in the tree)
and click "Add to exam".

4)

Right
-
click on the question (while exam is still selected in the tree)
and click "Add last version to exam".


Th
en you may print the exam.

In order to print it, right
-
click it and choose
"Print". You shall specify number of copies to be
printed and a "Permutation Id". The
permutation ID shall be remembered, because it's required for adding and decoding
students' ans
wers.


Committed

exam is locked,
you cannot change it, you can neither add nor

delete versions from it, you cannot delete a
category which has a question that is in
committed exam.

You should commit
exam only if you intend to print it and to
give it to th
e students to solve; printing an
exam does
not

commit it automatically.
The exams which were given to the
students and have students' answers in the
system remain locked. Only committed
exams are accessible via the MCEM
Internet Extension.


Every exam may
be committed or
uncommitted via the exam'
s context menu.
If the exam is committed, its context menu
will have only option "Uncommit" (see
screenshot). If the exam is not committed,
the displayed option is "Commit".



You can copy the committed exam to the
same course (or to another course),
which is useful for creating an exam from an existing exam. After the "copy"
operation succeeded, the new copy is not committed, but the original remains
committed. You cannot move a committed exam, (an attempt will resu
lt in an alert
message).


2.4. Adding students' answers.



After you have printed the exam, gave it to the students and they have filled it,
you shall add their answers to the system.



Right
-
click the leaf "STUDENTS ANSWERS" under the exam and choose
"Add

student's answers". You'll find yourself in the following screen:




In "Student Id", fill in the student's ID number. Fill in the "Permutation Id"
you've used when you've printed the exam.
Then, check the answers that were marked
by the student as
they

appear on the student's exam
. The decoding from permuted
order of answers that student has on his worksheet into canonical order of answers (as
you've entered them into the system) when will be performed automatically.



Each question has 10 empty slots f
or marking student' answer, but if you mark
an answer that does not exist in the question, (for example, H in question with only 3
choices of answers), you'll receive an error message upon an attempt to save the
student' answers.

The error message will say
: "There is no such answer in question
X", but remember that in the exam the questions are placed in another order then i
n
the exam stored in the system. T
herefore
, if you don't know what question this is,

you
shall pick a printed exam with the same number

of permutation as you're attempting
to add and see what
the Xth question on the printed exam is
.



Upon the finishing of your work, press "Save answers". (You'll be prompted to
save the results if you try to view something else while the newly added stude
nt's
answers are not saved).


2.5. Deleting of an item.



You cannot delete a committed exam. A question which has a version in a
committed exam, or a category which contains such question (or any of its super
-
categories) cannot be deleted.



Deleting some
thing is invoked on right
-
click on the item you want to delete
and choosing "Delete" from the context menu. Usually the item is deleted without any
additional alerts. The only exception is a category, which contains questions (or any
of its subcategories c
ontains questions).



When you try to d
elete a non
-
empty category, you'll find yourself in the
following screen:






Every que
stion from the list
must be either deleted or moved to another
category
(that must be chosen by clicking on the "Move to…" butto
n).



When the last question is removed from the left pane, the category will be
deleted too, without any additional prompt.

Chapter 3. Advanced Topics in Using MCEM.

3.1. Grading
P
olicy.



Grading policies allows the lecturer to control the students' grad
es, give the
difficult questions lower weight then the easy ones, and give full points for the most
correct answer and, say, a half of the points


to the less correct answer.



You may access the grading policy for the exam by right
-
clicking it and
choosi
ng "Grading".



By default, the correct answer receives the weight of 1, and an incorrect one
receives the weight of 0. You may change it, on an individual basis for each
question
in each exam; grading for each answer in every question may be a fraction be
tween
-
1
to 1. (See the screenshot below:)






Each question has the weight as displayed in the leftmost column. (Overall
sum of the weights must be exactly 100). Grading of 1 for the answer means that
student that checked this answer will receive full
points for the question, grading of
-
1


grade of student that checked this answer will be reduced by full points for the
question. Fractional grading allows to give (or to subtract) less points then the weight
of the question.


3.2.
Statistics
.



You may
access statistics from the exam's context menu (available by the right
click).

Sorting (ascending or descending) is available by a click on the column
caption.





All options are explained on the side legend.





Rank is the student's position relative
to other students, starting with the
lowest grade. (Best result has the highest rank).




Dectile is rank of a student in another way. Grades (0


100) are divided into
10 dectiles, and each student is referred to one of these dectiles according to his gra
de.





"Statistics per student" reflect knowledge of specific categories by each
student. The values are in per cents (100 means the student has answered every
question from this category, 50


only half of the questions).




Validity of the question is

rate of the correlation between the correct answers
to this question and between grades of the students. If a question has low validity, it
means it was answered correctly by the people who received low overall grade (and
was
not

answered correctly by the

people with high grades). In other words


something's problematic in this question, and it shall probably receive a lower weight.



Difficulty is calculated from the students' answers, it moves between
-
3 (a
very easy question) to 3 (very difficult). Thi
s calculated difficulty is also a suggestion
to the lecturer to change the question's difficulty accordingly.


3.3. Copy / Move.



Sometimes you need to copy a question, a category or an exam from one place
to another. This is
an easy task, thanks to

our
s
pecial feature shown on the screenshot
below:





Right
-
click an item you want to move and choose "Move". A side
-
menu will
be displayed, showing the list of all courses. If the item may be placed into a category
(and, therefore, is by itself a category or

a question), another side
-
menu will be
opened, showing all available categories. The process will continue until you find a
proper place for the item you're copying


you shall click the item you've chosen.
Copying works in the very same way.



If an exam

is committed, it cannot be moved. If a category has a question
which has a version included in committed exam, it cannot be moved. A question
which has a version in committed exam cannot be moved as well. All these items may
be only copied.


3.4. Import /

Export.



This feature allows to save questions, categories, and even whole courses as
.XML files. These files may be transferred to another lecturer and merged
("imported") into his MCEM System.



When you right
-
click somethi
ng and choose "Export", a "Save file…" window
(shown on the screenshot below) will be opened:




Note that t
his feature

allows to save

(and to open)

only XML files.



Import occurs in exactly the same manner.


Chapter 4. Internet Extension.

4.1.

Accessing

the MCEM System from the Web
.



The MCEM Internet Extension is a program which allows the students to
solve the exams through the Internet.

Here we assume that you've installed a Web
server which supports Servlets®, set it up, copied the .class files from

the MCEM
System's folder to the server's servlet directory and restarted the Web server.



Open an Internet Explorer web browser from a computer that may access the
one with MCEM System and Web server, and surf to the following location:



http://<name of

the computer>/<path to the servlets directory>/LoginPage



We've used a computer named
comp

for making screenshots, and the servlets
directory in iPlanet® web server is
/servlet
.

Therefore the address (shown on the
screenshot below) is
http://comp/servlet
/LoginPage
.





The student must enter his ID and his password. (Current implementation
allows students to log in with any password).



After an access check the student will receive the following approval:




-

and the student may proceed to the followi
ng screen.





Every committed exam in the system will be shown. Now it's up to the student
to choose an exam to solve (and to click its name).





The student shall choose one of the provided answers, or a special option
(green) if she does not want to
answer to this question.





The student will receive a submission approval and number of questions she
solved correctly. The final grade is not available since it may be changed by the
lecturer dynamically.