This section of the guide described how to author basic content in more detail. Basic content is considered to include lecture pages and the simpler exercise types.
Lecture pages are managed from the Lectures section of the admin site. You will see a list of lecture pages that you have access to. This includes pages you have edited (there is at least one
revisionwith your account as the editor) and pages that are linked to a course where you are the responsible teacher or in the
Although they are called lecture pages, they are just as useful for bundling together exercises around a theme. Overall, lecture page simply refers to any page that is available in the course's table of contents. Do note that while it is possible to have other types of pages linked directly from the table of contents, the recommended way of building material is to contain all other types of contents in lecture pages.
There are not many guidelines to creating lecture pages. The most important companion is the -- WARNING: BROKEN LINK --Lovelace markup guide.
Typically lecture pages will embed all kinds of content be it
termdefinitions. When you save a content page, the existence of all of these will be checked and the submission form will be considered invalid if any are missing. It is therefore a good idea to write your lecture page offline in a text editor, and create the embedded objects as you go, or before copying the content to Lovelace. Writing offline is recommended for other reasons as well, as the admin site text edit box is not the best tool in existence.
When you embed content pages that have headings, these headings will be included in the table of contents sidebar. Also, if these content pages are exercises, the heading in the TOC will be accompanied with a symbol that shows whether the student has already answered the exercise or not. Therefore including a heading in each exercise is recommended.
You can attach any number of
feedbackquestions to a lecture page. These will be shown at the bottom of the page. The feedback statistics can be seen from the
teacher toolboxat the top of the page. You can learn more about Lovelace's feedback system from -- WARNING: BROKEN LINK --the feedback guide.
This section describes the simpler exercise types, namely: checkbox exercises, multiple choice exercises and text field exercises. All of these are created entirely through the admin site and do not require any files. They are also checked on the spot instead of being sent to separate the
checking daemon. More complex exercise types are mentioned for completion, but they each have their own guide dedicated to them.
When editing exercises, there are two different text boxes to fill: content and question. Of these, content should contain majority of the exercise text. Question is optional. If omitted, a default question text will be shown instead. The relations of different fields in the admin interface to the layout seen by the student are shown below.
- Main content - this is where the content field content goes to
- Question line(s) - contents of the question field will be here
- Answer box - in this case it's a text box
- Status line
- Evaluation box - will show up when 'Send answer' is pressed and evaluation is ready
- Hint box - will also show up if an incorrect answer is sent
- Status indicator + link to view previous answers
- Teacher toolbox, only visible to staff members
All exercises also have a field called default points. This determines how many points this exercise is worth when completed by the student. Note that by default this is not shown anywhere in the exercise layout. If you want students to know how many points the exercise is worth, you should write it in the description somewhere. The value in this field is used by the course scoring algorithm.
For all exercise types you can define the correct answer, and also various
hintsthat are connected to incorrect answers. The way to give answer-specific hints is described separately for each exercise type. You can also set hints that are automatically given after a certain amount of tries. This can be done under the Configurable hints section of any exercise admin form. Finally, just like with lectures, you can attach
feedbackquestions to any exercise. Attaching at least a comment box is generally a good idea - this will allow students to report bugs or other problems with the exercise on the spot.
Currently there is no way to limit how many times an exercise can be answered.
Multiple Choice Exercises¶
Multiple choice exercises are the most basic exercise type, where students must choose the correct answer from a number of options. Their advantage is that they are both easy to create and quick for students to answer. However there is only so much you can do with them. Typical use cases are questions like "Which of the following statements is true?" or selecting the correct answer for a problem.
After typing the exercise description and question, you can create the answer options. Each option consists of the following information:
- Is this choice correct (multiple answers can be correct)
- Answer text - this is what the student sees next to the radio button
- there's a box for each language, contents of the Finnish box are used if English is not defined
- Hint text - if the answer is not correct and is chosen, this text will be shown to the student in the hint box
- one box per language, Finnish is the default
- Extra comment - this will always be shown if the answer is chosen
- one box per language, Finnish is the default
- A checkbox to delete the answer upon save
The hint text is useful for explaining why a certain answer is wrong. The comment box on the other hand is mostly useful in exercises that have multiple correct answers and can, for instance, have some value statement about what's good/bad about that particular choice compared to the other correct choices.
Checkbox exercises are very similar to multiple choice exercises, but instead of choosing one answer, students can choose any number of answers. The exercise will be correct if the student chose all of the correct answers and none of the incorrect ones. Typical use cases are along the lines of "Which of the following belong to the described category?"
The interface to edit checkbox exercises is identical to multiple choice exercises.
In textfield exercises, students give their reply into a text box. The correctness of the answer is checked against regular expression(s). This makes them generally useful for questions that have (somewhat) precise answers, e.g. mathematical problems or single lines of code. The advantage over choice exercises is that students have to form the answer on their own instead of just choosing from options. By far the most common use case is to get students to review how to write lines of code that do one specific thing.
Textfield exercises are only as good as their regular expressions are. As a teacher you have to explicitly define all the correct answers with your regular expression(s). This can lead to frustration with students who come up with their creative solutions that happen to do the right thing, but were not covered by the possible correct answers. You can also define regular expressions for incorrect answers, and attach hints to them - these hints will be shown when a student enters an incorrect answer matching the regular expression.
Lovelace uses Python regular expressions. Understanding the possibilities and limitations of regular expressions is key in creating good textfield exercises. Textfield exercises currently run regular expression matching in single line mode. If your answer contains multiple lines, they must be written into the regular expression with
\n. Do note that multiline answers can quickly get out of hand, especially if there's more than one correct way to order the lines (you need to match each permutation separately!). You can define multiple correct regular expressions. Sometimes this can be a bit clearer than trying to jam everything together.
One of the more important symbols is
\s*which should be put into regular expressions with abandon. It makes it so that extra white spaces do not interfere with matching the correct answer.
Hints and Hint Coverage¶
When writing regular expressions for hints, try to be as permissive about everything else as you can while being very explicit about the error the hint concerns. If your hints are accidentally triggered without proper cause, they can be more confusing to students than helpful. In some cases it's useful to put
.*to basically ignore everything before the part where you expect the error to be. Another useful thing to know is that the correct answer matches, hints are never matched. This means that you can have a hint that is a broader version of the correct answer without having it trigger when the student enters the correct answer.
A good way to review your hints is to open the exercise
statisticswhere you can see all answers given by students and whether they matched a hint or not. Unless the exercise is frozen, matches will always be recalculated against the latest version when you load the stats page. This takes a while, but allows you to easily see by refreshing if your changed/added hint regular expression caught the types of answers you wanted it to. Do note that actual student evaluations do not change when you alter regular expressions - an answer's correctness is evaluated and fixed at the time it's given.
Repeated Template Exercises¶
Repeated template exercises are a variant of textfield exercises with two major differences: the student has to complete a series of questions instead of one question, and the question templates can be parametricized. They are ideal for creating review exercises or exercises that improve the students' routine. The exercises have a penalty regime where a student has to start over if they make a mistake. The downside of repeated template exercises is their need for a software backend. That is why this topic is covered in -- WARNING: BROKEN LINK --a separate guide.
File Upload Exercises¶
File upload exercises are at the heart of Lovelace - they're what it has been built around after all. As the title suggests, these are exercises where the student uploads a (code) file for evaluation. The evaluation is done by custom checking programs. This is both the strength and weakness of file upload exercises. On the one hand, pretty much anything can be checked with as much detail as one wishes; on the other hand, teachers have to develop these checking programs for each exercise. Being the most complex topic, file upload exercises have their own set of guides. This page is a good starting place.
Terms are a good way to create a knowledge bank that is readily available to students. All terms linked to a
course instancecan always be accessed from the term bank sidebar. You can also enrich your material with hover-on keywords that will show popups with the associated term definition. This guide uses terms so you have probably already seen them in action. A good way of creating terms is to create them as you write content. This way you will also have your hoverable keywords in place. Since you cannot save content with references to non-existent terms this is also a good way to ensure you've written descriptions for all of your terms.
In the terms list of the admin site, you can use the right hand filtering box to only see the terms of one course. The term edit form itself is relatively straightforward. Basic terms only need a name, a description and the course they're attached to. The name given here is displayed as-is in the term bank. Therefore, unlike media, you should probably not use any prefix or
slug-likenaming. Term names are also not unique because of high probability of overlap between courses. Instead, name + course pairs are unique.
Terms can also be given tags and aliases. Tags are shown in the term bank after the term name. Aliases are shown in the term bank as plain words with an arrow to the term itself (which is hoverable). You can input multiples of both by separating them with commas.
Tags can be seen in use by looking at this course's term bank.
You can add tabs to term definitions. They are useful for separating examples etc. from the definition body. Each term tab has a name and a description. Term popup boxes do have size limits. On the one hand this is a reason to split long term descriptions into multiple tabs; on the other hand it also places a limit of roughly 3 tabs per term. Click "Add another term tab" under Term Tabs in the admin interface to add a term tab.
You can also add links that will be displayed at the bottom of the term popup box regardless of which term tab is being viewed. Links consist of link URL and link name. For internal links, page
slugsshould be used. You can still link to a specific heading in the page by adding the heading anchor after #. Note that the anchor is also slugified. For instance, to link to this particular section of the guide, you would put this into the URL field:
2-sisällön-luominen#term-links. For external links you need to give the full http:// etc.
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