Frequently Asked Questions

Who is using Maple T.A.?

At present Maple T.A. is being used in production (ie within MyUni) by the School of Mathematical Sciences, who have marked around 10,000 student assignments using the software during Semester 1 of 2006. An interim report of their experiences can be found here.

Why would I want to use it?

Maple T.A. is particularly useful for assessing work performed in mathematically oriented subjects, but it's also well suited to the creation of simple quizzes within any academic discipline. Construction of Assignments within Maple T.A. is relatively straightforward and the system is very responsive at all times. Grades for these assignments are automatically transferred to the MyUni gradebook, and more detailed information about student performance, as well as some simple statistical analyses, are available via Maple T.A.'s own gradebook.

How do I get started?

Experimenting with the system is a very straightforward (and low-risk!): see Getting Started and Setting an Assignment.

Which browsers are supported?

Officially Internet Explorer 6 under Windows and Safari 1.2 or later on the Macintosh are supported by Maplesoft (the makers of Maple T.A.). Unofficially, all of the Mozilla family of browsers work very well for users, but have the occasional limitation for question construction: for example, the visual construction of image hotspots is only allowed in the supported browsers. Users of Firefox, for example, will receive a warning about the question type being unsupported in their browser.

Do I need a copy of Maple to develop content for use within Maple T.A.?

No; all the functionality of Maple T.A. is available without a copy of Maple. If you are, however, aiming to develop sophisticated questions that take advantage of Maple's built-in packages you'll be best served by having a local copy of Maple on your machine. The Maple T.A. license does not allow users to access a "raw" copy of Maple; the engine is built into the server product and is only accessible via Maple T.A. questions.

How do I get help?

General help can be obtained from the MyUni helpdesk and via the online help. See also the list of resources provided here.

If you're seeking help with more complex queries (for example, Maple-graded questions) the helpdesk will not be able to provide you with assistance. In this situation you're probably best off contacting other users of the software, and the helpdesk should be able to suggest some contacts.

Can this be used for simple tests? If so, how?

Very much so: one of the strengths of Maple T.A. is that the easy things are very easy (and the hard things are, well, possible!). For example, simple multiple choice assignments can be constructed very quickly using any of (1) the online interface, question by question (2) a LaTeX document , or (3) a "script" file, which is the native format used in Maple T.A..

How do I find examples of content appropriate for my area?

Maplesoft maintains a repository of Maple T.A. content written by users. This is very much focused on Mathematics. You will need to register in order to download this content, but registration is free.

They also maintain an extensive list of textbooks that offer Maple T.A. content for educators using those books. The list includes many well known texts from Commerce, Economics,Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, and Statistics. Obtaining this material requires you to contact your textbook representative.