ItemGrader #

When an individual input needs to be graded, it is graded by an ItemGrader. All ItemGraders work by specifying answers and their corresponding points/messages, as well as an optional message for wrong answers. In these examples, we use StringGrader as an example of how to use a generic ItemGrader. You cannot use a generic ItemGrader by itself.

>>> from mitxgraders import *
>>> grader = StringGrader(
...     answers='cat',
...     wrong_msg='Try again!'
... )

The grader is set up to grade an answer of cat as correct, and includes a message that is presented to students if they get the answer wrong. One could pass grader in as the cfn key for a customresponse tag. The following code demonstrates what happens when the grader is called using python (for example, inside a python console). Note that this is only for demonstrating the behavior of the grader, and is not required in order to use the library in edX.

>>> grader(None, 'cat') == {'grade_decimal': 1, 'msg': '', 'ok': True}
True
>>> grader(None, 'dog') == {'grade_decimal': 0, 'msg': 'Try again!', 'ok': False}
True

You will often see this type of demonstration in this documentation. It serves both to demonstrate how the grader works and to ensure that our examples are always syntactically correct, as these code blocks form part of our documentation testing.

Note that grader accepts two arguments. This is because edX passes two arguments to all graders. The first argument is the expect or answer value associated with the customresponse tag. Here, we supply None, as the grader already has its answer specified. The second argument is the student input. If the customresponse problem has multiple inputs, the second argument is a list of the student inputs.

Specifying Answers #

For all ItemGraders, the answers key can be used to specify correct answers, specific feedback messages, and to assign partial credit. It accepts a few formats:

>>> grader = StringGrader(
...     answers={'expect': 'zebra', 'grade_decimal': 1, 'msg': 'Yay!'},
...     wrong_msg='Try again!'
... )
>>> grader(None, 'zebra') == {'grade_decimal': 1, 'msg': 'Yay!', 'ok': True}
True
>>> grader(None, 'cat') == {'grade_decimal': 0, 'msg': 'Try again!', 'ok': False}
True
>>> grader = StringGrader(
...     answers='zebra',
...     # Equivalent to:
...     # answers={'expect': 'zebra', 'msg': '', 'grade_decimal': 1}
...     wrong_msg='Try again!'
... )
>>> grader(None, 'zebra') == {'grade_decimal': 1, 'msg': '', 'ok': True}
True
>>> grader(None, 'cat') == {'grade_decimal': 0, 'msg': 'Try again!', 'ok': False}
True

Again, most ItemGraders use strings to store 'expect' values.

>>> grader = StringGrader(
...     answers=(
...         # the correct answer
...         'wolf',
...         # an alternative correct answer
...         'canis lupus',
...         # a partially correct answer
...         {'expect': 'dog', 'grade_decimal': 0.5, 'msg': 'No, not dog!'},
...         # a wrong answer with specific feedback
...         {'expect': 'unicorn', 'grade_decimal': 0, 'msg': 'No, not unicorn!'}
...     ),
...     wrong_msg='Try again!'
... )
>>> grader(None, 'wolf') == {'grade_decimal': 1, 'msg': '', 'ok': True}
True
>>> grader(None, 'canis lupus') == {'grade_decimal': 1, 'msg': '', 'ok': True}
True
>>> grader(None, 'dog') == {'grade_decimal': 0.5, 'msg': 'No, not dog!', 'ok': 'partial'}
True
>>> grader(None, 'unicorn') == {'grade_decimal': 0, 'msg': 'No, not unicorn!', 'ok': False}
True
>>> grader(None, 'cat') == {'grade_decimal': 0, 'msg': 'Try again!', 'ok': False}
True

Internally, the ItemGrader converts the answers entry into a tuple of dictionaries. When grading, it asks the specific grading class to grade the response against each possible answer, and selects the best outcome for the student.

The wrong_msg is only displayed if the score is zero and there are no other messages.

If no answers key is provided, the grader reads from the expect or answer parameter of the customresponse tag (see edX Syntax). Note that when using a ListGrader, the answers key is required.

Option Listing #

Here is the full list of options specific to ItemGraders.

grader = ItemGrader(
    answers=(str, dict, (str, dict)),
    wrong_msg=str,  # default ''
)