1.5 - release notes

New Features

  • Feedback to students

    Mooshak is increasingly used as an e-Learning tool and many teachers noticed that some students are discouraged when they receive repeatedly the same negative response (e.g. Wrong Answer). Mooshak could already be configured to show error messages but these are very terse (sometimes empty) and tend also to be repetitive. These messages are presented pop-up windows linked to the submission status.

    From this version you can configure Mooshak to present a report to a student on his or hers submission. As before, this report is available from a link on the submission status that is shown only to the student/team. This link displays the report on the lower frame of the student/team interface.

    Feedback is activated on the submissions folder. Set the Give feedback to report and configure the Show errors property with the types of errors you want to activate reports. You can also set a Feedback delay with the number of minutes between reports with added information. This last feature should discourage students from making spurious submissions just to probe the feedback system.

    Feedback reports are incremental, in the sense that they disclose information progressively and avoid repeating a report already shown to the student, while keeping all the previous information in the same report. The information they provide is the following, (in this order.

    Observation of the worst classification
    An observation is the error message given by compiler/system or the output of a special corrector associated with the problem.
    Count of tests cases with worst classification
    Sometimes the status is still wrong answer but the number of failed test cases reduced (or increased). This message is omitted if there is just one test case.
    Observations of all test cases
    If a program produces different observations (error messages, corrector's output) them one of them may suggest the source of error. This message will be omitted if it simply repeat the observation of the first classification.
    Count of test cases per classification
    If there are test cases with different classifications then the number of failed tests may change but not on the worst classification.
    Test case feedback hint
    You can add an hint to a test case folder using the new field named Feedback. That hint (if non empty) is shown only on reports that failed that particular test. Hints from several test cases are reported incrementally. This feature is useful if the test is checking a particular type of input (e.g. "Be careful of negative numbers").
    Test case input and result
    You can set a test case as being available for feedback in the test folder) , in which case the input data with be shown to the student with respective status (e.g. Time Limit Exceeded). To set a test case as available for feedback you must check a new box named Show in the test folder.
    Test case input and output
    As in the previous case but the expected output is also shown in the report

    The system tries to keep a balance between providing too little information that could discourage the student, and too much information that would prevent the student from trying to overcome the problem with the information (s)he already has.

  • Auditing sessions A new command on the contests' folder (Audit | Sessions ...) lists both active and concluded authenticated sessions (i.e. excluding guest sessions). This listing can be filtered by date, profile and state, as well as sorted by any of its fields.

Fixed bugs

  • Security issues related with the help system
  • Reevaluation of submissions with extra files (Java classes and object files in FPC)
  • Pending listings when tcl 8.4 is used
  • Showing uploaded test files in feedback
  • Invalid command message in Ubuntu 9.10
  • Submision, questions, ballons and printout IDs changed with search criteria
  • Memory checking in safeexec that required much memory in Java
  • Missing and wrong parameters passed to dynamic evaluators
  • Documentation on dynamic evaluation
  • Pre-formatted text and HTML special characters on questions
  • Notifications to users are propagated to remote servers
  • Characters other than letters or digits should not be accepted in passwords
  • Team password changing was not working (bug introduced while trying to fix previous bug, already in version 1.5)
  • Top level directories should not be frozen (this is now restricted by the interface )
  • LDAP authentication can now select an attribute other t han uidfor login (uid is still the default)
  • Undefined variable in special corrector code fixed (thanks to Robert R. Enderlein)
  • Long team IDs just with numbers and starting with a 0 are no longer mistaken with an octal number
  • Several bugs related to quizzes were fixed