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Product Updates 2023
Thijs Gillebaart avatar
Written by Thijs Gillebaart
Updated over a week ago

For the product updates of 2022, see Product Updates 2022.

By default, students have access to (a part of) several standard tables to look up statistical values:

In some cases it is not desirable to have these tables available. To facilitate these cases we have introduced a test setting to turn of the table helpers during a test session:


Read more about the different configuration options for a test in this help article.

06-12-2023 UI Update for the Navigation Bar

The navigation bar (the black bar at the top) has received an update making improving its accessibility and mobile behaviour. All functionalities remain the same.

06-12-2023 UI Update for Course Content Editor

A couple of weeks ago we released a new UI for the course overview page. Read more about those updates in the two sections below.

Since then we have also been working on an update of the Course Content Editor page, which allows teachers to organise the content (subjects and tests) in their course (via modules). This update has been released today and improves the interface and the user experience by improving the drag & drop functionality and making the interface more inline with the styling of the course overview page itself.

We have added an accessibility mode to help every student understand their progress and mastery of subjects in their courses.

When the accessibility mode is enabled unique icons are used for indicating the mastery/score for subjects/tests, in addition to the colors. This means you will get two separate icons for the progress and mastery.

We have updated the styling of the course page slightly to make sure it displays the information more clear. This means the page showing the modules, subjects and tests in your course will look different.

In doing so we were able to add an icon legend for the icons used to display progress and mastery and add an accessibility mode to make sure we convey that information in multiple ways (i.e. not only in colors).

Read more about the meaning of the icons and colors on the course page here and more on the accessibility mode here.

24-10-2023 Embed Yuja videos in Grasple

You can now embed Yuja video in addition to YouTube and Vimeo videos in Grasple content.

05-10-2023 - Allow password reset for email+password accounts who also have an LTI profile

Since today a user who has an email+password account (so not a Single-Sign-On account) which has their LTI profile connected to this account, can reset their password for their Grasple account. Until now this was not possible since we blocked this option for those users because of the LTI Profile associated with that account.
We decided to allow this since this allows users to access their account as they did before with their email+password, ensuring they also have a way to edit their courses/materials outside of the LTI context.

NOTE: this only affects users who started with a normal account and only have a LTI profile (not an SSO profile). This does not affect users with an SSO account (even if they started with a normal account) or users who started with an LTI Account.

When evaluating answers it is sometimes useful to determine what a student entered on the Left Hand Side or the Right Hand Side of an expression. To make this possible we added two more operators which allow you to extract these parts of an expression:

Note that these operators will return the full expression if there is no equation in the given expression. This means that you can check for an equation by checking:

left_hand_side(answer) exactly matches (answer)

Read more about the available operators in this help article.

A Product or a Sum in a formula field will not be evaluated, this ensures that you can ask for these types of notations in an exercise. However, in some situations it is handy to calculate the value of a Product or a Sum. To facilitate these situations we now added parameters which allow you to do just that:

Read more about the available operators in this help article.

The select operator is a useful tool to extract parts of a given expression or an answer of a student. One pitfall in the use of this operator was that the operator would result in an error if the input is not a Matrix, Vector, list or a Dataset.

To make it easier to use this operator a select on a normal expression will now return the expression itself, see the example below:

Read more about the available operators in this help article.

The round operator is a useful tool to round numbers to a certain precision before displaying them. Up until now, if you wanted to display a list or a matrix with rounded number you would need to extract all numbers, round each number in isolation, and build up the expression again. To make this easier we now made it possible to round a complete matrix or list in one go, see the example below:

Read more about the available operators in this help article.

Earlier this year we announced that we will change the default number of attempts and scoring during practice in Grasple. Thanks to the input of our users we have made the following changes for the default settings:

  • Max number of attempts: 2 (previously 3).

  • Points at second attempt for open (text, number and math) questions: 50% (previously 0%).

This means that for multiple choice questions the second attempt still has zero points by default. This is to prevent students from getting rewarded for guessing correctly on the second attempt when only a few answers are available.

These changes impact practice sessions (not tests) and only if the default settings are not overwritten by you as editor.

Earlier this year we made it possible to view changes between exercise changes. In the first version of this feature it was possible to see which properties have been changed, but not the value(s) of these changes.

Today we upgraded this feature, it is now possible to see the previous and current value (if available) for properties containing text, numbers or boolean values!

For example, the screenshot below shows the differences for the description property between two versions of an exercise:

We expect to role out support for more complex objects in the coming months. To read more about viewing changes between exercises versions, go here.

26-05-2023 - Trigger actions based on specific answers

With the use of decision tree logic in an exercise it was already possible to show specific follow-up questions to students if they gave a correct or incorrect answer. Unfortunately, it was not possible to show a different sub-question based on the given answer, all incorrect answers would show the sub-question defined for the incorrect answer feedback.

As of today this restriction no long applies: you can now define triggers based on specific answers in decision tree exercises! This gives you more fine-grained control over which follow-up questions are shown, which is useful if an answer indicates that some concepts are mastered, but that others could use more attention.

You can find the controls for these actions in the different configuration options for answer feedback:

25-04-2023 - View changes between exercise versions

You can now view what properties have changed in an exercise from one version to another (spanning multiple versions). This allows you to create a draft version of an existing exercise (read more about drafts here) and before publishing check what parts of the exercise have changed.

You can use this new feature together with viewing the specific versions of an exercise and see the differences within the exercise itself. Read more on how to view specific versions of an exercise here.

In the coming months we will extend this feature to allow for viewing in more detail was has changed. So if you have any feedback, please reach out to us!

25-04-2023 - Community Courses

In Grasple you have access to open curated community educational resources. You can find all of those in the community repositories (see more information about repositories here).

If you want to have a quick start for a specific topic (e.g. statistics or calculus) you can now create a new course based on a community course template. These courses include a curated set of community materials (i.e. subjects) which you can then customise any way you want.

This gives you an easy starting point for building your own personalised course, since you can edit everything in Grasple!

24-04-2023 - Support for mixed numbers

The Computer Algebra System (CAS) of Grasple interprets expressions such as 2 2/3 as two times two-thirds, so 4/3. However, another way of interpreting this is two two thirds, which is 8/3. Up until now the only interpretation that was possible was the first one, but not anymore!

As of now, Grasple supports the use of Mixed Numbers in the platform by means of two new parameter types. These parameter types allow you to define which expressions need to be read (and/or written) with mixed numbers. This makes it, for example, possible for students to practice converting an improper fractions to a mixed number:

Read more on these new parameters, how to use them, and the limitations in this help-article.

24-04-2023 - Reusing (part of) answer rules

For some exercises there are multiple answer rules which benefit from specific feedback. If these answer rules all need to check some properties of a student answer, for example that is a number between 1 and 10, you needed to program this same check for each answer rule. Not only does this take up time, it also makes it harder to change this check if it needs to be extended, or if a mistake is spotted.

To make this easier we now allow you to define an answer rule as a parameter! This parameter will evaluate to 1 if the answer rule has a positive match, and 0 if it does not match. This way you can both reuse answer rules, and even use the result of a match to make further calculations.

Read more about the available operators in this help article.

05-04-2023 - Adding teachers to courses

Adding a teacher to your course just became more convenient. Instead of having to fill in the name and email address of your colleague, just quickly search on a part of their name or email address. After selecting a role (tutor or teacher), you're just a click away of adding your colleague to the course.

If a teacher doesn't show up in the search results, you can still send them an invite:

21-03-2023 - Embedding Grasple Exercises

Do you want to embed single Grasple exercises into you MOOC, open Book or LMS. You can do this using the new "embed exercise" feature.

Grasple is based on the open education principle to make education on math and statistics more accessible for everyone around the world. Therefore we have added a feature to embed your exercises into other websites such that they can be accessed by a large audience without needing to have a Grasple account.

15-03-2023 - Print preview for manual tests

In our latest update we have added a print preview option for manual tests. It was already possible to generate a print preview for subjects, now you can export PDF's from your tests and print them too.

15-03-2023 - Improved exercise feedback interface for students

You can use decision tree exercises in Grasple to create adaptive exercises which give interactive feedback to students based on their answer instead of only static feedback. This provides an adaptive way of learning for students and tools for you as teacher to guide them in the right direction without having to sit next to them.

Students are not always used to these type of questions and can get confused on what is happening with the new questions. Therefore we have updated the interface for students to inform them better while they interact with such an exercise.

These are the following updates:

  • Show if they only have one attempt above the answer input

  • Show how many attempts they have left in the feedback

  • Show that a student can still score points on their next attempt

  • Show that an exercise is a decision tree exercise

  • Show that a follow-up question is available

  • Show that they have completed the whole exercise

13-03-2023 - Test start page improvements

We have improved the visibility of available test attempts and previous results for students. Before starting a test the number of remaining attempts is displayed below the test name and below the "start test" button.

A "View results" button in the right top corner takes students straight to their previous test results, previously the results could be obscured by long test descriptions.

When a student is about to start their final attempt we give them a heads up in the start button to ensure they don't waste their last attempt with an accidental click.

28-02-2023 - Easier navigation in practice sessions

Reviewing previously given answers in practice sessions just got a bit more convenient. Whether you're returning to a completed practice session or just checking your last answer during an active session, the arrows make it easier to jump between the questions.

28-02-2023 - Search users in the admin panel

We have added a new user search page to the Grasple admin panel. This page enables administrators to verify whether a user exists in the organisation, regardless of their role.

09-02-2023 - Searching for subjects

Previously, teachers could only search for a subject in all repositories. We have now added a search bar to the subject tab for individual repositories, which should make it easier to find content in large repositories. Users can search for subjects on ID, name and internal name.

09-02-2023 - Organising subjects using internal names

Starting today you can assign internal names to subjects and search for them in repositories. This property is only visible to teachers with access to the repository, which makes sorting and searching large repositories more convenient.

The internal name field can be found in the top bar when editing a subject.

31/01/2023 - Order multiple choice answers in an exercise

We have added the setting "Custom answer order" to multiple choice exercises. Enabling this option prevents answers from being displayed in a random order during practice and tests. You can also drag and drop answers to create a custom order.

26/01/2023 - Discard changes made in draft mode

Not too long ago we made it possible to create changes in draft mode, making sure you can make changes to an exercise without them being visible on the platform directly. Unfortunately, if you made unintended changes in draft mode you would need to revert these changes yourself. To save you the hassle of remembering all changes we implemented an additional feature for drafts: the ability to revert any changes made in draft mode:

All information about this feature (and the other features of draft mode) can be found in this help article.

17/01/2023 - Viewing test information during and after tests

Teachers often use the test description to store important information for students. Previously this information was only accessible at the start of a test. We have now added the option to view the test description during and after tests.

During a test the "Test information" button is visible in the top bar. Click on it to open a popup window with the name and description of the test. The "Test information" button is also available when reviewing a test that you previously submitted.

17/01/2023 - Switching between parameter sets in preview

When editing an exercise, the "preview" option offers you a convenient way to quickly test the exercise and any changes you made. If your exercise is parameterised you might want to test it with different sets of parameters though.

Grasple now offers an option to quickly switch between parameter sets. You can choose between "Previous parameter set", "Random parameter set" and "Next parameter set".

This makes it easier to test if your exercise works as intended with different parameters.

16/01/2023 - Draft support for exercises

If you are editing an exercise you might want to save intermediate changes to make sure the work is saved, or because other things have come up which require your attention. But if this exercise is already used in a subject or a test these (possible half-finished) changes can already become visible to everyone else. To make sure you can control when changes go live you can introduced a draft-publish feature in the exercise editor:

Naturally, it is still possible to make and save changes which are directly visible to others. More details about the draft/publish feature can be found in this help-article.

10/01/2023 - practice sessions in subjects now use versioned exercises

Before today, a practice session of a subject would always show the latest version of an exercise. Because of this, a student could see one version of an exercise while practicing, but any changes made to the exercise during or after the practice session would also be visible when reviewing the practice session. To make things worse, a new version of the parameterised exercise would have different values for parameters, creating even more confusing situations if an exercise used in a practice session is changed.

To prevent these type of problems we now implemented the use of versioned challenges in subjects. This means that from now on, students will always see the same version of an exercise as they have received the first time they have seen the exercise in the current practice session, even if you update the exercise!

Note that different students can still receive different versions of an exercise if you edit the exercise while practice sessions are in progress, but an individual student will not notice anything of these updates anymore.

This functionality is not only available for the current versions of practice sessions, we also (try to) show the correct version of an exercise in older practice sessions. Unfortunately, we do not always have the exact (older) version of an exercise available. In this situation we will show the first available version of an exercise and display the following message:

Comments, questions, remarks about this new feature? Please feel free to contact us and let us know!

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