Monday, November 29, 2004

Scripting the Final

Today is the last day of classes. Just two more sections, and I'm done teaching.

One of the classes I've taught before and will teach again in the spring. And, assuming I stay at this job, will probably teach most semesters for the forseeable future. I make my old exams available to all my students because it evens the playing field. To minimize any benefit, I overwhelm them by releasing a very large bank of questions (old exams + review questions): to know how to do all the questions, you'd have to know the material.

I was going to start writing the final over the long weekend. But then I got to wondering how to best organize my bank of questions. Right now each question is just an \item in a big file. I was thinking that I could attach \labels of some sort to the questions, categorizing them by topic and difficulty. And then I could write some sort of script that I could use to generate exams and review sheets. Even better if I could get the script to insert parameters to make different versions of the same questions.

Definitely a much more interesting task than simply writing (and then grading -- ugh) the final.