# CRAN Release of R/exams 2.3-3 and 2.3-4

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New minor releases of the R/exams package to CRAN, containing a new dedicated function for online quizzes/exams in the Canvas learning management system. Moreover, the update provides a range of smaller improvements and bug fixes.

Version 2.3-3 and subsequently 2.3-4 of the one-for-all exams generator R/exams have been published on the Comprehensive R Archive Network at https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=exams. In the next days this will propagate to other CRAN mirrors along with Windows and OS X binary packages. Version 2.3-4 was necessary in addition to 2.3-3 to avoid CRAN check problems on platforms where `pandoc`

is not available (currently, OS X and Solaris). The development version of the package is now version 2.3-5 on R-Forge at http://R-Forge.R-project.org/forum/?group_id=1337.

## Canvas support

A new interface `exams2canvas()`

for the open-source Canvas learning management system has been added. This is the first dedicated Canvas interface after previously some indirect support was available through either `exams2blackboard()`

or `exams2qti12()`

. However, both of these had certain limitations for Canvas that the new function aims to overcome. The function has only received limited testing so far and is likely to improve in future version. Please report any problems to the package maintainer.

Essentially, `exams2canvas()`

is a wrapper function to `exams2qti12()`

along with a few Canvas-specific modifications of the QTI XML specification. Supported exercise types are: single-choice, multiple-choice, numeric, and string (but not yet cloze). Embedding mathematical notation, graphics, and data supplements also works.

## Mathematical notation in Moodle

The default `converter`

in `exams2moodle()`

has been changed to `"pandoc-mathjax"`

. Thus, instead of relying on the browser to render mathematical notation from MathML, the MathJax plugin is now assumed to be enabled on the Moodle server (which is the default when setting up a new Moodle server). To employ MathML as in previous versions one can use `converter = NULL`

. This either selects `"pandoc-mathml"`

(or equivalently `"pandoc"`

) or `"ttm"`

depending on the markup used in the exercises.

## Written exams (NOPS)

- Assure in
`nops_scan()`

that scanned image file names contain no spaces. - Added
`\usepackage[...]{babel}`

support to language specification of`exams2nops()`

. In addition to a new`Babel: ...`

field, the language`.dcf`

can also provide a`Header: ...`

field, e.g., for changing the font encoding or adding further options. - In
`nops_eval()`

duplicated sheets (original + replacement) were sometimes omitted even if the student ID was just 000000 (i.e., not read correctly by`nops_scan()`

). A check has been added that avoids this.

## Improvements and bug fixes

`exams_skeleton()`

has been updated. The new default is`markup = "markdown"`

as this appears to be the more common choice for newcomers to R/exams. Furthermore, the list of exercises in the`demo-*.R`

scripts has been updated to use newer exercises as well (along with links to the web page: http://www.R-exams.org/templates/).- Fixed bugs in
`exams2qti21()`

(and hence`exams2openolat()`

) for certain combinations of`maxchars`

specifications in`string`

exercises. - For convenience, when
`exams2html(..., converter = "pandoc-mathjax")`

,`mathjax = TRUE`

is added automatically (unless explicitly switched off). - The
`print()`

method for`exams_metainfo`

objects received a new`block`

argument so that`print(exams_metainfo(x), which = 1, block = 5)`

prints the metainformation (type/solution) of the first exam in the object`x`

(output from any`exams2xyz()`

function) in blocks of 5 exercises. Implemented for the blog about R/exams at Texas A&M International University. - For
`exams2openolat()`

the handling of the internal pandoc fixups was extended to replace`align="right"`

in tables with`style="text-align: right;"`

(and analogously for “left” and “center”). - Changed the default of
`fix_choice`

in`exams2arsnova()`

. Current versions of the official ARSnova server have the LaTeX rendering in the choice options switched off. Hence, by setting`fix_choice = TRUE`

by default the LaTeX math markup is removed. - Add
`\setkeys{Gin}{keepaspectratio}`

in the default`exams2pdf()`

template for pandoc (`plain8.tex`

) and in`exams2nops()`

. This is necessitated by a change in pandoc that now always sets`height=\textheight`

when`width=`

is specified, see the pandoc FAQ. - Added an
`envir`

argument in`exams2moodle()`

that is passed on to`xweave()`

.

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