A simple and efficient markup tool to generate drawing-based online assessments

Nicolas Nytko, Matthew West, Mariana Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Due to an increase in student enrollment in engineering programs, many instructors are now adopting automated computer-based systems to deliver homework and exams to students. Commercial and free online learning systems such as Gradescope, Pearson MasteringEngineering and PraireLearn give instructors the ability to import or create auto-graded questions involving a mix of multiple-choice, multiple-select, numerical, and symbolic input. However, the ability to auto-grade questions that involve graphing or sketching is still very limited. This constraint has great impact in introductory engineering classes where the ability to hand-draw diagrams and graphs is an important learning objective. For example, drawing free-body diagrams in Statics, bending-moment diagrams in Strength of Materials, and circuit diagrams in Electronics. In this study, we present an online tool that uses a simple HTML markup language to create automated drawing-based questions, allowing students to draw diagrams, graphs and design solutions on the computer that are instantly auto-graded by the computer. While solving homework questions, students receive immediate feedback about their drawing, and can practice this skill until they achieve mastery. Instructors can also use the drawing tool to generate randomized drawing questions for computer-based exams and homework. A key advantage of this new tool over previous work is that the question author does not need to write any explicit programming code.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number92
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 22 2020
Event2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jun 22 2020Jun 26 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'A simple and efficient markup tool to generate drawing-based online assessments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this