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How to create a GeoGebra exercise with automated feedback

Image by Christian Kaindl

Let’s say you’re teaching Geometry and you want your students to practice drawing geometric shapes. Unfortunately, you don’t have the time to make sure they get personal attention. It would be great if you could give your students automated feedback.

GeoGebra is a great tool if you want to practice drawing shapes digitally. It allows you to draw lines, polygons, circles, intersection points, perpendicular lines and much more. It’s also a lot easier to use than alternatives like Matplotlib and GnuPlot and it has a huge user base. That’s one problem solved. But now you still need to look at their answers and provide basic feedback yourself.

That’s where our platform comes in (for a quick demo, see our open courses). It is great at giving feedback and recently we added an exercise type especially for GeoGebra. That means that it’s now also possible to give students automated feedback based on the answer they have constructed! This way you can skip giving basic feedback and focus on more important misconceptions.

Creating an exercise

To give an impression of the possibilities, we will now explain how to create an exercise where the student has to reflect a line over another line.

To get started, create a new GeoGebra applet and hide the axes and grid. We will just be drawing shapes and don’t want to distract students. If you want to make the exercise easier you can customize the toolbar and remove unnecessary tools. In this case we need to at least remove the reflect tools, because that would make the exercise too easy. When GeoGebra has been set up to your liking you construct the exercise.

Line g and f, Point A on line g and point B on the intersection of g and f

Now finish the exercise in the way you want the student to do it.

The reflection of line g over f

Of course, we don’t want the students to see any of these objects they have to draw, so let’s hide them again.

Now we want to give the student different feedback based on how close they are to the solution. When their answer is completely wrong and the circle around B hasn’t been drawn we will give them a pointer about the circle. If they have drawn the circle around B, but the reflected line is still missing, we will tell them to create a triangle that has one of its sides on the reflected line.

This feedback will help the student get to the correct answer step by step and avoids overwhelming them.

An animation showing different feedback on wrong answers

But what if the student misinterpreted the question and reflected the wrong line? We can even give specific feedback for that case.

The reflection of line f over g

The result

Awesome! With a bit of effort we just created an exercise that will walk a student through reflecting a line over another line with feedback for common mistakes. This will save us a lot of effort in answering student’s questions.

By the way, this isn’t the only way to use GeoGebra in our platform. Besides creating an object that the student has to match, you can also determine the correctness of the answer yourself inside the applet. Or just use a GeoGebra applet in the text of a question or on a theory page for clarification.

Are you interested in creating GeoGebra exercises or do you want to know more about our platform? Feel free to contact us.

P.S. If you’re already a user of our platform: we have created a couple of GeoGebra exercise templates, including one for the example above, named “geogebra reflect line”. We also have an exercise manual with more detailed instructions on how to create all sorts of exercise types.

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