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XML for Chemical Education


Daniel C. Tofan
Chemistry Department, State University of New York
Stony Brook, New York


The IMS specifications provide standards for question and test item interoperability. These standards define XML encoding of items and offer support for basic response types, such as numbers, text, multiple choice etc. As part of the LUCID Project, which is developing an innovative web-based learning and assessment system along with materials for introductory college chemistry, we have developed XML formats for encoding a variety of chemical entities. Examples include isotopic symbols, molecular formulas, Lewis structures, chemical reactions, and equations with units. Student responses to assessment questions are converted to these formats for storage, and standard XML parsing utilities are used to convert from XML to Java objects for analysis. Tag sets for formatting styled text and for extending current IMS markup are also under development. The ensemble of these XML formats is intended to provided a framework for course management systems that are chemistry-aware and is called Chemical Education Markup Language, or ChEdML.

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10/10/03 to 10/14/03