Exam Builder over the internet

Ken_Broun's picture


I am sort of fishing here to get an idea of how many faculty/departments/schools are using Exam Builder to deliver quizzes/ homework to students.  Our Physics/Astronomy department have been using some of the propriatary homework services that are out there, such as, Webassign and Mastering Physics, etc.  for past several years.  We have concerns that these services are jacking the prices up as the demand for these services increases.  I have been motivated to seek alternatives that may save the students money when its all said and done.

Many years ago, I embarked on trying to get Exam Builder set up on a server that was loaned to me by IT.  I was definitely out there by myself trying to make it work.  I didn't get it to work properly.  Now my collegues are expressing concerns about the prices that students are paying for these homework services, so I may have more people in my camp who would like to look at Exam Builder for the web again.

I use exam builder for all of my printed physics tests that are used in class and so I am fimiliar with how to generate the test questions and tests.  I am just not Microsoft Server Certified.  However, now I do see a way around that.  Regardless, that is where I'm at now.

1.  What I would like to know is who is using Exam Builder to deliver homework over the internet and

2.  What kinds of issues have come up in doing so?

I would appreciate hearing from you about your experiences with EB.

I will check the forum for your kind help. If you want to speak to me, send me an email


Thanks in advance,

Ken Broun

Tidewater Community College



tomprice's picture

I used the Exam Builder and

I used the Exam Builder and EBWEB extensively during the last few years of my academic career to create practice sets and graded quizzes for calculus and linear algebra. It took a little work to learn how to use the EB correctly but it was worth the effort. I did need to get some help from a CS student to help me set up the server for EBWEB; most of the help involved setting up a secure log on page that recorded and reported quiz grades. (Students could also view their in class exam grades on this page.)

Despite significant efforts by the MacKichan technical support people, one problem lingered. EBWEB did not work correctly on my server when I used math input boxes. I do not know the status of this difficulty.

Stid-Grenoble's picture

I experienced the same

I experienced the same problem with a recent version of swp on our server, but with mupad c.a.s.

In fact, the EBWeb/bin folder need to contain a copy of the file swfcns.mu that you can find in the swp55 folder. It explains that the inputfield questions work well with the local version and not with the EBWeb server version.


I'm interested by the different process of grading with the inputfield. I want to use other mupad grading procedures than the elementary proc  "givecredit" we can find in the file gradprocdef.mu.

We can find in the same maple file the "comparestr" grading procedure, and if I understand well,  it is for testing equality of one string among others (passing in arguments). I have converted it in mupad programming langage and copy it in the gradprocdef.mu file.  But, despite all my efforts to try to pass a word in the inputfield, I didn't success to use it.

The grading procedure works well, but the parameter(s) not.

Indeed, the "response" parameter that we send to the grading process is always modified as if it was a mathematical formula, (each character is considered as a variable and converted) while we want it to be sent as an unmodified string. How can we avoid this?

The "comparestr" proc seems to be a tool to test an open question with one word to answer, not a formula. It would greatly enrich our tests with vocabulary open questions...is there a trick to use it?


Some years ago Jon Stenerson

Some years ago Jon Stenerson helped me set up EBWeb on our server, and it worked well enough. The setup for the server and for the client machines was nontrivial. After a couple of years, there was a convergence of events that put all this to an end. First, our server got a virus, went down, and it took a week to rebuild. After that, the powers that be did not want to re-install on the server any of the executables needed for EBWeb. Another problem related to the fact that the EBWeb setup used Access 97. Our school switched to Office 2000, then 2003, now 2007. I don't know whether EBWeb can use the later versions of Access. I still use EB all the time to generate a variety of print exams, and I would like to see further development of this wonderful product. I feel that EBWeb would do better to use a text file based setup, perhaps comma separated values, to record scores. Bottom line: I am ready to give EBWeb another try. [I'm on good terms with the server guy.]