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A mini framework to implement auto-evaluated exercises in Jupyter notebooks

Project description


nbautoeval is a very lightweight python framework for creating auto-evaluated exercises inside a jupyter (python) notebook.

two flavours of exercises are supported at this point :

  • code-oriented : given a text that describes the expectations, students are invited to write their own code, and can then see the outcome on teacher-defined data samples, compared with the results obtained through a teacher-provided solution, with a visual (green/red) feedback
  • quizzes : a separate module allows to create quizzes

At this point, due to lack of knowledge/documentation about open/edx (read: the version running at FUN), there is no available code for exporting the results as grades or anything similar (hence the autoeval name).

There indeed are provisions in the code to accumulate statistics on all attempted corrections, as an attempt to provide feedback to teachers.

Try it on mybinder

Click the badge below to see a few sample demos under - it's all in the demo-notebooks subdir.

NOTE the demo notebooks ship under a .py format and require jupytext to be installed before you can open them in Jupyter.



This was initially embedded into a MOOC on python2 that ran for the first time on the French FUN platform in Fall 2014. It was then duplicated into a MOOC on bioinformatics in Spring 2016 where it was named nbautoeval for the first time, but still embedded in a greater git module.

The current git repo is created in June 2016 from that basis, with the intention to be used as a git subtree from these 2 repos, and possibly others since a few people have proved interested.


pip install nbautoeval



Currently supports the following types of exercises

  • ExerciseFunction : the student is asked to write a function
  • ExerciseRegexp : the student is asked to write a regular expression
  • ExerciseGenerator : the student is asked to write a generator function
  • ExerciseClass : tests will happen on a class implementation

A teacher who wishes to implement an exercise needs to write 2 parts :

  • One python file that defines an instance of an exercise class; this in a nutshell typically involves

    • providing one solution (let's say a function) written in Python
    • providing a set of input data
    • plus optionnally various tweaks for rendering results
  • One notebook that imports this exercise object, and can then take advantage of it to write jupyter cells that typically

    • invoke example() on the exercise object to show examples of the expected output
    • invite the student to write their own code
    • invoke correction() on the exercise object to display the outcome.


Here again there will be 2 parts at work :

  • The recommended way is to define quizzes in YAML format :

    • one YAML file can contain several quizzes - see examples in the yaml/ subdir
    • and each quiz contain a set of questions
    • grouping questions into quizzes essentially makes sense wrt the maximal number of attempts
    • mostly all the pieces can be written in markdown (currently we use myst_parser)
  • then one invokes run_yaml_quiz() from a notebook to display the test

    • this function takes 2 arguments, one to help locate the YAML file
    • one to spot the quiz inside the YAML file
    • run with debug=True to pinpoint errors in the source

results and storage

Regardless of their type all tests have an exoname that is used to store information about that specific test; for quizzes it is recommended to use a different name than the quiz name used in run_yaml_quiz() so that students cant guess it too easily.

stuff is stored in 2 separate locations :

  • ~/.nbautoeval.trace contain one JSON line per attempt (correction or submit)
  • ~/ for quizzes only, preserves previous choices, number of attempts

Known issues


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