Customizing how the student version of an assignment looks

See also

Creating and grading assignments
Documentation for nbgrader assign, nbgrader autograde, and nbgrader feedback.
nbgrader assign
Command line options for nbgrader assign
Configuration options
Details on nbgrader_config.py

“Autograded answer” cells

Default behavior

By default, nbgrader assign will replace regions beginning with BEGIN SOLUTION and END SOLUTION comment delimeters with:

# YOUR CODE HERE
raise NotImplementedError

Note that the code stubs will be properly indented based on the indentation of the solution delimeters. For example, if your original code is:

def foo(bar):
    """Prints `bar`."""
    ### BEGIN SOLUTION
    print(bar)
    ### END SOLUTION

then the solution region will become:

def foo(bar):
    """Prints `bar`."""
    # YOUR CODE HERE
    raise NotImplementedError

These solution comment delimeters are independent of the programming language used and the number of comment characters used in the source notebook. For example, this default will work for both Python:

def foo(bar):
    """Prints `bar`."""
    ### BEGIN SOLUTION
    print(bar)
    ### END SOLUTION

and JavaScript:

function foo (bar){
    // BEGIN SOLUTION
    console.log(bar);
    // END SOLUTION
}

If the solution delimeters aren’t present, nbgrader will replace the entire contents of all manually graded cells and autograded cells with the above code stub (if it is a code cell) or a text stub (if it is a Markdown cell), the default of which is YOUR ANSWER HERE.

Changing the defaults

If you need to change these defaults (e.g., if your class doesn’t use Python, or isn’t taught in English), the values can be configured in the nbgrader_config.py file. Most relevant is the code_stub option to the ClearSolutions preprocessor, which is the part of nbgrader that actually clears the solutions when producing the student version of the notebook.

The solution delimeters are independent of the programming language used, however the code stub depends on the language of the notebook, the default of which is Python. You can specify solution delimeters for any languages you want by setting the ClearSolutions.begin_solution_delimeter, ClearSolutions.end_solution_delimeter, and ClearSolutions.code_stub config options, thus allowing you to include notebooks of different languages within the same assignment:

c = get_config()
c.ClearSolutions.begin_solution_delimeter = "BEGIN MY SOLUTION"
c.ClearSolutions.end_solution_delimeter = "END MY SOLUTION"
c.ClearSolutions.code_stub = {
    "python": "# your code here\nraise NotImplementedError",
    "javascript": "// your code here\nthrow new Error();"
}

Note

Note that the code stub itself doesn’t have to cause an error (though that is the easiest thing to do, in my opinion) – it all depends on how you write your test cases. The only constraint is that when autograding happens, the behavior is such that:

  1. If the tests pass, the student gets full credit.
  2. If the tests fail, the student gets no credit.

So if the student hasn’t given an answer, the tests should ideally fail by default. How they fail is totally up to how you write your test cases.

Similarly, the text stub that the contents of Markdown cells get replaced with can be configured through the ClearSolutions.text_stub option:

c.ClearSolutions.text_stub = "Please replace this text with your response."

“Autograder tests” cells with hidden tests

New in version 0.5.0.

Default behavior

By default, nbgrader assign will remove tests wrapped within the BEGIN HIDDEN TESTS and END HIDDEN TESTS comment delimeters, for example:

assert squares(1) = [1]
### BEGIN HIDDEN TESTS
assert squares(2) = [1, 4]
### END HIDDEN TESTS

will be released as:

assert squares(1) = [1]

These comment delimeters are independent of the programming language used and the number of comment characters used in the source notebook. For example, this default will work for both Python:

assert squares(1) = [1]
### BEGIN HIDDEN TESTS
assert squares(2) = [1, 4]
### END HIDDEN TESTS

and JavaScript:

function assert(answer, expected, msg) {
    correct = ...;  // validate the answer
    if (!correct) {
        throw msg || "Incorrect answer";
    }
}

assert(squares(1), [1]);
// BEGIN HIDDEN TESTS
assert(squares(2), [1, 4]);
// END HIDDEN TESTS

Note

Keep in mind that wrapping all tests (for an “Autograder tests” cell) in this special syntax will remove all these tests in the release version and the students will only see a blank cell. It is recommended to have at least one or more visible tests, or a comment in the cell for the students to see.

Changing the defaults

If you need to change these defaults (e.g., if your class isn’t taught in English), the values can be configured in the nbgrader_config.py file. Most relevant are the options to the ClearHiddenTests preprocessor, which is the part of nbgrader that actually removes the tests when producing the student version of the notebook.

You can specify hidden test delimeters you want by setting the ClearHiddenTests.begin_test_delimeter and ClearHiddenTests.end_test_delimeter config options:

c = get_config()
c.ClearHiddenTests.begin_test_delimeter = "VERBORGE TOESTE BEGIN"
c.ClearHiddenTests.end_test_delimeter = "VERBORGE TOESTE EINDIG"