In the past, MathXL has required Windows, Internet Explorer, and numerous Active-X controls to run. This made it unappealing to many users. Pearson just announced that MathXL V2, to be released in Fall 2008, will be platform independent (it only requires Flash Player V9). They're not making any such promises for MyMathLab (the instructor's side of the system), but I'm sure they're working on a platform-independent version of it as well.
Anyway, people interested in math-related question types may want to take a look at the MathXL demos to get an idea of what the competition looks like. MathXL may well represent the state of the art among systems not requiring a computer algebra system (CAS) back end.
One issue we had in a high school Math lab was trying to simply manage to keep all workstations current with Flash, especially where a workstation was not WIndows or OS X. As a result the first thing that caught my eye was the warning that you had to download the latest version to get the thing working....
One of the heralded benefits of the html on the web was simple transparency. Of course, for anyone trying to maintain something like Plato one becomes accustomed to trying to manage a multitude of plugins, a separate set for each platform, issues with where the plugins are installed etc. While IE requires MathPlayer, the simplicity of being able to view MathML with Firefox without any plugins can't be overstated....
For my money I would rather wait for the java to download than to have to provide half a dozen different sets of installation instructions for students trying to use software at home (been there, done that) though I am sure that there will be hundreds of districts at Pearson's trough and thousands of parents angry and frustrated at being unable to get things working so that their kids can do their homework online.....
Moreover, in MathXL there is a type of question system is which is named algorithmic, which can produce new questions with given conditions. This is another thing, which we can not do with Moodle.
Am I correct? Or, are there any methods to do these with Moodle?
We have many ways to allow both students and teachers to enter mathematical expressions or allow teachers to produce new questions with given conditions - some features are found from core moodle, some are not and you need to install some additional files or add some extra code to be able to use those features.
Start from http://docs.moodle.org/en/Mathematics and the other forum posts (Mathematics Tools forum)
Ian Wild has also written a nice book "Moodle 1.9 Math" (published last month) that explains some of the most common methods we use - you find it from:
http://www.packtpub.com/moodle-1-9-math/book and more info in
Ian's book is excellent for sure (I didn't had time to read it yet).
However, it pays little attention to commercial solutions like WIRIS. You can find more information and a demo site on WIRIS formula editor, online calculator and math quizzes module in
Just to clarify that focus of the book is on free solutions. Don't worry Ramon: WIRIS gets a mention .