External grader is a step where checking and grading of a learner’s solution is provided by an external grading system created and realized by the course instructor independently of Stepik.
Sometimes technical courses require more complicated grading functions than existing step options. Via External grader, instructors can integrate their own grading system to Stepik.
This step type is especially useful in programming courses for assignments with a complicated code as a required solution. External grader can initiate tests that are set for such code by the course instructor and then return the results to the learner.
The workflow of External grader
Creation of the External grader step
- Read Stepik’s documentation for this step type - https://stepik.org/lesson/50675/step/1;
- Read edX’s documentation and make sure you are familiar with XQueue interface, which Stepik uses for communication with your External grader;
- Activate Enterprise subscription plan for the course;
- In one week in advance, ask Stepik support via the feedback form, to create a new queue from which your External grader will be extracted;
- Alongside the queue name, we will give you a username and a password to connect to XQueue. Note that you can only have one queue for all assignments in your course(s);
- Edit the assignment configuration.
We recommend configuring your External grader in such a way that when it receives an error from the server, it tries to get a submission again. This behavior of the checking system will make it more stable and will allow you to take submissions even in the case of a single server error in the response.