eLearning Innovations and Partnerships in
Science and Engineering (eLIPSE)

SmartAss, short for SmartAssignments, is a FREE online question and solution generator designed to improve students’ mathematical skills and intuition. This open-access system allows teaching staff and students to create an unlimited number of questions covering over 100 topics, ranging from order of operations through to calculus and linear algebra.

How does it work?

The system automatically generates a suite of random questions and corresponding fully worked, formatted solutions to every question. The solutions clearly and unambiguously reproduce the steps that students would typically take when correctly solving the problem.

This provides students with a mechanism for concentrating on the concepts which cause them difficulties, thus enabling inquiry-based learning and improving their technical and creative abilities. SmartAss implements a powerful learning aid that provides support for both introductory and advanced mathematical concepts and processes. It allows instructors to efficiently and easily create resources for illustrative examples, practice materials and individualised assessment

The tool is directly usable in all discipline areas that require quantitative skills and freely available to the education community as open-source software. The modular design allows components to be easily redesigned and extended.

Project team/Contacts
Title First Name Last Name Affiliation Role
in ​the project
Mr Michael Jennings School of Mathematics and Physics Lead CI msj@maths.uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 53255
      eLIPSE Software development team elipse@eait.uq.edu.au
+61 7 334 68018
Project Status

eLIPSE work on the SmartAss project is complete.


Technologies Used




SmartAss was developed as part of a 2006 Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) grant, A new enabling technology for learning and teaching quantitative skills (Project Reference CG6-24).  A proposal for further development of SmartAss was subsequently awarded funding under the UQ Technology-Enhanced Learning Grant Scheme for 2015.

  • Jennings, M., & Adams, P. (2011). An open-access online question generator with fully worked solutions. In: Barry Kissane, Proceedings of the AAMT Conference and 33nd Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia. MERGA34, Alice Springs. 3-7 July 2011.

  • Kvyatkovskyy, A., Adams, P., & Zinchenko, M. (2007). A new enabling technology for teaching and learning quantitative skills. In V. Grebenyuk, V. Kinshuk, & V. Semenets (Eds.), Proceedings of the 11th Annual International Conference on Education and Virtuality. (pp 282–291). Ukraine.