testwhat uses the pipe operator (%>%) from the magrittr package to ‘chain together’ SCT functions. Every chain starts with the ex() function call, which holds the exercise state. This exercise state contains all the information that is required to check if an exercise is correct, which are:

• the student submission and the solution as text, and their corresponding parse trees.
• a reference to the student environment and the solution environment.
• the output and errors that were generated when executing the student code.

As SCT functions are chained together with %>%, the exercise state is copied and adapted into so-called child states to zoom in on particular parts of the code.

## Example

Consider the following snippet of markdown that represents part of an exercise:

@solution

r
x <- 4
if (x > 0) {
print("x is positive")
}


@sct

r
ex() %>% check_if_else() %>% {
check_cond(.) %>% check_code(c("x\\s+>\\s+0", "0\\s+<\\s+x")) # chain A
check_if(.) %>% check_function("print") %>% check_arg("x") %>% check_equal() # chain B
}

• check_if_else() will check whether an if statement was coded, and will afterwards ‘zoom in’ on the if statement only.
• Chain A: check_cond() will consequently zoom in on the condition part of the if statement, so check_code() will only look inside this fragment of the student submission.
• Chain B: Similarly, check_if() starts from the if statement, and zooms in on the body of the if statement, after which check_function() will only look for the print call inside this fragment of the student submission.

To further explain this example, assume the following student submission:

x <- 4
if (x < 0) {
print("x is negative")
}

In chain A, this is what happens:

• check_if_else() considers the entire submission (as contained in ex()), and produces a child state that contains the if statements in student and solution:

# solution
if (x > 0) {
print("x is positive")
}

# student
if (x < 0) {
print("x is negative")
}
• check_cond() considers the state above produced by check_if_else(), and produces a child state with only the condition parts of the if statements:

# solution
x > 0

# student
x < 0
• check_code() considers the state above produced by check_cond(), and tries to match the regexes to x < 0 student snippet. None of the regexes match, so the test fails.

Assume now that the student corrects the mistake, and submits the following (which is still not correct):

x <- 4
if (x > 0) {
print("x is negative")
}

Chain A will go through the same steps and will pass this time as x > 0 in the student submission now matches one of the regexes. In Chain B, this is what happens:

• check_if() considers the state produced by check_if_else(), and produces a child state with only the body parts of the if statements:

# solution
print("x is positive")

# student
print("x is negative")
• check_function() considers the state above produced by check_if(), and tries to find the function print(). Next, it produces a state with references to the different arguments that were specified and their values:

# solution
{ "x": "x is positive" }

# student
{ "x": "x is negative" }
• check_arg() checks if the argument x is specified, and produces a child state that zooms in on the actual value of x:

# solution
"x is positive"

# student
"x is negative"
• Finally, check_equal() compares the equality of the two ‘focused’ arguments. They are not equal, so the check fails.