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WeBWorK: An environment to deliver web-based homeworks and more Dr. Christelle Scharff Research Day Wednesday, May 2 2002

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Agenda Presentation of WeBWorK General presentation Educational advantages Features – Students/Instructors User feedbacks Creation of homeworks WeBWorK at Pace WeBWorK and Oliver Perspectives

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What is WeBWorK? http://webwork.math.rochester.edu/ WeBWorK is a software freely available to educational institutions. Developed by University of Rochester It is a web-based environment to deliver and check homeworks. Mainly used in Mathematics (algebra, calculus) and Physical Science (physics, chemistry, astronomy)

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Who is using WeBWorK? 30 institutions around the country University of Rochester Columbia University Harvard University McGill University SUNY Stony Brook Pace University

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Other Course Management Systems General CMS: WebCT Blackboard Specialized in mathematics questions: e-grade WebAssign Prometheus

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Educational advantages of WeBWorK Immediate feedback on homeworks for students. The overwhelming majority of students complete all of their homework correctly -- (sometimes after several attempts). It's possible to capture detailed information about students' approaches to homework. This suggests possibilities for early intervention.

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WeBWork Features - Students Easy of access – Internet connection and browser. Each homework can be printed. Immediate feedback as to whether the answer is correct. Every problem has a Feedback button which sends an e-mail message directly to the instructor.Feedback

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WeBWork Features - Instructor Easy of access and use – Internet connection, browser, editor. Management of the course: Initial class list, passwords and permissions Add and remove students Change passwords, login names Create problem sets (with solutions) Due date Individualized version of the problem for each student. Create and administer an exam

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WeBWorK Features – Instructor (continued) Monitor the progress of the students: All the class Monitor the problems of a particular student Email to students Automated grading and delivery of solutions at a specified date.

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User feedbacks + “You learn more from WeBWorK because you know right away if your answer is right”. + “You can’t cheat. It shows you know the material”. + “I can keep trying until I get it right”. - “It is too easy, you can guess the answer.” - “If someone is determined to cheat then they will cheat. WeBWorK does not make it easier or harder.” - “WeBWorK is to simplify the HW process not to help you understand better”.

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Surveys results – 200 students 22% of the students said they preferred paper-based homeworks to web-based homeworks. 8% of the class said they felt it was easy to cheat on homeworks.

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Create problem sets Language: PG (Problem Generating) Perl, HTML and LaTeX Matching problems Multiple choice problems And more … “Ask the questions you should rather than the questions you can.”

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WeBWorK is extensible New macros can be written to test students answers. New macros can be written to ask new types of questions, to include java applets, to interface WeBWorK with another software etc. Example: Oliver

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Problem example

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Question 1 – Source code # A question requiring a string answer. $string = 'world'; BEGIN_TEXT Complete the sentence: $BR \{ ans_rule(20) \} $string; $PAR END_TEXT ANS( str_cmp( "Hello") );

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Question 2 – Source code # A question requiring a numerical answer. #define the variables $a=random(1,9,1); $b=random(2,9,1); BEGIN_TEXT Enter the sum of these two numbers: $BR \($a + $b = \) \{ans_rule(10) \} $PAR END_TEXT $sum = $a + $b; ANS( num_cmp( $sum ) );

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Question 3 – Source code # A question requiring an expression as an answer BEGIN_TEXT Enter the derivative of \[ f(x) = x^{$b} \] $BR \(f '(x) = \) \{ ans_rule(30) \} $PAR END_TEXT $new_exponent = $b-1; $ans2 = "$b*x^($new_exponent)"; ANS( fun_cmp( $ans2 ) );

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WeBWorK at Pace CS361 To deliver functional programming homeworks http://webwork.csis.pace.edu/webwork/ demoCourse/ http://webwork.csis.pace.edu/webwork/ demoCourse/

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Oliver and WeBWorK Oliver stands for OnLIne inference and VERification system. It is a web-based system for teaching propositional logic proofs (designed by Wildenberg and Scharff – FIE 2002). It is used at SUNY Stony Brook. It has been integrated in WeBWorK for online support and grading.

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Description of the system

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Further Directions Use of WeBWorK in CS361 and CS387 Interface of WeBWork with a software verifying proofs by refutation (propositional logic). Use of WeBWorK for Online courses.

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References http://webwork.math.rochester.edu/doc s/ http://webwork.math.rochester.edu/doc s/

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