NewInWeBWorK2

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This article has been retained as a historical document. It is not up-to-date and the formatting may be lacking. Use the information herein with caution.

FAQ:

What is new and different in WeBWorK 2.0?

Answer:

Before discussing new items, let's discuss some fundamental philosophical differences between WeBWorK 1.9 and WeBWorK 2.0.

Homework sets are first defined and then assigned to students.

In WeBWorK 1.9 it was impossible to have a homework set which was not assigned to a student. Homework assignments were built by creating records for each student's assignment from the set definition file and from the class list database. The current behavior is to create a homework assignment by setting due dates and adding problems to the assignment from the problem library using the "Library Browser". Then one assigns this assignment to one or more students. A common practice is to assign it only to instructors and TA's so that they can check the assignment. Once it is debugged it is assigned to all students in the class.

Only one class list database, only one homework set database.

Text files are consulted only when importing or exporting class lists or set definitions. Operations use only the data in the webwork database.

The classlist.lst and set definition (set4.def) files are used only for saving or transferring data. In earlier versions of WeBWorK an assignment was created for each student in a class by consulting the class list file and the set definition file. This was called building a set. Once the set was built the data for each student was stored in the webwork database and could be modified from the web. These modifications didn't affect the original files, however, so for example, if the due date was changed in the webwork database on the web assignments built for new students would use the due date from the set definition file, and not the new date specified on the web.

In WeBWorK 2 only information from the webwork database is used in creating assignments. It's possible to create a homework assignment defined by a set definition file, but once that file has been imported into the webwork database the file is not consulted again. The same is true for the classlist file; it is consulted only when importing data from the file to the webwork database.

This situation is less confusing then the orginal WeBWorK scheme where some operations consulted classlist or set definition files, others databases and some operations consulted both.

New items

Add problem from the library to a homework set.

Use the "Library Browser" link to accomplish this.

Make homework sets visible or invisible.

Use the "Hmwk Set Editor" to accomplish this. Invisible sets are completely formed (each problem has been assigned a seed), but only instructors can view them. Students cannot. You can use this to complete build a homework assignment for each student and run spot checks on the assignment. It is no longer necessary to have a private course where you practice setting up the assignments. Once you are ready to have students view the assignments you can make the sets visible. (Note: Homework sets are visible by default, you must explicitly make them invisible if you don't want students to see them. Invisible sets can be viewed by the instructor, but the titles for these sets are listed in gray rather than black.

-- Main.MichaelGage - 10 Jul 2004
-- Main.SamHathaway - 11 Jul 2004 (reformatting)

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