Preview/Check Answer/Submit Answer Button Behavior

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Preview/Check Answer/Submit Answer Button Behavior

Instructors new to WeBWorK are often confused by the three types of "submit" buttons on a WeBWorK question.


Overview

  • The "Preview" button checks the syntax of the answers, nothing more, and does not count as an "attempt"
  • The "Check Answer" button checks the answer and the syntax, but no permanent record of the result is recorded.
  • The "Submit Answer" button checks the answer and the result of the attempt is entered into the permanent record of the student. This subtracts one from the number of attempts remaining if the number of attempts is limited.


Student view, expected behavior

  • The Preview button is always present when the question can be seen at all and checks only the syntax of the answer. It should not indicate whether the answer is correct in any way -- no message about correctness, no color coding indicating correct answers and no change in any of the reported grades.
  • The Submit Answer button is the standard mechanism for submitting an answer for grading. It is shown during the period between the open date and the due date. Color coded responses, and messages about correct and incorrect answers, and current grade for the problem are expected responses. If $showPartialCorrectAnswers=0 in the question then the messages should not indicate which answers are correct and which are not --only that some of the answers are not correct.
  • The Check Answer button replaces the Submit Answer button after the due date. Answers can still be submitted for grading but the resulting scores are not permanently recorded and do not affect the student's record. The other behaviors are the same as "Submit Answer" except that the permanent grade (as opposed the current grade) for the question should not change.



Instructor view, expected behavior

  • All three buttons are always shown in the time between the open date and the due date. The "Submit Answer" button disappears after the due date.
  • When "acting as" a student both the "Submit Answer" and "Check Answer" button behave in the same way -- namely the grade is not permanently recorded. (An instructor cannot answer a question for a student. This behavior can be changed in the configuration file global.conf)
  • The "Submit Answer" button is included when "acting as" a student because instructors became uncomfortable when they didn't see the "Submit Answer" button and worried that their students would not be allowed to answer the question. When the "Submit Answer" button disappears that is an indication that the set is closed (either before the open date or after the due date).
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