Category:Authors:New authors landing page
Most people write problems starting from templates. Problems from the OPL can be modified to suit individual needs, or existing problem templates can be used to create new problems.
- Problem Techniques This page lists templates for WeBWorK problems in alphabetical order. This collection of templates can also be accessed through the associated category page: Category:Problem Techniques
- Subject Area Templates Some may find it useful to use this page where templates are ordered by subject area.
- Sample_Problems A third page with a collection of templates is this page of sample problems. These are very basic examples that illustrate the structure of a WeBWorK problem.
New WeBWorK problems should be written in PGML, using MathObjects. PGML implements markup, similar to the popular Markdown language, that gives authors greater control over formatting, and makes WeBWorK code easier to understand and maintain. MathObjects package mathematical entities such as numbers, formulas, vectors, matrices, sets, etc., into objects that behave in a natural way and contain methods for checking students' answers. Before PGML was available problems were written directly in PG, a set of macros that offer less control over formatting but are still required in some specific situations. Most older problems were written with PG using MathObjects. A few are written without MathObjects, but except in very specific cases that approach is strongly discouraged because it makes makes the code much more difficult to write and maintain.
Most of the templates mentioned above use the PGML and MathObject Macros. (Look for the lines "PGML.pl" and "MathObjects.pl" in the LoadMacros section of the code). For those who would like to read up on the basics of coding problems the following pages are recommended:
- Problem Authoring Background Information -- includes a PG language overview, some comments about editing problems and ensuring server access.
- MathObjects -- information on authoring problems using MathObjects.
- MathObjects reference table -- a quick reference.
- Introduction to Contexts -- how to use Numeric, Complex, Vector, Matrix, Interval, and other contexts in problems.
- Reduction rules for MathObject Formulas -- a table of The Reduction Rules and their Actions.
- Davide Cervone's presentation on MathObjects to PREP, June, 2014
- PGML -- information on authoring problem using the PGML markup language.
- Template 4 -- the standard outline of a problem using PGML, which includes a tagging and description section, an initialization section, a problem set-up section, a text section, and optional answer and solution sections.
- Davide Cervone's presentation on PGML to PREP, June, 2014
- PG-Labs -- try out code fragments on line including code fragments containing MathObjects and PGML. This is a quick way to learn the fine points of the MathObject and PGML syntax.
Reference documents and manuals
- Intro to Problem Authoring Introduction to the basics of Perl, MathObjects, and PGML (Nov 2020) -- includes problem templates
- Problem Authoring Videos Complete course of streamed recordings from the PREP 2015 Workshop on Problem Authoring
- Applets, how to embed Flash and Java applets into WeBWorK questions.
- SequentialProblems revealing the problem one step at a time
- POD -- POD = "plain old documentation" -- original documentation embedded in the code files -- this is the place to find the most complete and most technical description of macro behaviors.
- Doxygen Doxygen compiles a list of all the subroutines occurring in all the files from the webwork2 and pg directories. Can be used to find where a macro command is defined.
- WeBWorK Problem Authoring Tutorial aimed at people who already know TeX, but need to learn about Perl, PG, and MathObjects (pdf file) -- (by Paul Pearson).
- Customize Course This page includes a bit of code that allows student to obtain a new version of a problem.
- Notes on training authors, and suggestions for further documentation-- Sam Hathaway
- The Good Questions project at Cornell University 
- Converting CAPA problems for use with WeBWorK (This article has been retained as a historical document.)
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