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.
WeBWorK problems should be written with the use of MathObjects, PG and PGML. MathObjects package things like numbers, vectors, matrices, etc., into a convenient form that controls formatting and includes an answer checker. PG provides many macros that generate random numbers, graphics, compute statistical distributions, etc. PGML gives authors finer control over a problem's display, and helps organize code in a way that is easy to maintain. Many older problems were written without PGML, and some were written without MathObjects, but that practice is now strongly discouraged except in very specific circumstances.
Most of the templates mentioned above use MathObjects and many use PGML macros (look for "MathObjects.pl" and "PGML.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.
- PGML -- information on authoring problem using the PGML markup language.
- 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.
Templates, programming examples, and problem libraries from the University of Lethbridge
Sean Fitzpatrick (firstname.lastname@example.org) contributed the following:
This summer, one of my colleagues hired a student to help her go through all of the libraries, marcos, contexts, etc. and put together a collection of templates and programming examples. I got permission from her to put everything on a public GitHub repository; you can find the fruits of their efforts here:
The programming examples are not questions. They're an attempt at producing an exhaustive list of every possible way of inputting and evaluating something using the various contexts. In the documentation there's a nice flowchart for deciding which context to use for a given problem.
I hope this is useful. It's the beginnings of what will hopefully be a longer project (done mostly over summers), so it's not yet as polished as it could be.
Reference documents and manuals
- Problem Authoring Videos, recordings from the PREP 2015 Problem Authoring Workshop.
- POD -- POD (for WeBWorK/PG 2.15) = "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.
- WeBWorK Problem Authoring Tutorial aimed at people who already know TeX, but need to learn about Perl, PG, and MathObjects (pdf file).
- Notes on training authors, and suggestions for further documentation-- Sam Hathaway
- The Good Questions project at Cornell University