Problem Authoring Videos

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Authoring Effective Homework Problems with WeBWork

Instructors: Davide Cervone, Gavin LaRose, Paul Pearson, and John Travis

Course Description: WeBWorK is an open source, web-based homework delivery system designed to make homework more effective and efficient for students of mathematics and the sciences. It has been used for over 15 years by hundreds of professors and in a wide variety of instructional environments. Participants in this PREP workshop will develop the technical skills necessary to identify, edit and create high-quality WeBWorK problems. These skills will be cultivated through a series of four interactive web conferences and concurrent on-line group work. Participants will be challenged to formulate problems so that they not only validate skills but also foster learning. Design tips for enhancing problem presentation will be proposed. An additional preparatory web conference will be scheduled to provide an overview of the WeBWorK interface for participants with no prior experience. Participants will become active in the greater WeBWorK community and make their own contributions to the WeBWork Open Problem Library.

Workshop 0

  • Introduce the WeBWorK online homework environment, create user accounts on a WeBWorK installation, demonstrate the student and instructor interface, and answer general questions related to the system.

Workshop 1

  • AM:
    • Introduction to WeBWorK course and conferencing software
    • Basic WeBWorK Problem Authoring - What a WeBWorK problem is, where it must be, and programming languages
    • overview: Perl/PG/PGML
    • overview of problem library
  • PM:
    • PGML
    • PG versus PGML
    • Purpose of PGML (Markdown for PG - plus extensions)
    • Using PGML in your problem
    • Formatting
    • More formatting

Workshop 2

  • AM:
    • Introduction to MathObjects and Contexts
  • PM:
    • MathObjects and Contexts
    • More PGML

Workshop 3

  • AM:
    • Finish MathObjects
    • Using documentation
    • PGML documentation
    • PGML templates on wiki and OPL
    • other resources, MathObjects documentation, etc
  • PM:
    • Problem techniques
    • graphs
    • making problems robust
    • debugging problems
    • scaffolding

Workshop 4

  • AM:
    • Good problems
    • WeBWorK’s history and future
    • Show and Tell
  • PM:
    • Advanced WeBWorK:
    • multi-answer and multi-part questions
    • embedded content
    • scaffolding
    • Review/overview/closing thoughts,
    • Archiving courses and saving problem sets, moving them to other courses or servers.

extensions such as gateway exams.