>I like the examples you have put up. It wasn't clear to me from the
>examples whether or not the score from WIMS was being correctly
>transmitted back to the webwork problem (the webwork problem still
>read "problem not attempted") but this seems a minor glitch --
>possibly due to my browser cache.
In the current version of the interface, I do not have WIMS reporting
back to the WeBWorK DB unless the problem is completely finished and
WIMS reports a numerical score.
>As to whether you could do this in webwork.
I think the disadvantage of this would be that a student could cheat
unusual level of computer savvy on the part of the student (or some
>These latter examples are not particularly interactive, but it would be
>possible to modify the answer evaluators and the grading mechanism to make
>it (1) give clues as to how close you are and (2) make the grade depend on
>the number of attempts. Both of these mechanisms are available to the
>instructor, one doesn't need to modify any core WeBWorK code, however, some
>assembly is required to program these evaluators and graders -- and the
>instructions, such as they are, are in some foreign language (probably PERL)
Actually I don't think it would be possible in the current version of WeBWorK
to give the student the option to get a new version of the problem (with a
different random number seed), if the student were dissatisfied with their
score on the previous sequence of attempts. [I mean automatically without
the instructor's intervention.] I think this would require hacking into the
>In any case, regardless of whether one _could_ implement the problems within
>WeBWorK, I think it is particularly important to improve the
>interoperability of WeBWorK with other systems, starting with WIMS, but
>including many other homework generators & course management systems. If the
>technology is already working in one system, one should think twice before
>rushing to reinvent it in another system. (Sometimes there is good reason to
>do this, but not always.)
I agree wholeheartedly. I would also like to add that although I like the
interactive style problems which are more typical of WIMS, I intend to
use them sparingly. In the setting of our large calculus classes at
OSU, with limited to nonexistent computer labs, it is difficult to provide
students with adequate help on such problems.
>Even if this problem can be implemented easily in WeBWorK, I'm completely
>convinced that there are some examples of problems which cannot easily be
>implemented in WeBWorK, but which require a symbolic powerhouse like Maxima
>or Mathematica, and technology that enables WeBWorK to interact with such a
>system will be invaluable.
Another point that must be considered in this regard is that giving unfettered
access to computer algebra systems directly via WeBWorK is likely to
have undesirable security implications. Malicious hackers logging in
as anonymous practice users could enter some damaging commands
into such a system. So in the spirit of not reinventing the wheel, I
prefer to go through a system like WIMS, whose author has given considerable
thought to preventing such misuse.
<| Post or View Comments |>