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Gavin LaRose - automating course creation

Gavin LaRose - automating course creation

by Arnold Pizer -
Number of replies: 0
inactiveTopicautomating course creation topic started 10/21/2005; 10:28:32 AM
last post 10/23/2005; 8:13:49 PM
userGavin LaRose - automating course creation  blueArrow
10/21/2005; 10:28:32 AM (reads: 369, responses: 1)
Hi all,

We're starting to move towards using WeBWorK for our biggest courses here at the University of Michigan. Calculus I this semester, for example, enrolls about 1800 students and has about 65 course sections (we teach calculus in sections of 32). A complete group of homework sets for our Calculus I will include something on the order of 40 homework sets (including gateway tests).

Obviously, I'm not enthusiastic about creating all of these by hand. There are command-line scripts to automate course creation and deletion, addcourse and delcourse, which I expect to use extensively. Is there any equivalent tool for maintaining assignment of sets? That is, what I really want to do is create the courses, with students included (which is what addcourse does), and with all sets defined and assigned to students (which it doesn't).

Is there any such script out there that I can plagiarize or use verbatim?


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userGavin LaRose - Re: automating course creation  blueArrow
10/23/2005; 8:13:49 PM (reads: 479, responses: 0)
Hi all,

A follow-up. Seeing a dearth of response to my previous post, I concluded that there was no such script out there, so I've written one. For those who are interested, the important parts of this are the following:

  • A course-lister. I considered using the CourseManagement utilities to do this, but in that all that's really doing is listing the course directories in the WeBWorKHome/courses, I decided to generate my own listing instead (by, of course, just listing the course directories).
  • A course-adder. This is just a loop that goes through an input list of courses and instructors building a WeBWorK course roster file for each, and then runs addcourse to create the courses.
  • A assignment-adder. This prompts for a template course that has a set of template files for the assignments that we want to create, and a course number. All of my classes are named with the course number, so it's then easy to generate a list of all of the courses in the system to which to add the assignments. To actually do the assignment, I created a faked Request object which allows me to build an ProblemSetList object and use the importSetsFromDef method to build the sets.

I need to add a course delete-and-archiver part of this, which I think should also just use the existing course management utilities.

FYI, in case anyone else was interested,

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