WeBWorK Main Forum



by Dan Margalit -
Number of replies: 2

I am teaching at Tufts, and we are setting up WebWork for the fall.

I have a question about what people do when there are several sections with the exact same homework. I see that I can edit student profiles so that WW knows which section they are in. And then when I use the scoring tools (or student progress), I can sort by section. The downside I see to this is that someone teaching Section 4 will have to scroll down to see their students. I think I can also just pretend the sections are completely different classes, and assign the same homework to all of the sections. A downside I see to that is that if there is a bug with a problem, I'd have to fix it multiple times, once for each section.

Is this a correct assessment? Either way, what is the suggested course of action?


In reply to Dan Margalit

Re: Sections

by Gavin LaRose -
Hi Dan,

I believe this is a correct assessment. When I'm setting up courses I have the same debate, and in some cases go with the philosophy of creating one big class and in others create a separate class for every section.

If you have administrative access to the server on which WeBWorK is running, you can put the problem banks that you use outside of any one course, which may resolve the problem of having to correct problem files in multiple classes. For example, my setup is configured with a webwork directory, containing webwork, pg, courses, and problembanks directory trees:
I have all of our standard problems in the problembanks directory, and then refer to them as you might expect in the set definitions: ../../../problembanks/path/to/problem.pg
The problem with this is that the relative path is correctly regarded as unsafe by WeBWorK, so that it isn't possible to edit the problems within WeBWorK with that path. I haven't tried to see if it likes an absolute path better.

As a final note, I believe there is some undocumented code in the WeBWorK codebase that allows creation of a single course with multiple sections in which instructors only see the students in their section. It may be worth our while to go back in to see if that can be dusted off at some point.

In reply to Gavin LaRose

Re: Sections

by Davide Cervone -
You could create a symbolic link in each course templates directory to ../../../problembanks and then refer to that link in the set definitions. That would be a legal reference and the editor should let you view and edit them.