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setting up the same problem set in several courses

setting up the same problem set in several courses

by Kenneth Appel -
Number of replies: 3
I am working with a school district math coordinator who wants to attain two possibly conflicting goals.

1. She wants each teacher at a grade level to have her own course.

2. She wants to be able to create sets (using the library browser) that can easily be copied from the course in which the sets are created to other courses.

I can think of ugly ways to do this, but I would like a nice way. Suggestions would be appreciated
In reply to Kenneth Appel

Re: setting up the same problem set in several courses

by Hal Sadofsky -

There is a standard way to do this, which probably qualifies as "ugly" but which is reasonably teachable.

1) From the Homework Sets Editor, "export" the problem set you just made. This will create a .def file in the templates directory.

2) Go to the File Manager, and "Download" that .def file which describes the homework.

3) Email it to the other instructors as an attachment.

4) They'll need to save it to their desktops, then log into WeBWorK and "Upload" the .def file to their own templates directory.

5) Finally, they'll need to "import" the problems set from the .def file, and assign students to it.

If there is something easier to do than this, I'd like to know too.

In reply to Hal Sadofsky

Re: setting up the same problem set in several courses

by Danny Glin -
I have one minor tweak that we use here, but it has a couple of pitfalls. While it is somewhat ugly, most of the work is done by the system administrator, and the end result is mostly transparent to the individual teachers.
When I create related courses such as these (in our case different lecture sections of the same course), I create a symbolic link from each templates directory to the templates directory of a "master" course.
This means that all pg files and def files are automatically shared between all sections. What this accomplishes is that once you export a set, the .def file will be immediately available in the other course for import, thus cutting out the "Download" and "Upload" steps.
The implication is that some other things are shared as well:
If a .pg problem file is edited by one of the teachers, then those changes will be propagated to any other course using that same file. This can be good or bad. It allows a teacher to fix a question for all of the related sections at once, but it can cause problems if a teacher wants to tailor a question for their class while the same question file is being used by another class. (Note that this is a non-issue if all questions are accessed from a read-only master bank).
By default, the course_info.txt file will be the same for all linked sections. This can be remedied by choosing a different file name in each section via the Course Configuration link.
There are also a couple of other things in the templates directory which are course specific, but they have never caused us any headaches running this setup.

In reply to Danny Glin

Re: setting up the same problem set in several courses

by Andras Balogh -
My method is that as system administrator I create a whole new course library under the library directory.
Going through the .def files I copy all the corresponding pg files into subdirectories, then link the new course library to the individual courses, including the template course, and enable it in the config file.
This requires the minimum work by instructors and the maximum effort by the sys admin.

I think if one instructor (admin) has easy access to all courses, then exporting and importing the .def files by one person is the best solution for everybody.