How do I begin?

How do I begin?

by Jay Yellen -
Number of replies: 2

Apologies in advance for this long post. I’m eager to enter the 21st century and experiment with Webwork in my Discrete Math course, but I’m starting from absolute zero, and I’m finding all the information I’ve seen over the last few days somewhat daunting, especially since I have only one month before Fall classes begin.

I will be teaching our one section of Introduction to Discrete Mathematics (MAT 140) in each of the Fall and Spring semesters, each time with about 20 to 25 students. If I end up using Webwork in the Fall, my students will be the only ones at my college using it.

Except for some minimal use of Blackboard in some of my courses (posting class notes, sample files, and the occasional hyperlink), I’ve never used any kind of web-based system in any of my courses.

So, realistically, this first attempt at incorporating Webwork must be a modest one -- maybe, as a first step, try to get existing Webwork problem sets from one or more other Intro to Discrete Math classes taught elsewhere. Then, as I get more familiar with the system, I can then start creating my own problems.

If necessary, I could use the system for the first half of the Fall semester for practice sessions only, where students attempt problems in preparation for my weekly, in-class, hard copy quizzes.  Then, for the second half of the semester, I could use the system to have them do homework that actually counts toward their grade. If the implementation goes faster than expected, I could start with homework problems that actually counted from the very beginning of the course. Worst-case scenario would be to experiment and practice during the whole Fall semester, and do a more full-blown implementation for the Spring semester.

I would very much appreciate advice on where and how to begin.
In reply to Jay Yellen

Re: How do I begin?

by Arnold Pizer -
Hi Jay,

First you need a WeBWorK course. Goto http://webwork.maa.org/getwebwork.html and request a course from MAA. It will be free for the first year.

When your course is set up, open the Library Browser and look for Discrete Math problems (the are over 22,000 problems but I don't know how many deal with discrete math).  Also look at the list of WeBWorK users http://webwork.maa.org/wiki/WeBWorK_Sites and see if there is any place where you know someone and they might be using WeBWorK to teach Discrete Math.  You can also post a note on the general forum asking for suggested problems for a discrete math course.

This should at least get you started.  Don't be shy about asking questions.