We will begin using Webwork in a few weeks for multiple sections of a course. We want to begin the term with a Webwork course for each section. Each course should be populated with default problems sets, a professor, several TAs, and a bunch of students. I think this can be accomplished as follows:
1. Create a template course populated with the desired problem sets, but no users (except admin).
2. Archive the template course.
3. For each course section
a. Unarchive the template course with a new name.
b. Login to the newly created course as admin and import a set of users
from a csv file.
This is simple enough for a few sections but becomes tedious as the number of sections grows. Can the above steps be done from a command line? Is there a better way?
I think you can skip the archive step altogether. Create your template course with all of the assignments. However, I do not think the actual assignments themselves are copied, so you will need to export all of the assignments as ".def" files, which will be in the template course.
When you create all of the other courses, there is an option of what course to use as its template. Choose your template course and everything in the file structure for that course (including the assignment .def files) is copied into the new course.
(The web-based Admin account also allows identifying the template course to copy.)
After the courses are created, you still need to go in and "import" the problem sets back into each course. However, there is the ability to import multiple problem sets in a single action. Once the class lists are also imported, you can use the "Instructor Tools" page to assign all of the problem sets to all of the students. Or you can let individual instructors do that task on their own.
D. Brian Walton
James Madison University
Both the archive/unarchive and using the "modelCourse" selection when creating a new course work fine for small collections of classes.
Larger schools have written scripts to automate this, but command line scripts of this kind are not very portable, so they will probably have to be rewritten for use at your institution.
The University of Michigan (Gavin LaRose ) and Arizona State University are two institutions that I'm aware of that create a large number of courses each semester. (John Jones created these scripts originally at ASU and can tell you who is currently maintaining them.)