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Checking out WeBWork before attempting to use it?

Checking out WeBWork before attempting to use it?

by Alasdair McAndrew -
Number of replies: 3
For some years now, we have been using MyMathLab Global with our engineering students (whose mathematics consists mainly of calculus, linear algebra, and a tiny bit of probability & statistics).

I'd like to check out WeBWork and see how it compares, in particular the problems. Many of my students come in to our courses very mathematically under-prepared, to say nothing of English language difficulties. So, in no particular order, here are a few questions I have:
  1. How can I most easily check out WeBWork, and the NPL?
  2. Does WeBWork integrate nicely with the LMS Desire2Learn?
  3. Can WeBWork be set up to use Microsoft AD authentication?

It seems that our current servers setup may not allow me to install WeBWork locally, so a paid hosted solution may be the best - but this is far far cheaper than the costs of Pearson or Wiley, or any other commercial providers. (In which case questions 2 and 3 above may be moot.)



In reply to Alasdair McAndrew

Re: Checking out WeBWork before attempting to use it?

by Dave Rosoff -
Hi Alasdair,

I'll chime in with an answer to 3: yes, it can! This was a condition our IT folks asked us to meet if we wanted to keep our server visible from off-campus. With the help of someone knowledgeable about AD I was able to change over to AD authentication in very little time (certainly less than half a day).

In reply to Alasdair McAndrew

Re: Checking out WeBWork before attempting to use it?

by Danny Glin -
There are two good options for getting access to WeBWorK:
  1. Request a free course hosted on the MAA server.  See http://webwork.maa.org/getwebwork.html for details.
  2. Download either the Virtual Machine or LiveDVD of WeBWorK.  I recommend the virtual machine: (http://webwork.maa.org/wiki/Installing_from_WW2.7_Ubuntu12.04_Vanilla_Virtual_Machine_Image) as you can run this on an existing system without having to reboot, if you install something like VirtualBox or VMware Player.
I haven't seen anything regarding D2L integration.  Our University is in the process of switching to D2L, so this is on my long term to-do list, but I don't have anything as of yet.

In reply to Alasdair McAndrew

Re: Checking out WeBWork before attempting to use it?

by Alex Jordan -
"Plug-in" D2L integration is on my to-do list here as well, as it is also the LMS that we use.

In the meantime, the standard operating procedure goes like this.

A math department admin figure obtains a list of all courses with rosters for each course the weekend before the course starts. This list needs to be formatted a certain way for the WeBWorK server, and depending on how that data comes to you it would probably be nicest to have script do that formatting. Feed this to WBWK, and courses are created with students enrolled.

Actually the courses are created long before that, to give the instructors access. But waiting to the last minute to add students is nice because of all of the flux.

Then the instructors link directly to their WBWK course from within D2L. The instructors also have to manage last-minute additions and deletions to the roster.

Ideally all of this would be linked to your school's enrollment mechanism and happen automatically. This is that item on my to do list for researching.