WeBWorK Main Forum

Suggestions for WeBWorK 2.8

Suggestions for WeBWorK 2.8

by Dick Lane -
Number of replies: 5
With the impending release of version 2.8 (1-Dec-2013 ?), I think it would be useful to identify desirable changes in current behavior that do not involve creation of new features.  Here are some of my suggestions.

1) Allow a student viewing a problem after dueDate to have an immediately visible link to a Solution.  More than six weeks have elapsed since I first reported a bug that hides/delays notice to a student about existence of a Solution.  See
for a more recent report and links to previous stuff.  Note: to experience this bug, you MUST login as a STUDENT --- merely "Acting as ..." conveys instructor-level access which will show the Solution link and mislead about behavior seen by real students.

2)  Hmwk Sets Editor 2
  a)  default scope of a new or imported assignment should be "only [instructor]" rather than "all current users"
  b)  remove the archaic requirement that automatic naming of an imported assignment be from a set definition file whose name begins "set".  [FWiW: both old and new HSE will allow importing from "abc.def" provided an explicit name is entered.]
  c)  perhaps: exclude backup versions of set definition files (abc.def.~1~ or abc.def.bak) from the pop-down listing of files suitable for Import

3)  Hardcopy --- have default status of "Show Student Answers" be OFF.  This change will benefit
  a)  students whose initial hardcopy is intended to create copy of student's particular version of the assignment's problems for offline work (i.e., hardcopy produced before any answers have been entered)
  b)  instructors who produce hardcopy several times during development of an assignment in order to get a good overall view (with an eye toward possible rearrangement of items).

4)  link to Courses at top of left column's Main Menu
  a)  omit while logged-in to a course
  b)  display after a logout


I have two further requests --- to the non-developer community.
  a)  Please add your suggestions for improving behavior of WeBWorK 2.7/2.8 as comments to this post.  (Note: requests for new features should go in a separate post, perhaps to another forum.)
  b)  If you would like the "hide Solution link" bug [my item 1] to be fixed in version 2.7 (before 2.8 is released), then please post a message/comment about that.
In reply to Dick Lane

Re: Suggestions for WeBWorK 2.8

by Louis Zulli -
My institution plans to upgrade in early January. It would certainly be nice if the "Solution link bug" (which I have observed too) were fixed before the release of 2.8.

In any case, thanks to the WeBWorK team for providing us with this fine software.
In reply to Dick Lane

Re: Suggestions for WeBWorK 2.8 - Gateway customization

by Alex Jordan -
When you make a set into a Gateqay quiz, (I think that) there is no way to customize the text for taking that assignment. For instance, if I name the assignment "Chapter2", then the student sees "Take Chatper2 test" in their home page.

I might instead like it to say "Take Chatper2 quiz", "Take Chatper2 skills check", "Try Chatper2 timed drill", etc.
In reply to Alex Jordan

Re: Suggestions for WeBWorK 2.8 - Gateway customization

by Christopher Heckman -
Ditto on that. Guess what I named my tests, to end up with the link "Take Test 1 test" ?


* Also, a quicker way to give everyone credit on a problem that turns out to have a bug. This can be done quickly for regular problem sets, but for Gateway quizzes, you have to go through the students one by one.

One more bug to fix is: If you have a piece of code like:

$v = $A -> column(1);
\{ $v -> ans_array; \}
ANS ($v -> cmp);

Then this causes an error. $v is supposed to be a vector, but the answer read from its ans_array is put in the form of a MATRIX, so students get a rather confusing error message when they check their answer. ("Your answer isn't a matrix (it looks like a real number)".)

Yes, you can fix this with

$v = Matrix($A -> column(1));

but this seems unnecessary, and this is an easy mistake to make.

* Better partial-credit handling on Gateway quizzes

* In the Classlist Editor, add another command: Email selected students. It's easier to pick out 8 to 10 students from this page than going through the drop-down menu.
In reply to Christopher Heckman

Re: Suggestions for WeBWorK 2.8 - Gateway customization

by Christopher Heckman -
I thought of another one, but the 30 minute time limit had passed:

* When a problem is asking a student for a vector or a matrix, INCLUDE THE ENTIRE OBJECT IN THE ANSWER LOG. Trying to guess what the student intended, based on only one entry, is impossible at times.

In reply to Dick Lane

Re: Suggestions for WeBWorK 2.8

by Christopher Heckman -
* A screen that allows you to change the Status (only) of all of the problems in a problem set; it would look something like:


Doe, John011
Jones, John10.70.5
Smith, Jane111

(where you can change the numbers inside the matrix, and then save the results).