We have just finished our first semester using WeBWorK installed on a local server. What administrative steps should I do now to prepare for the spring semester? We will have two fall courses repeated in the spring, both with different instructors but using the same collection of locally produced problem sets. Can I start the spring with a fresh sql database? Thanks for any suggestions and recommendations.
We clean out the class lists only when we have to upload new students.
If you immediately reuse the same course maybe you want to save the student scores.
I prefer to set up different course for different instructors, but we do have many more sections than two. If they want to use the same assignments I just export the assignments from one; make an archive; download them; then upload to the new course and import those assignments. Or use one as model course for the other when creating it.
Regardless of whether you reuse the course, I would recommend making an archive (using "Archive Courses" from the admin course). This creates a .tar.gz file in the courses directory on the server, which you can then copy off of the server for archive/backup purposes.
I personally don't like the idea of reusing courses (deleting students and then adding new students). It leaves you without a record of the previous semester, and there have been some minor complications with old answers appearing for students who re-take the course.
You can easily create a new course with the same problems/homework sets: First, in the old course, export all of the homework sets from the Homework Sets Editor. Now log in to the admin course, and create your new course. While doing so, set "Copy templates from:" to the corresponding completed course. When you log in to the new course, you can then import multiple sets using the Homework Sets Editor. You can even have it shift the dates to match the new term.