WeBWorK Main Forum

"Show me another" behavior after closed date

"Show me another" behavior after closed date

by Karl-Dieter Crisman -
Number of replies: 3
For many years, I've wished I could figure out how to give students opportunity to practice as a review for exams by simply returning to old homework assignments. At first I thought the newish "Show me another" functionality provided that, but apparently it only works while a problem set is open. I still haven't found this.

So my question is
1) Is there some such behavior that already exists I just didn't find before, and
2) If not, is there a workaround short of making a new "review" WW set that somehow brings in all the problem definitions of the other sets?

The latter seems like it would be very tedious to me, so you can also take this as a feature request is the answer to 1) is "no". Thank you!
In reply to Karl-Dieter Crisman

Re: "Show me another" behavior after closed date

by Alex Jordan -
Hi Karl,

Maybe it isn't what you mean, but students can always go back to old sets (and have always been able to, in general), then type in answers, and use the "Check" button (which for a student, has replaced the "Submit" button). They are seeing the same version of problems they did in the past for credit.

Additionally, I don't recognize the behavior you describe about SMA. I just logged in to one of my courses as a test student, went to a closed assignment, and the SMA feature is up and running fine. I wonder if something about your configuration may be preventing its use. Do you cap the number of times SMA can be used? Do you have a nonzero threshold of attempts before SMA may be used on a problem? These things might make it look like SMA is not working for a closed set, but the set being closed is not the issue.

With SMA, managing these two configuration numbers can be tricky. The absolute cap is a global setting that applies equally to all problems. But the threshold number may be different for each problem. (So that you can effectively not use SMA on a multiple choice question, where a new "random" version may just be re-ordering the options.) When a set is initialized, these threshold values are put into the database for each question. Either there was a value written in the set definition file to use, or otherwise a global default will be written there. But once written to the database, you would need to manually change each one to make changes.

Personally I use no cap, and have 0 attempts for the threshold, and all my set definition files reflect that by now. For a few MC problems, the set definition files have -1 for the attempts threshold (a stand-in for infinity, or "you never get to use SMA on this problem").

For completeness, to answer your number 2), you could export all your previous sets to .def files, and then merge them into a single big .def file. Then import it, change dates, etc. Is that what you mean? (Yes, a little tedious, but not terrible if you are just copy-pasting the content of about 10--20 def files into one new def file.)


In reply to Alex Jordan

Re: "Show me another" behavior after closed date

by Karl-Dieter Crisman -
No, I meant doing a new version for credit. That is weird - I just tried now and indeed I could do a new one. I do sometimes cap SMA but but this had been based on student reports. Checking it myself (yes, I should have done that the first time) you are correct. Thank you.

Anyway, I imagine one could also (perhaps tediously) "reset" the SMA quota after the problems are due. This would probably be the most reasonable way for me to handle it if people have trouble. Can one do this globally for a subset of the problem sets, or would I have to do it "manually" for each problem?