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Michael Gage - Introduction for Students

Michael Gage - Introduction for Students

by Arnold Pizer -
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inactiveTopicIntroduction for Students topic started 4/23/2000; 11:13:32 PM
last post 4/23/2000; 11:13:32 PM
userMichael Gage - Introduction for Students  blueArrow
4/23/2000; 11:13:32 PM (reads: 4922, responses: 0)

Introduction to WeBWorK for students.

Welcome to WeBWorK!

I. What is WeBWorK ?

WeBWorK is a system that allows professors to put the homework

problems on the web and allows students to solve these problems

over the web.

Using WeBWorK, students may try to answer homework problems more than once.

After each try, a message appears telling the student whether

the answer is correct or not. This allows students to try to find

out what they did wrong and hopefully to understand the topic of the question better.

Each WeBWorK problem set is individualized (each student has a different

version of each problem, for example the numerical values in the formulas may be

slightly different).

II. How anybody can try out WeBWorK

Anyone with an internet connection can try out WeBWorK by following the directions in Part III below. Use

practice1 as the login name

and practice1 again as the password. To see

different problems, you can login as practice2, practice3, or practice4 and use

the login name for the password.

III. How to use WeBWorK to do your homework

Using WeBWorK is quite simple.

Below are the basic steps on how to get started.

NOTE: Most pages of WeBWorK also contain directions. Therefore,

if you are ever unsure of what you should do, try reading

the directions and descriptions on the page at which you are looking.

  1. Find a computer with access to Netscape (or another browser, e.g. MSIE). It can be either

    your own or one in any of the University of Rochester computer labs,

    eg. CLARC or Taylor Hall. If you have terminal access to the internet, but can not run a browser

    such as Netscape or MSIE, you can still access WeBWorK through lynx using the unix computers.

  2. Open Netscape and go to the main WeBWorK page, address

    or more directly, go to

  3. Click on the link for current courses and you will see names of current WeBWorK courses.

    Find the name of your course and click on it.

  4. This will get you to the main page of your course. This

    page includes necessary information about logging in.

    To log in, click on the 'Login' button.

  5. This will take you to a login page. Enter your login name

    and password, and click on the 'Continue' button.

    Usually, your

    login name is the same as your U of R e-mail user ID (for

    example ks003g). If you do not know your U of R e-mail address,

    ask a consultant in any of the university computer labs.

    Your initial password is your UR student ID number.

  6. If your login is incorrect, you will be told so, and you can

    return to the login page and try again.

    If you login is correct you will see a page where you can do following:

    • Look at and do the problems in a set via Netscape.

      To do Set 1, for example, click

      on the line in the box that starts with 'Set 1...'. Then click on the

      'Do problem set' button.

      On each line in the box, where all the sets are listed, after the set number,

      you can see whether the set is open

      or closed. If the set is open, that means that when you solve a problem,

      it will be counted towards your grade. If the set is closed, you

      can still solve problems, but your results will not be recorded.

      After the indication of whether the set is open or closed, there is

      additional information about the due date (if the set is open), or

      whether the answers are available (if the set is closed).

      When the answers are available, you have the option of looking

      at correct answers when viewing a problem.

    • Get a printout of the problem set.

      To print out Set 1, for example,

      first choose the download type. If you do not know which one works

      on your computer, try one and if you get an error message, try

      another. In general (this is not always so!!!)

      postscript format often works better than

      pdf format.

      If you are working on your own computer and

      do not have the software that takes care of printing or viewing problems,

      you have two choices. First, if you don't have a printer,

      you might want to go to a university computer lab and print out the

      current homework set there. You only need to print out a problem

      set once. From then on, you can enter the answers over the web on your

      own computer. Second, you can download software that will allow you

      to view and print the whole problem set. The links to the software

      that would allow you to do that can be

      found on the main page of the course or at the bottom of the page

      Welcome to WeBWorK.

      After choosing one of the download types,

      click on the line in the box that starts with 'Set 1...'. Then click

      on the 'Get hard copy' button. You will get one of three things at

      this point. It may be a small

      window that will have DropPS written on it, which will tell you

      that it is printing the document. In this case, the homework set

      is already being printed out on one of the printers in the lab.

      You may also get a separate window with the homework set in it as

      a document. In this case, go to the icon 'file' and choose the 'print'

      option. Finally, you may get an alert message asking what to with the


      In this case, you can save the file to disk (so that you can print it at a later time),

      choose an application to view or print the file (e.g. GSview or dropPS), or you might want

      to go to a different computer if you are in the university computer

      lab. If you are

      working at your own computer, you might want to download the necessary

      software as explained above.

      You can use the preferences command of your web browser to configure your browser to

      automatically transfer the postscript files to the appropriate application

      for viewing and printing. Your ResNet representative can help you with

      this configuration if you run into difficulties. (ResNet)

    • Look at a summary of your WeBWorK homework scores.

      This is the second section of the page. If you click on the button 'Get Summary',

      you will see your current scores for all available problem sets.

  7. If you are printing out a problem set or looking at a summary of your

    homework scores, you are done.

    If you are viewing a problem set via Netscape, you will see a page with

    the problems

    in the set you chose. To view and/or answer a problem, click on the

    number of the problem and click on the 'Get Problem' button.

    Notice that there are three modes of viewing the problem: 'text', 'formatted-text' and

    'typeset'. Text output can be hard to read if a problem contains complicated

    mathematical formulas, so it is better to view the problem using 'formatted-text' or 'typeset' mode.

    'formatted-text' mode is usually acceptable and is quick and reliable. One caveat is that you

    need to set the encoding properly (e.g. Western(MacRoman) for Mac Netscape) for best results.

    Once you choose a problem and click on the 'Get Problem' button, you

    will see the text of the problem with boxes for your answers. Enter

    your answers and click on the 'Submit Answer' button. If you are working

    on a problem set that is already closed, you will have the option to see the correct answer or a solution

    if one is available (currently only a few problems have solutions available). To see the correct answer

    and/or solution, just check the box(es) and click on the 'Submit Answer' button (you do not

    have to enter an answer to see the correct answer or solution).

    Once you have submitted an answer, you will be told whether your answer

    is correct or not. If not, you can try again.

    After you've tried a problem, you can either go to the next problem,

    the previous problem, or see the list of the problems again.

  8. If you want to check the status of your problems (e.g. to double check that your answers

    have been recorded), use the

    "Prob. List" button at the top of the page to see the

    problem list page.

  9. When you are finished, log out using the "Logout" button at

    the bottom of the page.

  10. That's all, folks!

IV. Important facts to know

  • What to do if you have problems with WeBWorK:
    • If you have a problem logging in, contact your instructor

      or TA.

    • If you have a problem printing out a set, ask a consultant

      at a university computer lab. If you don't get sufficient help,

      contact your instructor or TA.

    • If you have questions on specific homework problems or if you have

      comments about WeBWorK that you think can help us

      make WeBWorK better, click on the 'Feedback'

      button on any of the pages of WeBWorK.

  • If you are logged on to WeBWorK for longer that 30 minutes

    without any activity,

    you will be asked to log in again. This is a security measure. You

    can resume your work after you logged back in. All your results from

    the last log in will be saved.

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