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Michael Gage - Week 10 -- End of the summer

Michael Gage - Week 10 -- End of the summer

by Arnold Pizer -
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inactiveTopicWeek 10 -- End of the summer topic started 8/26/2000; 1:47:22 PM
last post 8/26/2000; 1:47:22 PM
userMichael Gage - Week 10 -- End of the summer  blueArrow
8/26/2000; 1:47:22 PM (reads: 1438, responses: 0)
Week 10 -- End of the summer

It's the end of the summer and WeBWorK 1.5 is done.

We extend our greatest thanks to our summer interns, Robert Van Dam, Tori Sweetser, and David Etlinger and their supervisor Prof Eva Culakova for all of their hard work. Much of the code and almost all of the problems and problem checking is due to their diligence.

Here's a quick summary of what's new:

User interface

  • There's a new suite of macros for checkboxes and radio buttons in
  • Creating problem sets using multiple choice and matching formats has been simplified.
    • Behind the scenes, and for power users, there are newly designed and streamlined modules,,, and
    • For routine use in problems there are new macros in which can be used together with the checkbox and radio macros for multiple choice , true-false and matching questions.
  • Tori has added several new functions to the file.
  • Thanks to Arnie Pizer's work, almost all of the routine functions needed to run a WeBWorK course are now available through a web browser interface. Only the construction of set definition files and some non-routine functions such as editing the course configuration page require access to the unix system.
    • The classlist can now be maintained entirely from the web. In particular individual students can be quickly added to the class from the web and entire classlists can be uploaded to the unix machine through a web interface.
    • All problem sets can be built from the web (once the set definition file has been edited) or deleted and rebuilt (while you are
    • You can send a mail message to some or all of your students including data on their scores as determined by WeBWorK. This script was developed by Robert.
    • Determining grades for all of the problem sets is now possible.
  • You can resize the text editing region on the editor page when editing a problem.

While you won't notice these features as much, there has been a lot of work behind the scenes simplifying and streamlining old code in preparation for future enhancements.

Behind the scenes:

  • macros was completely overhauled and cleaned up while the new check boxes and radio buttons were added.
  • has been cleaned up. A monumental effort, and one that will allow us to design a more modular framework for answer evaluators. The goal is to make it much easier for problem authors to "roll their own" custom answer evaluators by stringing several of the evaluator modules together. This will allow for increased flexibility, without requiring that you analyze, cut and paste existing code to create a new answer evaluator. (Many thanks to David for this.)
  • Communication between the problem editor page and the problem it is editing is now much more robust.

We're still working on better documentation for some of these features, so continue to check this site for new information and please join the discussion group (click on the link to the left) and let us know about bugs, feature requests, neat ideas for using WeBWorK or just that you are interested in what we are doing! :-)

Posted by Michael Gage on 8/26/00; 1:51:17 PM
from the dept.


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