One of our students claims that when she is logged off by webwork (due to inactivity) that webwork does not save her attempts at a problem, however her correct answers are recorded when she is logged off. If she logs off herself then her attempts and answers are recorded. The professor for the course has verified that her attempts have not been recorded.
I suspect that my answer is not going to tell you much, if anything, that you do not already know, but here's my stab at what I think your question is.
Students' attempts at a problem are saved to the database when they actually click the 'submit' button. Thus if a student has submitted her or his answer, the system will have it recorded. What the student then does---waiting until WeBWorK logs her or him off due to inactivity, or logging off manually---has no effect on the already recorded submission.
Thus, if the student finds that her answer is not recorded when she is logged off due to inactivity, the most likely reason is that she did not in fact submit the answer. I have had other cases in a course that allows guest logins where a student (I surmise) logged in accidentally as the guest user and worked a set there---at which point, of course, there is no record of her or his work on her or his own problem set.
I am dealing with this student indirectly, so it is hard to say, but she did report two different behaviors when webwork logged her off. If she had the correct answer it was recorded, if she did not her attempts were not recorded. If this is not a known issue I will try to contact the student to see if I can document it.
I can think of several possible things that could have occurred:
- The student was logged in as a guest (or as another student), as Gavin suggested above.
- The student did the work after the due date and so the answers should not be recorded (they would have "Check Answer" rather than "Submit Answer" buttons, but the student might not have noticed it).
- The student hit RETURN rather than the "Submit Answers" button, and so had their answers previewed but not graded.
- The student's answers were recorded, but when the student logged in again, the browser showed a cached copy of the problem set page that was from before the student completed the problems (I have seen this happen).
- The student actually didn't do the problems (in time) and is trying to get credit for it after the fact by suggesting the system is at fault.
Again, the log out process is completely unrelated to the recording of answers, and I don't see how that could have any effect on what answers where actually saved for the student. If there were such an issue, you would be hearing from a lot more students, I'm sure.