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Susan Diesel - CLOSED sets confuse students

Susan Diesel - CLOSED sets confuse students

by Arnold Pizer -
Number of replies: 0
inactiveTopicCLOSED sets confuse students topic started 4/3/2002; 11:23:28 AM
last post 4/7/2002; 2:01:48 PM
userSusan Diesel - CLOSED sets confuse students  blueArrow
4/3/2002; 11:23:28 AM (reads: 791, responses: 1)
I am wondering if it is possible to modify WebWorK to accomplish the following changes.

Despite the fact that the Welcome screen advises students that they can work through problems in CLOSED sets, and despite our own FAQ that repeats this, we have students who ask how they can review old homework problems when it comes to exam time. Can "closed" be changed to something else that does not confuse them? It would be nice to set that ourselves, but if not, "past due", "overdue", or something similar would be preferable to "closed".

A new project for this year of using WebWorK for calculus at Dartmouth in conjunction with an interactive textbook is to create a Website for the course with links to relevant sections of the book, homework, applets, and other material. Can we change WebWorK so that it only shows a particular problem set after students log in, as opposed to a complete list of problem sets from which they choose?

Thanks Susan Diesel Dartmouth College

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userMichael Gage - Re: CLOSED sets confuse students  blueArrow
4/7/2002; 2:01:48 PM (reads: 1014, responses: 0)
Hi Susan,

The "closed" set designation has caused trouble here as well. I'll think about making this (and the other descriptions) locally configurable. Unfortunately any additional choice is one more thing that might have to be delt with at configuration time.

The best outcome would be to find a designation that most everyone will approve of so that it doesn't need to be changed.

Here's what we have:

closed -- confusing, students won't review their homework past due -- overdue -- reasonable, although it has connotations that you can still do it if you hurry

graded -- indicates that the final grade for the problem set has been recorded -- this is more or less the situation

Are there any other suggestions?


As to the ability to access homework problem set by problem set. That is very much within the realm of the current technology -- but the best way to do it is still being investigated. You (and any one else) can help with suggestions and ideas.

Here are a couple of approaches currently working. The grading and recording feature is not part of either of the current implementations. The overall idea is to separate out the problem rendering mechanism (which is pretty thoroughly perl based) from the grade recording, web page pretty printing, and instructor database access for organizing problem sets which can be handled by most Course Management Systems and web Content Management Systems.

Individual problems for the library, the latest update served from the CVS (Concurrent version server) library directory : See

Individual problems imbedded in a page. -- there are still some bugs in getting these problems to work

Most of the problems in the tutorial section are also being served live from the CVS library, although there are few bugs with connection in that case as well.

These all show "proof of concept" that the method of grouping and delivering the problems can be changed without changing the rendering mechanism. There is still more work to do obviously. Bill Wheeler has also been working on this sort of problem at Indiana University. He may have more to say about it.

Summer is a good time to work on projects like this.

-- Mike

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