WeBWorK Consultant Training Session August, 2011

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DESCRIPTION of WeBWorK Consultant Training Session[edit]

(for August 3, 2011 at Mathfest in Lexington, KY)

The WeBWorK Consultant Training Sessions are part of the MAA program, supported by NSF grant DUE 0920341, to disseminate WeBWorK beyond its current usage base of over 300 colleges and universities.

The next one-day session will take place on Wednesday, August 3, 2011 in Lexington, KY (the day before Mathfest begins). The purpose is to provide consultants with the knowledge and resources necessary to conduct WeBWorK Outreach Workshops.

We are holding this session in conjunction with the Mathfest for convenience and also, we hope, to leverage travel funds. Each participant will be paid a $300 stipend to offset expenses. We are hoping most participants will have access to other travel funds to attend the JMM. However, we want to include as many interested faculty members as possible in these consultant training sessions and we do have limited funds to support those without access to other resources. When you apply, please indicate if you will need travel support beyond the $300 stipend.

Our experience has shown that outreach workshops are more effective when conducted by at least two people. Thus we hope you can suggest a colleague from the same or a nearby institution to pair up with to attend the Training Session. If space is available we will send you and your suggested colleague a formal invitation. While it is not absolutely mandatory to attend as a pair, we think doing so is definitely beneficial.

The goal of the WeBWorK Consultant Training Sessions is to train pairs of consultants to conduct WeBWorK Outreach Workshops. Each pair of consultants will be asked to commit to leading two Outreach Workshops within two years of their training session. An Outreach Workshop will be an approximately two-hour session that will introduce people to WeBWorK and will provide them with sufficient information to get started. Outreach Workshops can be held at regional profession meetings (e.g., MAA, AMS, AMATYC, etc.), at educational institutions, or any other appropriate setting. We will provide $200 per Outreach Workshop to offset expenses.

Consultant Training Sessions are usually organized in two 2.5 hour sessions. The morning session will equip the consultants with the information and skills needed to introduce WeBWorK to new users, with a focus on both technical and pedagogical issues. The topics covered will include hosting services provided by the MAA, basic course management, strategies for selecting items from the National Problem Library (e.g., browsing by topic or searching by key words), editing and/or authoring problems, accessing student grades, and using performance data collected by WeBWorK to identify potential areas to focus future instruction. The afternoon session will include a model WeBWorK Outreach Workshop to allow the consultants-in-training to gain some experience in leading workshops themselves.

To further support consultants, we intend (1) to hold two web-based follow-up training sessions for all consultants each year in order to provide an opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences and to promote community among the consultants, (2) to maintain a forum on the MAA site where consultants can share techniques, successes and ideas, and (3) to promote informal gatherings of all consultants from all sessions at JMM and MathFest. This model of community building has worked well for MAA Project NExT Fellows, and we anticipate that it will be equally successful for WeBWorK consultants.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: If you are interested in participating in a session, please send email to:

Arnold Pizer <apizer@math.rochester.edu>.

Please include the institution where you work and a short description of your experience with WeBWorK and your interest in helping to disseminate it.

Best regards,

The organizers:

  • Jason Aubrey, University of Missouri aubreyja at missouri.edu
  • Michael Gage, University of Rochester gage at math.rochester.edu
  • Michael Pearson, Associate Director MAA pearson at maa.org
  • Arnold Pizer, University of Rochester apizer at math.rochester.edu
  • Dean Vicki Roth, University of rochester vicki.roth at rochester.edu