4 Things to Learn This Summer in WebAssign

things to learn this summer
Peer Advice & Teaching Tips
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Looking to freshen up your WebAssign skills? Make the most of summer and learn how to apply WebAssign’s flexibility and tools to address common course challenges.

Don’t have a lot of time? That’s okay! Choose what you’d like to learn based on the time you have.

Learn to Use Show My Work

Asking students to show their work helps you understand their thought process and further reduces their ability to cheat. However, how do you get students to show their work in an online course? The Show My Work feature in WebAssign enables you to give students the opportunity to share their thought process and can be optional or graded.

With this feature students can enter mathematical expressions to show their thought process, or upload a file or image of their work. As you review Show My Work responses, you can also respond to students to further explain what they did wrong with math expressions, files or images.

Learn how to apply the Show My Work feature to questions by following the instructions in the instructor help page and keep in mind these key strategies to use show my work effectively.

Learn to measure student engagement with access logs

Outside of the classroom, how do you ensure students are engaged in your course material? Within WebAssign, you can view an access log for each student. The Student Access Log shows when your students have opened and submitted their assignments. The log also shows all changes to the student score, including extensions, adjustments, and score overrides.

With these access logs you can:

  • Determine when and how often students are logging into WebAssign to do their work or practice.
  • Gauge how long students are spending on assignments to determine if they’re really learning the material or just guessing. You can also take note of any student taking too long on assignments as a potential student who may need support.
  • Identify students that wait until the last minute to do their work. If this is a common occurrence you could incentivize students who submit work early with extra credit.

Learn how to access student logs in four simple steps outlined on the instructor help page. Apply this knowledge by review your students’ logs from last semester logs against their final grades to gather insights. You may consider scheduling a regular review of this data in your upcoming course.

Learn how to build student confidence in assignments

Technology can be frustrating for students, which may lead to them guessing on their homework instead of truly understanding the course material. Get ahead of this by thoughtfully creating and customizing your WebAssign assignments to build student confidence using the tips below.

  • Consider Question Difficulty: Review the question difficulty as you build your assignments and be sure to include a mix of easy and more challenging questions. Also, consider the way you’re ordering your questions and don’t front-load the more difficult questions in the beginning to avoid students from getting burnt out. Include a few easy questions in the beginning and sprinkle them throughout to further build student confidence.
  • Enable Learning Tools: If students are stuck they may just guess the answer, so you want to ensure they have support when they need it. Enable learning support, especially for difficult questions, so students can better understand the concept by accessing a Read It or Watch It.
  • Award Partial Credit for Question Attempts: Make sure your students don’t skip questions – even if they’re more difficult. Within your assignment settings you can award credit for students attempting questions, even if they get them wrong. This will encourage students to attempt every question for partial credit and further build confidence.

Build an assignment for your next semester course to apply these learnings and enable confident learners!

Create Scaffolded Assignments to Improve Student Understanding

Learn how to build scaffolded assignments in WebAssign to improve student confidence, understanding and even academic integrity.

Within WebAssign, you can create scaffolded assignments by placing tutorial questions and learning support in the beginning of the assignment and then, gradually remove students’ access to this support in the latter half of the assignment. Here’s a suggested assignment breakdown:

  • Begin the assignment with a multi-step tutorial either from the textbook, free resources or by creating your own. This will remind your students how to solve the problem and refresh them on important vocabulary.
  • Follow with shorter tutorial questions with learning support enabled. Use a tutorial that has fewer steps than the earlier question to slowly increase student understanding of the concept (if your adopted WebAssign text has Expanded Problems (.EP) these could be ideal for this purpose). Also, enable learning support for those who may need additional help at this step.
  • Next, include regular questions, with learning support. After students have encountered a few tutorials showing them how to approach the concept, they’re ready to try it out for themselves in a regular question – with optional learning support to help if they get stuck.
  • Finally, toward the end of the assignment you can assign questions without any learning support. These questions will help you assess how well your students understand the concept from the steps above.

WATCH: For a step-by-step, watch Willem Wallinga demonstrate how to create a scaffolded assignment.

 

Looking for More Tips?

Keep in mind the following resources that are available to you.