Contributor: Solomon L. Willis, Cleveland Community College (Shelby, NC)
By following these four tips, you can ensure that your students get the most out of Enhanced WebAssign and experience first-hand how the program promotes conceptual understanding and improves their chances for success.
Tip #1: Make Setting Up an Account Easy!
I have personally been using Enhanced WebAssign since 2009 with various math courses. To ensure that my students get the most out of Enhanced WebAssign, I start by mentioning on my course syllabus that access to the software will be required and I print the Class Key directly along with that statement.
I stress to my students that they will need my Class Key and their own access code to fully activate their accounts. When I teach in a fully seated or hybrid format, I go over the importance of this on the first day of class. I often award some bonus points early on to those that go ahead and set up their accounts by the second class meeting.
Tip #2: Show how Enhanced WebAssign Can Help.
During my first day of class orientation, I also go over a sample assignment with my students. I show them how to enter various answers, and show them the various places that they can go for extra help when needed. The “Watch It” and “Master It” buttons quickly become favorites among my students. I show them how the immediate feedback will be important to their learning, and I normally give them 5 attempts on homework assignments just to encourage them to keep trying if they miss a question. My students also seem to enjoy the Lecture Videos that I am always sure to make available under the Resources tab.
Tip #3: Incorporate Enhanced Webassign Into Your Teaching.
Throughout the semester, I periodically go into Enhanced WebAssign to show my students a specific problem, graph, or table that I may want them to work with later in an assignment. Sometimes, when they are working with a new type of problem, they just need a little guidance beforehand to make sure that they are on the right track. The graphing tool is very interactive, and I just make sure that students are comfortable using it. Once I go over it a time or two, they usually have no trouble from then on.
Tip #4: Make Enhanced WebAssign Count.
I generally weight Enhanced WebAssign homework assignments anywhere from 20 to 40 percent of their overall grade, depending on what class it is and in what format it is being delivered. I want the weight to be substantial enough for the students to know it is important. In my hybrid and fully online courses, I also use Enhanced WebAssign for assessments. The Gradebook is very customizable and I make full use of that so that students can see their current average at almost any time.
Solomon Willis is a mathematics instructor and the department chair for mathematics at Cleveland Community College in Shelby, NC. His experience includes teaching anything from middle school and high school mathematics to developmental math, College Algebra, Calculus, and Statistics. His M.A. program at Appalachian State University was centered on using technology, primarily T.I. graphing calculators, in instruction. He is a frequent presenter at T.I. conferences and workshops and has also served for 4 years as an AP Calculus Exam Reader. In recent years, he has embraced online education through using Blackboard and Enhanced WebAssign. Willis currently uses Enhanced WebAssign in Intermediate Algebra and Statistics. He also coordinates the usage of Enhanced WebAssign in all levels of self-paced developmental mathematics.