How Well Do You Know WebAssign?

WebAssign Questions
Peer Advice & Teaching Tips
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Did you know… WebAssign is a fully customizable platform? WebAssign empowers instructors to tailor their courses to specific teaching or learning styles. Keep reading to discover and learn how to use new WebAssign tools and features you may not have known existed.


Did you know… you can contact low-performing students right from your gradebook?

Several times throughout the term, review your GradeBook to determine how your students are doing.  Sort your GradeBook to identify low-performing students and send email messages to them encouraging them to come to you for extra help. To save time, create a templated intervention message to copy and paste to these students.

Did you know… you can ask your students to show their work in WebAssign?

Give your students an opportunity to explain their reasoning by enabling Show My Work for a few assignment questions. You can make Show My Work optional or require it as part of the students’ grade for a question. When you allow Show My Work, your students can enter formatted text and math expressions in the answer box under the question. Students can also upload files, such as digital images of a paper sketch, an excel document, or video.

Pro Tip: Check out this article to learn how to use Show My Work effectively.


Did you know… the ‘help’ button directs you to a guide for WebAssign?

The help button located in the top right of the WebAssign platform is a how-to guide for everything you may need to do in your course. ‘Help’ can answer simple questions like how to change a due date, or it can assist you in more complicated topics like ways to customize your course. As a bonus, most topics also have related links at the bottom of each help page to further support you in finding the resource you need.

To use this tool, click ‘help’ in the top right corner of your WebAssign home page and use the search box to find a topic.


Did you know… you can help your students format their answer correctly?

How many times has a student asked, “I got the answer wrong because I wrote it as a fraction instead of a decimal… but isn’t it still correct?” Avoid these future questions by displaying the ‘Answer Format Tip’ for questions. Answer Format Tips are used to guide your students in understanding what kind of answer is expected. Students will see prompts such as ‘enter a number,’ when they navigate to an answer box. This functionality can be turned on or off for any assignment or class section.

This tool is usually automatically enabled, however if you don’t see it or would like to alter the settings for an assignment, view the help page.


Did you know… you can receive students’ Ask My Teacher notifications through your email?

The Ask My Teacher feature is a great way to improve student-teacher communication and allows you to see the exact assignment and problem your student may be struggling on. To make sure you don’t miss a message, you can forward the message notifications to your email address so you’re alerted when a student has a question.

Pro Tip: Schedule online office hours and tell your students when you’ll be available to help them on assignments. This will ensure you’re available when questions arise and eliminate the need to be ‘always on’ to help students.


Did you know… you can assign the Personal Study Plan to your students for a grade?

new webassign toolsIf you’re hoping to increase student engagement, the Personal Study Plan (PSP) is a great resource to assign to your students for practice or a grade. It helps students easily identify which sections of the textbook they need to work on and provides customized practice.

To assign the PSP to your students, you’ll need to make sure it’s available for your course and enable it. Then, you can assign the PSP for credit, or for practice. If you plan to use the PSP as a study guide, you can even flag key concepts to help students prioritize their study time.


Did you know… you can schedule group work within your WebAssign course?

help students practiceGroup work within WebAssign allows you to assign labs or shared assignments to encourage collaboration and discussion between students. To schedule group work, choose the assignment you’d like to use and click ‘edit restrictions’. Within the ‘Edit Restrictions,’ page, you’ll be able to select ‘Group Assignment.’ From there you’ll organize your students into groups by creating your own groups through the ‘Group Creation Tool’, or allowing WebAssign to randomly assign groups. Once the groups are set and the assignment is scheduled, only one group member will need to submit their group’s work. Don’t forget to tell your students which group they’re in!

Pro Tip: You can even change scores for individual group members if a student didn’t contribute.


Did you know… you can update your textbook edition without losing your course settings or assignments?

new webassign toolsUpdating your textbook to a new edition doesn’t mean you need to recreate your entire course and respective assignments. By using the Textbook Edition Update tool available for most titles, you can easily create your course with a new edition of the textbook and still maintain the same assignments and course settings you’ve used with the previous version of your book.

To use this tool, create a new course and select ‘Copy Assignments from Existing Course.’  You’ll notice a version of your course has a yellow ‘Update’ notification next to it if a new textbook edition is available. Once your course is copied, you’ll have an Edition Update button appear to allow you to upgrade to the latest version, If the new edition includes revised questions, they will update automatically throughout your assignments wherever the old version is included.