How Well Do You Know WebAssign?

WebAssign Questions
Peer Advice & Teaching Tips
Reading Time: 8 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 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 questions from other sources outside of your textbook?

If you’re looking for more questions outside of your chosen textbook, you’re in luck! We have a variety of additional questions, assessments and more – that you can add to your course free of cost.

You can add:

If you ever get stuck and don’t know what’s available for your course, bookmark this page.

Did you know… you can save time by copying your course for next semester?

Get ahead of next semester and copy your course. Start by creating a new course and select the option to copy a course when the pop-up window appears. Then, select the course you want to copy. You can even customize which course information you want to copy over, including assignments, instructor access and gradebook settings.

Tip: You can even use the process above to copy another instructors’ course, just make sure they’ve granted you access.

 

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.

First, find out if your title has a new edition here. Then, 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.

 

Did you know… you can drop your students’ lowest score in the gradebook?

Are you looking to bump up your class average by dropping each students’ lowest homework or quiz score?  Within the WebAssign Gradebook, you can drop each student’s lowest assignment score.

To do so, navigate to the WebAssign Gradebook settings and choose the assignment category. Then, enter the number of assignments you’d like to drop in the ‘Drop lowest category assignments’ box. You can also identify specific assignments that aren’t allowed to be dropped. For example, if you’re dropping the lowest test grade, you may want to exclude the midterm or final exam.

Did you know… you can assign extra credit in WebAssign?

extra creditWhether you want to provide students with the opportunity to complete an extra credit assignment or give students some extra points for going above and beyond, you can do both in WebAssign. To create an extra credit activity, start by creating an assignment. Then, in your gradebook settings, select ‘count as extra credit’.

Alternatively, if you want to provide some extra credit points in your already existing assignments, navigate to your assignment settings and use the automatic point adjustments to apply bonus points. Want to save time? Use a pre-created assignment from your Course Packs for extra credit.

Did you know… you can download a printable report of students’ grades?

Make mid and end of semester reporting much easier with the ability to download your students’ grades to an excel document and print them. Under ‘Tasks’ in your navigation, choose Download Manager. From here you’ll be able to choose which information you want to download as well as determine the file type. You can also download scores for specific students or assignments individually, which can come in handy when you’re having one-on-one conversations with students.

 

Did you know… you can manually upload student scores to the gradebook?

Keep all of your grades in one place by learning how to add attendance, in-class assignments or other student scores into your WebAssign gradebook.  You can manually add each student’s scores by selecting ‘Add Scores to Gradebook’ within your grades page. You can also use a template to upload all of your students’ scores at once to save time.

 

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 hide the randomized red numbers in assignments?

Worried about academic dishonesty? Make it more challenging for students to determine which values are randomized and hide the red numbers. Under Edit Class Settings, navigate to the last tab ‘Advanced Options.’ In the top left-hand corner under ‘Highlight Randomized Text,’ select ‘no’. Now, all of the randomized values will appear in black for your students so they won’t be able to tell the difference.

 

Did you know… you can give feedback to students within assignments?

Make sure students are learning from their homework by giving them some feedback. First, enable Show My Work in your assignment or question settings. If you don’t typically require students to show their work, you can make it optional and still be able to give them feedback.

After the assignment, select the Grade Answers button on the Scores page and each question with Show My Work enabled will appear. Then, you can go through and provide written feedback, upload videos or pictures to help students understand why their answer was wrong.

This may seem overwhelming at first, but instructors like Michael Lafreniere from Ohio University often save time by identifying common errors and using the same feedback for multiple students. Giving feedback is a great way to add a personal touch to your virtual assignments.

Did you know… you can apply bonuses and penalties to students’ assignments automatically?

Apply bonuses and penalties to reward or discourage learning behaviors automatically. Available in your assignment settings under automatic point adjustments, you can enable these to:

  • Provide bonuses for submitting work early
  • Give partial credit for attempting questions, even if the student gets the answer wrong, to reward them for trying.
  • Add extra credit questions that do not penalize incorrect answers
  • Use penalties to discourage guessing. For example, you can apply a penalty after two submissions to encourage students to try on every chance.

 

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 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.