If you’ve been using WebAssign for a while, you may be an expert at customizing your course. But, have you found ways to engage students, save time, or enhance student success? Keep reading for the top tips even the most advanced WebAssign instructor can appreciate.
Top Tips to Engage Students in Course Concepts
Engaging students becomes even more difficult in an online setting. Consider the following ways to make your course more interactive and ensure students are fully understanding your course topics.
- Use Video in Your Assignments: Using video in your courses may seem like a no-brainer, but the key way to engage students is when and how you deliver it to them. Within WebAssign, you can upload a lecture video or make a textbook video available to your students in their resources if you want them to have reference materials. However, if you want your students to watch a lecture or tutorial and ensure they understand the topics, you can link or embed a video into your assignments or questions. This will allow you to ask follow up questions about the video they just watched.
- Assign Reading Quizzes: Students are often tempted to skip the assigned reading because they don’t see the immediate effect it will have on their grade. However, you can use WebAssign to hold students accountable by scheduling timed quizzes that cover the assigned reading. To do this, create a short, timed assignment with less than four questions on the key topics covered in the reading. By setting limited time per question, you’ll discourage students from looking up the answers which will require them to complete their assigned reading prior.
Top Tips to Save You Time
As you finalize your course plan, consider the tips below for ways you can incorporate WebAssign to save you time this semester.
- Use WebAssign for Attendance: Do you really want to update two separate gradebooks? Instead, incorporate a category in the WebAssign GradeBook specifically for attendance so you can keep all student scores in one place. This will save time when you’re evaluating student performance, especially if you’re required to provide midterm grade reports.
- Create a Forum Discussion Board for Students: Create a discussion board and encourage your students to use it to ask each other questions throughout the semester. Discussion boards will enhance collaboration among your students, as well as decrease the number of questions students come to you for – saving you some precious time.
- Expert Tip: Require students to ask and answer at least one question in the forum to make sure they’re using the discussion board effectively.
- Send Ask Your Teacher Notifications to Your Email: Rather than continually logging into WebAssign to check your messages, alter your settings to forward the message notifications to your email so you’re alerted when a student has a question.
- Expert Tip: Schedule online office hours and tell your students when you’ll be available to help them on assignments. This will help to make sure you’re available when questions come up and eliminate the need to be “always on” to support students.
Top Tips to Improve Student Success
Review your course for next semester and consider checking your assignment settings and identifying new ways to support your student throughout the semester.
- Allow Extra Time for Specific Students: As you set up your course, remember that you can allow extra time on a test or extensions on an assignment for specific students should they require it. Be sure to review your roster and edit your WebAssign settings for those students accordingly.
- Enable Hints on Specific Assignments: Address your students common errors on assignments by enabling hints at the assignment or question level to guide them – without giving away the correct answer. These hints vary by textbook. However, they often include links to the ebook, videos or tutorials to help students understand the concept.
- Expert Tip: If you think your students need even more support, you can create your own custom hints.
- Use the Gradebook to Communicate Performance to Students: Several times during the term, sort your GradeBook and send email messages to students at the bottom of the class encouraging them to come to you for extra help.
Top Tips For Getting Help When You Need It
Even the pros need a little support from time to time. There are plenty of resources you can utilize to:
- Get Help Creating a Question: Determine which question type would be best for a specific topic or objective by contacting the WebAssign Content Support team who can work with you to find the best solution.
- Report a Question Error: We’re not perfect – but we value accuracy. If you ever notice a question you feel is grading inaccurately or confusingly worded, report it to the WebAssign team here.
- Find Guides, Best Practices and Resources in One Place: Did you know, the “Help” button in the top right of your WebAssign home page is actually a how-to guide for all things WebAssign? Use this guide if you’re ever stuck on how to do something within WebAssign.
Looking for more WebAssign tips?
Get set for the upcoming term: visit the WebAssign Instructor Support Site for additional training resources, technical support, online best practices and more. And be sure to follow us on social media for timely tips and advice throughout the term!