Documentation:WeBWorK/How to Reuse Assignments from Term to Term

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These instructions cover copying the WeBWorK assignments from a previously-offered course to a current or future course in nearly all cases.

If the previously-offered course you want to copy from includes customized problems that use locally-stored files in any of its WeBWorK assignments, please follow these instructions instead. If you don't know what "customized problems" or "locally-stored files" means in this context, you can just follow the steps below.


  1. First, log into the WeBWork course of a previous term with your CWL.
  2. Once in WeBWork, click on “Hmwk Sets Editor” under “Instructor Tools” from the sidebar. This will display a list of all the homework sets in the course. Navigate to the “Export” tab, and using the dropdown menu, select whether to export all sets, visible sets, or selected sets. When exporting only selected sets, make sure to check off all the assignments you wish to copy over to the new course. Click on the blue [Take Action!] button to proceed.
    Export Homework Sets
  3. On the new page that opens up, you can double check if the correct homework sets have been selected. Then, make sure the “Save Export” tab is selected and click on the blue [Take Action!] button to complete the export. This will generate .def files of the homework sets in the File Manager.
  4. Next, select “File Manager” from the main menu on the left side of the page. Select the homework sets (the ones with .def beside them). If the .def files are scattered through the directory, you would have to hold down "Ctrl" on your keyboard and click on each of the individual files to select multiple files at once. Also, be sure to continue holding down "Ctrl" as you make each selection because if you select a file without doing so, all of the existing selections you have will be unselected. Please note that if you are using a Windows device, you would hold down the “Ctrl” key on your keyboard while selecting each of the files, whereas if you are using a Mac device, you would have to hold down the Command (Cmd) Key on your keyboard. You may have noticed that the names of the generated files are a bit confusing. For instance, if I exported the homework set “Assignment 1” in the previous step, I would be selecting “setAssignment_1.def” from the list of files. After you have selected all of the homework sets, click on “Make Archive”.
    Make archive.
  5. Next, download that file package (the one with .tgz beside it).
    Download .tgz file
  6. The next step is to upload these homework sets into the course for a new term. First, log into the WeBWork course for the new term and then navigate to “File Manager” from the sidebar. Click on “Choose File” and select the .tgz file with the previous homework sets. Before clicking on Upload, ensure that “Unpack archives automatically” has a checked box. Finally, press “Upload”.
    Uploading questions into new termA
  7. The last step is to deploy the homework sets and assign them to students. Navigate to “Hmwk Sets Editor2” from the sidebar and select the “Import” tab. Using the first drop-down menu, select “Multiple sets” to import, and select the homework sets you would like to deploy by holding “Ctrl” for Windows or “Cmd” for Mac. You can keep the original set names and assign the homework sets to all student users. Finally, click on the blue [Take Action!] button and you’re done!
    Assigning homework to all students