Documentation:WeBWorK/Vista Course Importer

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The WeBWorK Vista Course Importer is a Vista plugin that allows the creation and update of WeBWorK courses from inside Vista.


To use this plugin in your course, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Build tab and click Add Content Link. Then select Vista Webworks Authenticator. Add Content Link menu
  2. You should now have 2 options, either create a new link from scratch or select one from inventory. Add Content Link menu with inventory list and create new button
    • If you see an existing link in inventory, select it and click Add Selected.
    • If there are no existing entries, then you need to create a new link. To create a new link, click Create Vista Webworks Authenticator. Most of the options can be left at the default values. Just fill in a "Title" and make sure the Webwork URL is Form for creating a new Vista Webworks Importer link
  3. If the link you've just added is not hidden from students, select the dropdown menu next to the link and click Hide Item. The plugin will fail if a student tries to use it. Dropdown menu with 'Hide Item' highlighted
  4. If you want to change or double check the plugin settings, access the the plugin properties by clicking on the drop down menu next to the link and selecting Edit Properties. If you are double checking, make sure the Webwork URL is Drop down menu with 'Edit Properties' highlighted
  5. To import or update your course on WeBWorK, go to the Teach tab and click on the link. Teach tab link
  6. You should see a status page saying either "Course Import Successful" or "Course Import Failed". If the import failed, there will be an error message, please note this message for contacting support. Course import successful page
  7. Once the course has been created, you can update the course manually by clicking on the link again. You can also login from Vista into Webworks by using the login2 plugin.


Why I can't login to webwork when I click on the link?

This link is only for course importing. If you would like to login to webwork through Vista, you need to create another link: Documentation:WeBWorK/Vista_Login

When student clicked on the link, they got permission denied.

Because students are not suppose to use this link to login to webwork, you probably want to hide it as mentioned above in step 3. To allow students to login webwork through vista, please create login2 plugin link.

What happend if I clicked on the import link multiple times

Each time you clicking the import link, the roster in webwork will be updated. (We also have a script to update it every night). There is no harm to click it multiple times. If you would like to manually update the roster during the day, you can click the link. Otherwise, it will update around 2am every night.

What if I have multiple instructors in the course? Will they be imported as well?

For the instructor, vista can only give the info of the instructor who clicked on the import link for the first time to create the course. Other instructors has to be manually added to webwork.

What if I don't want to use Vista for my course?

The WebWork Vista integration serves two purposes:

  1. (WeBWorK/Vista Course Importer) establish the link between WeBWorK and Vista so that WeBWorK can get up-to-date roster information from Vista automatically. Currently this is the only way to get this information for webwork except manually uploading CSV files.
  2. (Vista Login) allow students to login webwork through Vista with a single click.

That's why there are two components for this integration. However, this two components are independent to each other. If you don't want students to use Vista, you just need the course importer to create webwork course and sync roster. Then student/you will be able to login to webwork through webwork homepage ( with CWL account. Please don't forget to hide course importer link from students.

Why I can't login with my CWL from webwork homepage (

First make sure you select the correct course. If you are the instructor who created the course in webwork following the instructions on this page, you will not be able to login with your CWL. Because Vista doesn't have your employee ID and CWL requires employee ID to identify you. How ever, you can create a login2 link and login in from Vista, then goto classlist, find yourself and change the number under student ID column to your employee ID.