Documentation:WeBWorK/What is WeBWork

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What is it?

WeBWork logo.png

WeBWorK is a free open source Perl-based system for delivering individualized homework problems over the web. It gives students instant feedback as to whether or not their answers are correct. By providing students with immediate feedback as to the correctness of their answers, they are encouraged to make multiple attempts until they succeed. By individualizing problems, cheating is discouraged. By providing instructors with real-time statistics, lesson plans can be customized to better serve students.

WeBWorK is developed and supported by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and the US National Science Foundation (NSF), and comes with an Open Problem Library (OPL) of over 20,000 homework problems.

WeBWorK is used successfully at over 240 colleges and universities from large research institutions to small teaching colleges. WeBWorK has been developed and maintained by mathematicians since 1994, with the overarching goal of always providing the mathematical community with the most robust, flexible, and mathematically capable online homework system possible.

WeBWork at UBC

An instance of WeBWorK has been used by the Mathematics Department at UBC since it was piloted in Fall 2009. Since then, it has become widely used in the Mathematics Department, the Statistics Department, and has also been adopted in other departments across campus. The current instance is deployed in a high availability environment using UBC IT infrastructure, providing a reliable service to all faculties across UBC.

WeBWorK Integrating R

WeBWorK is widely used in math courses around the world, but its adoption in statistics has been limited as it has little support for statistical concepts such as probability distributions or statistical models. The WeBWorKiR (WeBWorK integrating R) project offers a solution in the form of integration between WeBWorK and the statistical computing software R. Learn more about WeBWorKiR here.

Literature about WeBWorK

If you are interested in reading how WeBWorK has been used in undergraduate math courses at other institutions, you may also want to read:

  • Vicki Roth, Volodymyr Ivanchenko, Nicholas Record. Evaluating student response to WeBWorK, a web-based homework delivery and grading system. Computers & Education, 50, 1462-1482, 2008
  • Jane Korey, Kim Rheinlander, Dorothy Wallace. Open Calculus: A free online learning environment. Journal of College Teaching & Learning, 4(12), 71-80, 2007