MAA 5/19: WeBWorK on the OpenLab:  Leveraging City Tech’s open digital platform to create a community space for homework help


Venue: Mathematics Association of America (MAA)
Metro New York Section, 2019 Annual Meeting
New York City College of Technology, May 4, 2019

Presenters:  Andrew Parker, Charlie Edwards, Jonas Reitz

Abstract: WeBWorK, an open-source online homework system supported by the MAA and the NSF, provides a platform for students to practice and engage with their mathematics studies.   WeBWorK offers a number of advantages over traditional pencil-and-paper homework, including instant, customized feedback and error-recognition. But how do we help students when they get stuck? At City Tech a team of faculty and developers has worked to bridge WeBWorK and the OpenLab, our open digital platform for teaching, learning and collaboration.  Students seeking help on a WeBWorK problem are directed to an OpenLab community space where they can review answers to previous questions about their problem or ask their own. By moving the conversations around homework help into a public space we increase transparency, reducing the repetitious explanations that can occur in one-on-one support models, such as email, where many students can ask very similar questions, each requiring a near-identical response from the instructor.

Want to bring this technology to your own institution? We will discuss how you can set up your own OpenLab, free, through Commons in a Box OpenLab, and our planned release of the WeBWorK OpenLab bridge.

Join us to learn more and see the project in action.


By Jonas Reitz

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