Resources for faculty teaching math courses

Category: Distance Learning (Page 1 of 3)

Rederly questions and feature requests Spring 2021

We are collecting questions for the Rederly team and providing answers here – this page will be updated over time.

Question: How can I assign only some of the problems in a problem set?

Answer: There are several ways to do this, depending on your needs:

Option 1: Delete the problems you don’t want (note: the remaining problems will be renumbered).

Option 2: Mark the problems as “Optional” and set the point value to 0. The problems will still appear to students, but they will be italicized and will not count count (if you set a positive point value for an optional problem, the points will be counted as extra credit). You can set problems to Optional and adjust their point value in the “Problem Settings” area (see this tutorial on creating problem sets).

Feature Requests: These are things our faculty would like to be able to do on the Rederly system.

  1. Ability to see all the problems in an assignment rendered on a single screen. NOTE: You can view problems one at a time in the Problem Preview Pane or within the Problem Browser.
  2. Fake student account (or “student view” option), so we can see what the site looks like from the student perspective.
    Rederly 1/28: We are adding in a student view for all profs in our next release (likely next week)
  3. When browsing the OPL, it would be great to be able to select multiple problems and add them to a homework set all at once.
    Rederly 1/28: We have some ideas for this in future releases.
  4. Ability to make past homework sets temporarily invisible, e.g. hide access to past homework sets during exams. NOTE: Currently past homework sets are available throughout the remainder of the semester.
    Rederly 1/28: We have a preliminary idea on how to hide / unhide for this purpose and will incorporate in the next couple releases.
  5. Allow the “Show me another” option even before students have completed a problem successfully (e.g. after one or more incorrect attempts).  NOTE: Show me another is currently enabled after a student successfully completes a problem.
    Rederly 1/28: This will likely be further in the future as we want to eventually add a lot of configurability around show me another that will take a lot of time.

Getting started on the OpenLab with Model Courses (Workshop 1/26/21)

Getting started on the OpenLab with Model Courses
Tuesday, January 26th, 1:45pm-2:30pm
For faculty who want to use the OpenLab as their primary teaching platform, Model Courses provide an easy way to get started.  Designed and customized for select courses with built-in resources for distance learning.

For step-by-step instructions on cloning and customizing a model course for use in your section, take a look at the online module “Math Model Courses.”

Zoom Video of Workshop (the password for this zoom video has been distributed separately by the Math Dept):


  • Getting Started on the OpenLab
    • OpenLab usage (have you used the OL before?)
    • Resource: Teaching with the OpenLab
    • This is not the “how-to”, it’s about what it is and how to use it (there is a module for step-by-step)
  • Drop-in live help from the OpenLab Community Team Open Hours (scheduled throughout the semester)
    • Open Hours this week:
      • 1/29 (Friday), 10:00am-11:00am
      • 1/31 (Sunday), 4:00pm-5:00pm

Sample student announcement for Rederly

Dear math faculty,

If you are using WeBWorK on Rederly this semester, you will need to get your students up and running on the platform. Instructions (for you) for setting up your course and finding the “enrollment link” can be found here . The sample announcement below is intended for you to provide to your students (you could send it by email, or post it on Blackboard or OpenLab) – feel free to modify it in any way you wish.

Sample student announcement

Subject: Getting started with WeBWorK on Rederly

Dear students,

This class uses the online homework system WeBWorK, hosted at Rederly.  In order to complete your homework, you will need to create an account on Rederly and then join this particular course.  Instructions are below.

1. Create an account on Rederly

NOTE: You will need access to your City Tech email (ending in “”) in order to register for Rederly. If you do not have a citytech email, please notify your instructor.

To get started, create an account at using your citytech email. Select “Register” and enter your name, citytech email and a password of your choice.  The system will generate a confirmation email – complete your registration by clicking the link in the email.

2.  Join this course

Once you have an account, you can join this course by clicking this “enrollment link”:


Help and Support

For more help on using WeBWorK on Rederly, feel free to take a look at their tutorials and FAQ pages.

That’s it!  Don’t hesitate to reach out to your instructor if you have any questions.

January 2021 Workshops

We are planning a number of workshops next week to update you on the instructional tools and resources.  See workshop day/time and description below.  Please use the Google survey link to indicate if you will attend the workshop.  Zoom meeting invitations will be sent out on the day of the workshop.

Mathematics Faculty Development Workshops, January 2021

Introduction to WeBWorK on Rederly
Monday, January 25th, 11am-12pm
This workshop will introduce faculty to City Tech’s new WeBWorK provider,  Topics will include: claiming your account, creating your course, managing enrollment, assigning homework, and more.
More information:

Using Math Department OERs  in your class (Course Hubs and Video Resources)
Tuesday, January 26th, 1pm-1:45pm

This workshop will introduce faculty to a variety of resources, including Course Hubs and Video Resource Guides,  developed by the department to help support your teaching.  These resources are freely available and custom built to align with City Tech’s curriculum.
More information:

Getting started on the OpenLab with Model Courses. 
Tuesday, January 26th, 1:45pm-2:30pm
For faculty who want to use the OpenLab as their primary teaching platform, Model Courses provide an easy way to get started.  Designed and customized for select courses with built-in resources for distance learning.More information:

Working session
Tuesday, January 26th,, 2:30pm-3:00pm,
Stick around after our workshops today for individual help, discussion, and support.  Set up your Rederly account, get answers to your OpenLab questions, or start planning course activities!

August 2020 Workshops & Resources

The Mathematics Department offered the following training in August 2020, in the period August 12-21 (some workshops were offered more than once). For Zoom recordings and related resources, follow the links below. At the bottom of this page you will find a collection of general resources for Distance Education.

Online teaching essentials
Facilitators: Jonas Reitz, Samar ElHitti, Bruce Kan
This 90 minute session will cover the essential elements of an online course, drawing on examples from Blackboard and the OpenLab, and will touch on resources, tools, and trainings available to help support you.

Hosting your online course
Facilitators: Samar ElHitti, Bruce Kan
In this session, we cover where to house your online course, including lecturing (synchronous vs asynchronous) and office hours, along with other technologies that support effective online instruction and communication. Emphasis on Blackboard, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and Zoom.

Online assignments: delivering, collecting, assessing  and returning
Facilitators: Samar ElHitti, Bruce Kan
In this session we cover how to use technology to distribute work to your students, as well as collecting them back and grading them. Emphasis on Blackboard, Dropbox and Notability.

Getting started on the OpenLab with Math Dept Model Courses
Facilitators: Jonas Reitz, Kate Poirier
Interested in teaching on the OpenLab? This 90 minute session will explore the features of Model Courses, designed and customized for select courses with built-in resources for distance learning (MAT 1275/1372/1375/1475/1575/2680).   This session has an associated online module “Cloning a Model Course for your section.”

Cloning a Model Course for your section on the OpenLab 
Online module (asynchronous), 2.5 hours.
This online module will take you through the nuts and bolts of cloning a Model Course on the OpenLab and customizing it for use in your section (MAT 1275/1372/1375/1475/1575/2680). 

Exams in an online environment
Facilitators: Samar ElHitti, Bruce Kan
In this session we discuss techniques for effectively giving exams to your students including oral defense sessions and other strategies to promote academic integrity and critical thinking. Emphasis on Blackboard, Dropbox and WeBWorK.

Onboarding your students for a smooth online class experience
Facilitators: Samar ElHitti, Bruce Kan
In this session we take a look at your class from the students’ perspective and discuss important interventions you can implement that can lead to a smooth semester.

Two additional workshops were offered in support of MAT 1275CO. All are welcome.

Teaching MAT 1275CO
Facilitator: Bruce Kan

WeBWorK training
Facilitator: Bruce Kan


City Tech:



  • Math Department Instructor Resources (this site): Department-specific resources for Distance Learning.
  • Teaching With OpenLab: Self-paced module with many resources for teaching with OpenLab (structured as as self-paced module, but does not need to be completed in order – there are many great resources here!)
  • Course Hubs.  A Course Hub is a central repository of resources for a course, including online lessons created by City Tech faculty, help and support materials, and more.  Course Hubs are designed for use by all faculty, whether using Blackboard or OpenLab (they are publicly accessible on the OpenLab).  Course Hubs will be available for select courses (MAT 1275/1275CO/1372/1375/1475/1575/2680) and will be introduced in the faculty training. 
  • Model Courses.  If you’re interested in using the OpenLab for your Math courses, a Model Course is a great place to start.  Model Courses are designed to help you get up and running on the OpenLab by providing pre-built course sites for many popular courses (currently MAT 1275/1275CO/1372/1375/1475/1575/2680), complete with resources and sample assignments, structured to support distance learning.  Model Courses will be introduced in the faculty training. 
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