WeBWorK and the OpenLab are two different websites that are now working together to help students with homework problems.  You’ll notice that both sites both look a little different, and you will use them for different, but related, purposes.

What is WeBWorK?

WeBWorK is an online homework system.  If you are in a class using WeBWorK, then you’ll use the WeBWorK site to view and complete your assignments – your instructor will provide you with a link as well as a login and password (you can also use this list of City Tech’s WeBWorK sites to find your course).

What is WeBWorK on the OpenLab?

If you get stuck while working on a problem in WeBWorK, you can click the “Ask For Help” button at the bottom of any page to be taken here, to WeBWorK on the OpenLab.  Right away, you’ll be able to see questions that other students have already asked about the problem you’re working on, and you may even find that someone has posted a response that helps you out!  Of course, you can also ask a question of your own – respond to the prompts and be as specific as you can, it’ll help us give you better assistance on your problem.

Some things to keep in mind as you use this site:

  • This site is meant to provide assistance in figuring out problems; it is not meant to give you the answers. Our goal is to help everyone figure out how to do the problems for themselves.
  • If you see that someone else has already posted the same question you have about a problem, “like” it!
  • If you find a response that helps you figure out a problem, “like” it!
  • When posting a question, please be specific! If you just say that you don’t know how to start a problem, you will likely receive a very vague response because we don’t know what you understand and what you don’t.
  • Remember that WeBWorK uses randomization to generate problems, so your problem may not use the same numbers (or have the same solution) as the problem for another student – but the method used to solve the problem should be the same.

After asking a question about a WeBWorK problem on [OpenLab WeBWorK], you will still need to return to WeBWorK to submit answers to your homework problems on the WeBWorK site.  The OpenLab site is just for asking questions and reading through other questions and answers about WeBWorK problems.

What can I do here?

Get help, not solutions

It can be very tempting to provide correct answers to the problems that get posted here. But remember that every student will ultimately be responsible for knowing how to solve these problems on their own. We ask that you please avoid giving away any correct answers when responding to a question. It can be much more useful to describe the way you solved the problem, without giving a line-by-line solution.

Explore the other questions to see if your answer is out there

When you visit this site directly from WeBWorK, you’ll land on a page that allows you to ask your question. But if you take a moment to scroll down, you’ll hopefully see questions that other students have already asked about the problem you’re on. You might even find that your question has already been asked, and may even have an answer already!

So before you ask a question, be sure to take a moment to check and see if there’s already a response that helps you! (and mMake sure to leave a like if you find a helpful comment!)

Engage in discussion

When you ask a question, instructors, tutors, or other students may respond. You might be asked to explain more about what you’ve tried, or you might be asked to clarify your question. Keep an eye on the questions you’ve asked and make sure to respond to any comments on your question.

Also, you may find that a comment on someone else’s question is partially helpful to you – feel free to continue that conversation by asking for clarification.

Like stuff

If you see that someone else has already asked the question that you wanted to ask – leave a like! This will help instructors know that this a frequently asked question.
If you find a comment that helps you figure out your problem, leave a like! It will make this comment more visible so that it can help other students.