WeBWorK Q&A is a free WordPress plugin that enables anyone to create a community forum where users can ask and answer questions about WeBWorK problems. Read on to learn more.
What is WeBWorK?
WeBWorK is a free and open source online STEM assessment platform used to give assignments in math and science courses. Online assessment systems have a number of benefits over traditional textbook-based homework assignments; they can:
- Provide instant feedback for students without revealing the answer to a problem.
- Use randomization so that each student gets a unique problem.
- Adapt to student work on-the-fly, redirecting students to simpler problems if they become stuck, or breaking a problem down into a series of small steps.
- Provide instructors with valuable feedback about where students are successful and where they are being challenged.
While many assessment platforms are closed, fee-based systems produced by textbook publishers, WeBWorK is an open source project supported by the Mathematics Association of America (MAA), with an active community of more than a thousand colleges, universities, and high schools across the U.S. and around the world. The WeBWorK Open Problem Library provides access to more than 50,000 problems created and freely shared by the members of the WeBWorK community for others to curate, remix, and use with their students.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is free and open source software that anyone can use to create a website. It powers 42% of sites on the internet, including this one.
What is WeBWork Q&A?
WeBWorK Q&A brings WeBWorK and WordPress together. It is a free WordPress plugin that enables anyone to create a community forum on a WordPress site where users can ask and answer questions about WeBWorK problems.
WeBWorK provides an option for students to email their professor if they have a question about a WeBWorK problem. However, this one-on-one communication model leaves students isolated from their peers and can result in the instructor answering the same question dozens of times.
WeBWorK Q&A helps students learn from one another by sharing their questions in a community space. Instead of working on assignments alone or interacting only with their instructor, students using WeBWorK Q&A can become part of a community of learners, working together on the same material and offering mutual support. Questions can be answered by faculty, other students, tutors, and so on, enabling faster response times.
- Ask questions anonymously
- Use LaTeX in questions and responses
- Include images in questions and responses
- Browse and filter questions
- Like helpful answers
- Subscribe to or unsubscribe from email notifications about a question
- Accessible, responsive recommended theme
Visit the WeBWorK Q&A Example Site to see what the plugin looks like in action. It also provides an example of how to set up a site using the plugin, and includes documentation that you can adapt to use on any WeBWorK Q&A site.
What is this site?
This site provides documentation for installing and using the WeBWorK Q&A plugin, along with news about the project.
WeBWorK Q&A was created by a team based at City Tech (New York City College of Technology, City University of New York) as part of Opening Gateways, a City Tech initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions program* to support student success in mathematics courses that serve as gateways to STEM disciplines.
WeBWorK Q&A was developed in partnership with The OpenLab at City Tech, an open platform for teaching, learning, and collaboration; anyone can create an OpenLab using the free and open source software Commons In A Box OpenLab.
- Charlie Edwards, OpenLab Co-Director, City Tech
- Boone Gorges, OpenLab Lead Developer, Hard G, LLC
- Andrew Parker, Associate Professor, Mathematics, City Tech (Andrew came up with the idea!)
- Jonas Reitz, OpenLab Co-Director and Professor, Mathematics, City Tech
- Jenna Spevack, OpenLab Co-Director and Professor, Communication Design, City Tech
- Bree Zuckerman, OpenLab Senior Instructional Technologist, City Tech
*Disclaimer: materials developed do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.
Questions? Comments? Need Help?
Please contact the WeBWorK Q&A team via our support forum if you need help or wish to provide feedback.