Since WebAssign debuted in 1997, we've been collecting best practices and tips from instructors. Please share your ideas and suggestions with us so we can continue to expand this tradition.
- Schedule frequent, but shorter assignments. Set the due date to one hour before the class meets.
- On the Class Settings page, enable Answer Format Tips so students can see the type of answer expected for each question (formula, numeric value, text).
- Allow students several submissions for homework. You might need to experiment to determine the right number of submissions for your class.
- Too many submissions and students guess at the answer. Eliminate this problem by decreasing the credit available by 25% to 35% after each submission.
- Too few submissions and students cannot learn from their mistakes.
- Use a variety of assignment categories.
- Practice assignments with multiple allowable submissions and Practice Another Version enabled.
- Homework with Practice Another Version enabled after final submission of the assignment.
- Timed reading assignments to check comprehension.
- Timed take-home quizzes with only one submission allowed and Practice Another Version enabled after the due date.
- Proctored tests (timed, located-limited, and password protected).
Communication and Extensions
- Turn on email notifications so Ask Your Teacher and Extension Requests are automatically delivered to your inbox.
- Encourage students to finish assignments by enabling automatic extensions with a penalty (20% or 25%).
- Offer manual extensions for students who need more time due to illness or other legitimate reasons. Decide on the penalty, if any, on a case-by-case basis.
- Use the Announcement feature to keep your students apprised of the course syllabus, class changes, and notices.
- Remind students that they can get email notification of upcoming assignments or new announcements by clicking Notifications on their home page.
- Enable student forums so classmates can discuss assignments and learn from each other. Instead of answering a student's question individually, post the question to the forum and let others comment. Provide clarification and direction as needed, and occasionally answer a question directly so students know that you are monitoring the forum.
- At the end of the first week of class, set up a gradebook and allow students to see their own scores and how they compare to the class. Many instructors find this approach motivates students to keep up.
- Several times during the term, sort your gradebook and send email messages to students at the bottom of the class encouraging them to come to you for extra help.
- After the first two or three weeks of class, poll your students and ask them which three things they like best about the class and which three things they would like you to change. Share the results with the entire class using the Summary link in the Assignment Scores view. Many times there are conflicting ideas about how to improve the class!
- Upload your own materials to the Resources section and make them available to your students. Students often learn more from materials you develop, including, for example, PowerPoint slides, videos, and lectures notes, than from the textbook.