What is WeBWorK ?
WeBWorK is an open-source web based homework system for math and sciences courses. WeBWorK is supported by the MAA (Mathematical association of America) and the NSA (National Science Foundation) and comes with a NPL (National Problem Library) of over 20,000 homework problems. Webwork can be used for college algebra, discrete mathematics, probability and statistics, single and multivariable calculus, differential equations, linear algebra and complex analysis.
Brief history of WeBWorK
Webwork is being used in many colleges and universities. This application has been developed and maintained by mathematicians since 1994 with the goal of providing a robust, flexible mathematically capable online homework system for science and math educators.
Webwork being open source, allow users and organizations to deploy and work with it for free on their own servers.
What does it mean for the educators and the student?
WeBWork provides immediate feedback to the student based on the correctness of their answers and students can be encouraged to take multiple attempts until they succeed. The instructors are provided with real-time statistics, resulting in lesson plans that can be customized to better serve students.
For the question creators, The PG (“problem generation”) language allows the inclusion of both Perl and LaTeX code, allowing problem authors to take advantage of the syntactic efficiency of Perl and the typographical flexibility of LaTeX (which is largely necessary for rendering mathematics expressions).
This ability to create the questions with such control makes it one of the most powerful homework systems for science and math students.
The core of WeBWorK
Webwork is a Perl-based system. It uses Apache as a web server with Mod_perl, MySQL as data base, GD library for graphics. It also needs several CPAN modules, LaTeX, dvipng.
WeBWorK is generally used on Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris environment, and should run on UNIX like systems.
WeBWorK as a part of LMS
When we talk about a complete LMS, WeBWorK can be can be used to perform some of the activities in a LMS system.
Though WeBWorK is widely used as an independent homework platform, it can easily be integrated with Leading Learning Management system such as Moodle. In this webwork can be used as a question type in Moodle quiz (1.9.5+) or as a Moodle assignment (Moodle 2.X and Moodle 1.9.5+). Both the integration makes some of the features of Webwork accessible from Moodle seamlessly.
Tag: webwork, Leanring management system, LMS, homework system, Moodle, Open Source