Highlighting the great work of our outstanding faculty users is one of our favorite things to do. I hope you will gain some valuable knowledge by reading our latest faculty spotlight on WebAssign user Mary Turner, an associate professor of chemistry at Maryville College in Maryville, TN. Professor Turner will also be at this year’s WebAssign Users Group to present her experience of incorporating labs into WebAssign to create a more engaging experience for her students and less time on grading for herself. Sign up for WAUG today to hear this presentation along with many other speakers demonstrating their innovative use of WebAssign in the classroom.
I have been at Maryville College for 9 years and I teach general chemistry, analytical chemistry, physical chemistry, science for non-majors, and first year seminar courses. My courses vary in size from 6 to 80 students depending on the subject.
How long have you used WebAssign?
We started using WebAssign in general chemistry in the fall of 2003 when I arrived here. I wish I could say it was my idea, but it actually belonged to one of my colleagues. I have used WebAssign twice for analytical chemistry and started using it to grade my general chemistry labs about three years ago.
What are your “Best Practice” tips for using WebAssign in the classroom?
I assign weekly quizzes and homework. This usually includes about 20 problems and I give them 5 submissions with no penalties for multiple submissions. I also work out a lot of problems in class.
What can other WebAssign users and professors hope to learn from your WAUG presentation?
I hope that other attendees can see how versatile WebAssign can be for applications other than homework and leave with some ideas about creative ways to use it at their institutions. I have very little training in computer programming, yet I was able to code most of our existing general chemistry labs into WebAssign (with some patient help from some WebAssign employees). Now, after completion of the “hands-on” portion of the laboratory the students submit their data and results through WebAssign. Not only is it much more efficient for me as a professor, but the students like it because it gives them multiple submissions. This changes the lab “report” from an assessment tool into a learning opportunity.