Friday Funny!

Have a good science/math/teaching joke? We want to hear them! Here’s our latest Friday Funny:

Q: What did the Nuclear Physicist have for lunch?

A: Fission Chips!


Last week WebAssign attended the International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics in Orlando, Florida and had a great time meeting new professors and catching up with old friends.

Mark Santee, Annie McQuaid, and Deb Varnado from WebAssign

There were many phenomenal sessions at ICTCM that focused on popular teaching and learning tools, and emerging technologies. It was inspiring to see so many teachers learning from each other to enhance their students’ experience.

We particularly enjoyed Lisa Townsley’s minicourse on High Stakes Testing Using WebAssign. Lisa is a professor at The University of Georgia where she serves as Course Coordinator for PreCalculus and Calculus. She presented her course rationale and step-by-step instructions for online assessments using WebAssign, including homework with randomized values, web quizzes, testing and final testing with pooled problems.

Lisa Townsley

Throughout her presentation, Lisa provided opportunities for course attendees to practice in WebAssign, with access to a demonstration course complete with each type of assignment available at UGA.

Additionally, Lisa provided practical tips for how to implement secure testing in a math laboratory environment, as well as access to an assignment template for attendee use. Attendees were also able to review steps for building their own questions in WebAssign and learn about the process to successfully plan and implement secure testing with WebAssign.

Lisa Townsley and Deb Varnado

To check out the course webpage at UGA, please visit:

If you missed Professor Townsley’s minicourse, check out her presentation at last year’s WebAssign User’s Group (WAUG) and sign up for WAUG 2012 today!

Are you or someone you know an experienced WebAssign user who would be interested in sharing best practice tips with other professors at WAUG?  If so, please send us an email today for more information!

Friday Funny!

Have a good science/math/teaching joke? We want to hear them! Here’s our latest Friday Funny:

Q: Why won’t Heisenbergs’ operators live in the suburbs?

A: They don’t commute!


Two members of the WebAssign team, Dan Linville and Bridget Hales, attended the NCMATYC Spring Conference on March 15th and 16th.  This event was held at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, NC.

A large portion of the session was dedicated to updating everyone on the Developmental Math Redesign, that is now underway in the NC Community College System.  This was the largest event to date, with over 250 attendees.  To learn more about the Redesign please visit the National Center for Academic Transformation website.

Have you used WebAssign to redesign your courses? If so, how has it been working for you? Share your story with us!

In addition to updates on the Math Redesign, we heard Lisa Brown, from Central Carolina Community College, give an overview of Enhanced WebAssign’s modular design and Alan Tussy’s Developmental Math-A Modular Curriculum for the NC Community College System.  She discussed the benefits of using these instructional tools to teach the new developmental math curriculum.  Topics that were covered included: YouBook, assignment options, gradebook, secure online testing, customizable precoded questions, and graphing tools.

Lisa Brown, Dan Linville and Bridget Hales.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth to say hello, we always enjoy speaking with our users!  To catch WebAssign at an upcoming conference check out Where in the World is WebAssign.  Next up we will be at the 24th International Conference on Technology in College Mathematics, so stop by and visit us March 22–25, 2012 in Orlando, Florida.

Tips & Tricks: Forums

Students often wait until the last minute to finish homework assignments and may find themselves stuck with a question late at night when you are unavailable.   What can you do to help these students?  WebAssign’s built-in forums provide an easy way for you to reach your students and give them a place to help each other solve problems outside of classroom hours.

Improving communication between you and your students, as well as encouraging active participation from your students, can be an ongoing struggle, but forums help the entire class stay informed by reading and responding to topics and posts that are pertinent to the class, such as questions about specific assignments.

The forum hierarchy is as follows:

  • Forums contain one or more topics. Only instructors can create forums.
  • Topics contains one or more posts. Both instructors and students can create topics.
  • Posts are individual communications in topics. Both instructors and students can create posts.

You have flexibility when creating forums for your students. For example, you can create more than one forum for the same class. You can also use the same forum in more than one class, so that all of your enrolled students in all of those classes can access the same forum.

As the instructor, you can monitor the forums for your class. You can hide individual posts from students as well as the whole topic if it gets out of hand! Anything trashed can be restored. You can even send an entire forum to the trash.  You can also lock a forum or a topic. Doing so prevents anyone from adding new topics or adding new posts to existing topics, but the information is still displayed on your student’s Class Forums.

Learn how to start your own forum in our instructor guide today!

Friday Funny!

Have a good science/math/teaching joke? We want to hear them! Here’s our latest Friday Funny:

Two atoms were walking across a road when one of them said to the other,

“I think I lost an electron!”

“Really!” the other replied, “Are you sure?”

“Yes! I’m absolutely positive.”

Happy Pi Day!

March 14th, or 3.14, is the annual celebration of Pi by math enthusiasts and lovers of pie alike.

Have an approximately happy Pi Day!

Learn more about Pi here!