Friday Funny!

happy faces

Have a great science/math/teaching joke? We want to hear them!

New Content Available in WebAssign!

WebAssign is proud to support a wide variety of textbooks from numerous leading academic publishing partners. We are constantly adding to our textbook collection and are pleased to announce the following textbook additions to our content offering:




View our complete list of textbooks here!

15 Anniversaries for our 15th Anniversary: 8/25 – 8/31

To celebrate WebAssign’s 15th anniversary, each Monday we will be bringing you 15 anniversaries in science, technology, mathematics, and education that you can look forward to throughout the week. Here are some important dates in history coming up this week:

August 25

1841 – Swiss physician and medical scientist Emil Theodor Kocher is born. Kocher’s research of the physiology, diseases of, treatments of, and surgery of the thyroid greatly improves the survival rate of patients with thyroid disease. After witnessing the effectiveness of the aseptic surgical procedures pioneered by Joseph Lister, Kocher becomes an outspoken, early proponent of aseptic surgical methods. Kocher receives the Nobel prize for his research on the thyroid, which improves the survival rate of patients undergoing thyroid removal from about 25% to 99%.

1900 – German biochemist and physician Hans Adolf Krebs is born. Krebs discovers and studies the metabolic cycles known as the urea cycle, and the citric acid cycle. The citric acid cycle is known as the Krebs Cycle. Krebs receives the Nobel prize for his work on the citric acid cycle.

August 26

1873 – American inventor Lee De Forest is born. De Forest invents the Audion, a vacuum tube designed to amplify electrical signals. De Forest is a pioneer in the field of electronics, conducting the first wireless ship to shore communication. De Forest dislikes the word “wireless”, and chooses for the method of communication to be called “radio“. De Forest claims over 180 patents, including the first patent for a method of sound-on-film, the Phonofilm.

1906 – Polish-American medical researcher Albert Sabin is born. Sabin develops an improved oral live polio vaccine, which is distributed to millions of people in at-risk populations around the world.

August 27

1915 – American physicist Norman Foster Ramsey, Jr. is born. Ramsey is group leader of a research group at the Los Alamos Laboratory during the Manhattan Project, and later receives the Nobel prize for his research related to the creation of an accurate atomic clock. The time unit of measurement the second is based on the atomic clock research conducted by Ramsey.

1939 – The first jet aircraft powered entirely by turbojet, the Heinkel He 178, is flown by Erich Warsitz.

1958 – Russian mechanical engineer and cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev is born. Krikalev has spent time aboard the Mir space station and the International Space Station, and participated in six missions for the Russian Federal Space Agency and NASA. Krikalev has cumulatively spent over two years in space, more than any other person in history.

August 28

1749 – German writer and scientist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is born. Goethe publishes several papers and texts on the subjects of color, mineralogy, morphology, homology, and meteorology that prove influential to later research into these subjects.

August 29

1831 – The phenomenon of electromagnetic induction is discovered by the English scientist Michael Faraday.

1910 – American surgeon Vivien Thomas is born. Thomas develops a surgical treatment for blue baby syndrome.

1959 – English physicist and mathematician Stephen Wolfram is born. Wolfram co-founds Wolfram Research, which develops the computational software Mathematica.

August 30

1852 – Dutch chemist Jacobus Henricus van ‘t Hoff, Jr. is born. Van ‘t Hoff’s work is foundational to the modern fields of physical chemistry and organic chemistry. Van ‘t Hoff’s research into chemical kinetics and stereochemistry earns him the first Nobel prize awarded for chemistry in 1901.

1871 – New Zealand physicist and chemist Ernest Rutherford is born. Rutherford is a pioneer in the field of nuclear physics, and oversees the Geiger-Marsden experiment which confirms the existence of the atomic nucleus. Rutherford discovers and names the proton, discovers the concept of radioactive half-life, and participates in the discovery of the neutron.

1909 – The Burgess Shale fossil field is discovered by American paleontologist Charles Doolittle Walcott. Walcott spends the next 15 years collecting over 65,000 fossil specimens.

August 31

1895 – The Navigable Balloon is patented by German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin.

Friday Funny!

A back to school Friday Funny!


Have a better math/science/teaching joke than this one? Send it in here to be posted as one of our Friday Funnies!

New Semester Tips: Getting Started Assignments

Last year WebAssign released several Getting Started Assignments, and since then thousands of you at over 1,300 different institutions around the world have been using these interactive assignments to introduce your students to WebAssign. WebAssign’s Getting Started Assignments provide the opportunity for your students to familiarize themselves with the tools and question types they’ll be encountering throughout the semester, so when they start their first homework assignment the only thing they’ll need to worry about is getting that green check.

To complement our Mathematics, Calculus, and Physics assignments, we’ve recently created a Getting Started Assignment for Chemistry. The chemistry assignment will introduce your students to powerful chemistry tools such as MarvinSketch and WebAssign’s ChemPad. Look below for a preview of the Chemistry assignment, as well as information on how to best use the Getting Started Assignments in your courses. You can also read more about the Getting Started Assignments on our website, and try it out for yourself here!MarvinSketch

Best Practices for Using Getting Started Assignments in Your Courses

Deploy a premade assignment

The Getting Started Assignments can be scheduled to your courses by searching for the appropriate assignment ID number. The assignment ID for each of these discipline-specific assignments are listed below. You can also find this information on our website.

Getting Started with WebAssign – Mathematics (Search for Assignment ID 5969592)
Getting Started with WebAssign – Calculus (Search for Assignment ID 5969651)
Getting Started with WebAssign – Physics (Search for Assignment ID 5969658)
Getting Started with WebAssign – Chemistry (Search for Assignment ID 4555794)

Add the Getting Started questions to your assignments using the Question Browser

You can gain access to the individual Getting Started questions in the Question Browser by adding them as an additional resource when you create a course. Adding Getting Started questions to your assignments is an excellent way to provide interactive instruction to your students when they need it most. Most instructors use the Getting Started assignments at the beginning of the semester, but if your students won’t be encountering a particular tool or question type later in the class, you can add the relevant Getting Started question at the top of their first assignment in which they’d encounter that tool or question.

Use the Getting Started Assignments as year-long practice and exploration in the WebAssign application

The Getting Started Assignments can be a space for students to explore WebAssign’s tools and question formats without risking losing submissions on graded assignments. Self-paced exploration is a great way to become comfortable with new technology. By leaving the assignment available for the duration of the course, and granting the students a large number of submissions, they can familiarize themselves with the WebAssign application and its tools throughout the semester.

Get involved

Taking the assignment as a student gives you a better understanding of how students are interacting with the homework for your course. You can take the Getting Started Assignment yourself by scheduling it to your course, and clicking “Open Student View.” The Getting Started Assignments were designed to address the questions that we most often heard from you and your students, and we depend on your feedback to continue improving these resources. If you have any suggestions on how to improve the Getting Started Assignments, please post a comment below or contact us by phone or e-mail.

The Class of 2017 Mindset List

The Mindset List is a compilation of the values that shape the worldview of the new class of college freshman each year.  Originally created as a reminder to faculty to be aware of dated references,  Beloit College produces their annual Mindset List to take a look at the cultural touchstones that shaped the lives of students entering college in the fall.

Here are some of the fun facts about the newest class of college students who were born in 1995. Warning, this list will make you feel old!

    •  Having a chat has seldom involved talking. chat
    •  Their TV screens keep getting smaller as their parents’ screens grow ever larger.
    •  A tablet is no longer something you take in the morning. tablet
    • Their favorite feature films have always been largely, if not totally, computer generated.
    • With GPS, they have never needed directions to get someplace, just an address.


    • They have never really needed to go to their friend’s house so they could study together.
    •  A Wiki has always been a cooperative web application rather than a shuttle bus in Hawaii.


See the full list here!

New Semester Tips: Training Workshops

Whether you are new to WebAssign or just want to brush up on our recommended best practices, we encourage you to start the new semester off right and attend one of our free, online Training Workshops.


Our WebAssign 101 sessions are aimed towards newer users and cover topics such as creating a new course, rostering your classes, adding and managing assignments, and setting up the GradeBook.

More advanced WebAssign users should attend the WebAssign 201 webinar to dive deeper into advanced settings and communication tools.  Additionally, you won’t want to miss our specialty sessions on topics such as creating your own questions and free resources available for chemistry.  Check back often because we add new workshops frequently.

Don’t see a topic that you are interested in? We love feedback and suggestions, so please let us know what additional webinars you want to see in the comments section below!

Workshops are already scheduled throughout August and September at a variety of times, so click here to sign up today.

And remember, you can always contact your sales support member or open a Customer Support Case if you have additional questions!