New Term Tip: Getting Started Assignments

Several years ago, we released the Getting Started Assignments, and since then thousands of instructors at over 1,500 different institutions around the world have been using these interactive assignments to introduce 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.

If you’re using a textbook that utilizes one of WebAssign’s Course Packs, you’ll find that the relevant Getting Started Assignment has been included. WebAssign will continue to expand our offering of Course Packs, and you can look for the Getting Started Assignments in those Course Packs as more become available.

To date we have Getting Started Assignments for mathematics, calculus, chemistry, and physics and all are available for free with your WebAssign account. Read more about the Getting Started Assignments, utilize the best practice tips below, and try them out for yourself!

Best Practices for Using Getting Started Assignments in Your Courses

Schedule a pre-made assignment
The Getting Started Assignments can be scheduled to your courses by searching for the appropriate assignment ID number. We recommend making one of these assignments available to students to work on before starting on actual graded homework. 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 the 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 in a low-stakes environment. 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.