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Cooking with PERL: 3 Tips for Getting Started with Question Creation


 One of WebAssign’s most powerful features is the ability to create your own questions or modify existing questions. For those who are just getting started, our content consultants Austin Luton and Jeff Hardee have the following three tips to get going creating your own questions.


1) Write out the exercise on paper before creating it in WebAssign 


Writing out the entire question and solution on paper puts you in a much more comfortable position to create the question in WebAssign.


Try writing out the question as it might appear in a textbook, including the solution to the question. This is a good time to come up with a consistent way of naming your questions. If all of your homework questions have names like Homework 1.1.001., and your quiz questions are named Quiz 1.1.001., you’ll be able to find both types of questions more easily.


2. Work in steps, starting simply


You may want to turn your question from suggestion (1) into a tutorial question that gives students feedback while playing a video from YouTube, but it’s best to start small and to write your WebAssign question in stages.


Start by creating a version of the question in WebAssign that looks like the one you wrote on paper. Once you have a working basic version of the question, it is much easier to add random numbers, images, or other features. Make sure you preview your question often, and don’t forget to save your work!


3) Make use of the online help and question templates


Make use of the online help and question templates – The online help system for WebAssign has many examples of how to create different types of questions in WebAssign.


Most help entries have one or more template questions that demonstrate how to implement the feature discussed in the article. Every WebAssign instructor has access to these template questions. You can search for them in WebAssign, duplicate them, and modify the questions for your classes, or use them as a way to learn how to create new question types in WebAssign.


Let’s look at the help entry for creation questions where students are asked to enter a fraction: Create Fraction Questions.


If you scroll to the bottom of that help entry, you’ll see that there are three different template questions demonstrating how to create different kinds of fraction questions. Try opening the Example Numerical Question Requiring a Fraction or Decimal (Template2 2.NUM.07.)  and duplicating it for your own use!




Questions? Don't hesitate to reach out to via email if you need help creating a question!

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