Even if you've used WebAssign for your past courses, you’ll still have students each semester that need help getting started with the platform. To support you, we asked instructor and Faculty Partner Katie Culler from Surry Community College to share her tips and tricks for helping students get comfortable with WebAssign.
Keep reading for 6 peer tips from Katie Culler to make sure your students start strong this semester in WebAssign.
1) Require WebAssign For A Portion Of Their Grade To Enhance Usage
Students are less likely to use WebAssign and realize its benefits unless it's a required part of their grade. I assign WebAssign for at least 10% of a student’s overall grade, but best practices recommend around 20% to encourage them to use the platform effectively. This makes their WebAssign average worth the same percentage as a test. I emphasize that this is an opportunity to maximize their grade because they get multiple attempts on every question. Who wouldn’t want to have a 100% test grade in their grade book?
2) Use The Syllabus And In Class Time To Help Students Log In
Make sure all login instructions including the link to WebAssign, class key, purchase options and supporting training materials are included in the syllabus. Then, ask your students to bring their laptops and sign into the platform during class time. This allows you to troubleshoot any issues with them while they're with you on their own computer.
3) Explain The Benefits Of WebAssign To Your Students
If students don’t understand why they should use WebAssign, they may not realize the ways it can support their success in your course. I tell my students that it provides an environment to practice the skills we learn together in class with different tools to help them better understand the content. The quick and easy access to the eBook and videos within the assignments themselves also allow the students to troubleshoot specific questions on their own.
Pro Tip: Share this video with your students for their peers’ perspectives on WebAssign.
4) Show Students Key Features To Enhance Success
Make sure students are aware of the practice materials and course support within WebAssign to encourage independent learning and improve their overall performance. I show students the key features outlined
below, which are all accessible on the home page of the new student interface.
5) Assign the Getting Started Assignment To Show Students How To Use WebAssign
Assign the Getting Started with WebAssign assignment during the first week of class to make sure students understand how to use the platform. To find the Getting Started with WebAssign assignment, go to ‘edit class settings’ and click ‘Add Textbooks & Free Additional Content.’ Within this tab, you’ll be able to search all free content or use the 'CTRL+F' shortcut and search ‘getting started’ to find the Getting Started Assignment quickly.
6) Address Technical Difficulties Early
I strongly encourage my students to reach out to me if they are having any kind of issue within WebAssign so that we can troubleshoot early. By asking students to log into WebAssign during class time, I’m able to identify and address tech challenges in class and prevent them in the future. I also allow more extensions at the beginning of the semester to allow for students to get used to the platform and troubleshoot any challenges. Students seem to feel much better when they know you are willing to work with them as long as they are trying. I remind them that I am a resource for their learning.
Pro Tip: Share the Tech Check link with students so they have a real-time view of any technical difficulties WebAssign may be experiencing.
Need A Quick Reference Instead?
If you don’t have class time to cover these topics with your students and would still like similar outcomes, copy the following links into your syllabus as an introduction to WebAssign.
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