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Loyola University Chicago

Mathematics and Statistics

WebWork Frequently Asked Questions

Using WebWorK

   

This document is adapted from Dartmouth College http://webwork.dartmouth.edu/

Using WebWorK

  1. How do I log on?
  2. I changed my password and forgot it. What should I do?

Doing homework

  1. Why can't I see all the homework problems?
  2. How do I see the correct answer?
  3. I'm sure my answer is correct, but it is scored as a wrong answer. What can I do?
  4. What happens if I answer a question right the first time, and try it again later and get it wrong?
  5. Can I get an extension on the due date?
  6. How do I see my progress on homework for the course?
  7. How can I look at closed homework sets? They seem to have disappeared from the list.
  8. The answer box is too small. How do I enter my answer?
  9. How many decimal places do I need to have my answer scored correctly?

Errors and messages

  1. How do I report a problem?
  2. What does "There is a syntax error in your answer" mean?
  3. Why does my problem display with a pink background?
  4. What does "Error: /usr/lib/cgi-bin/webwork/system_1.5/cgi-scripts/processProblem8.pl" mean?
  5. What does a pink background and the message "* Use of uninitialized value in join at (eval 111) line 2406" at the bottom of the screen mean?

Using WebWorK

  1.     How do I log on?
    To log into WebWorK, click on this link for webwork�. You will see a link which gives a list of current courses using WebWork. Go to that list and click on your course. You may bookmark that page to return to it directly. 
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  2.     I forgot my Password. what now?
    Your instructor can reset your password to its initial password.
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Doing homework

  1.     Why can't I see all the homework problems?
    When you choose a problem set from the WebWorK welcome page, the status of that set is given next to its name. Each set has an open date, due date, and answer date. If it is before the open date, you cannot view the problems. If you go ahead and try to do the problem set or get a hard copy, you will get an error message. Please do not send email to the webmaster reporting this error, unless the problem set status is OPEN.

    Between the open date and due date, you can work on problems and submit answers to be graded and recorded. After the due date, you can work on problems and submit answers to be graded, but your scores will not be recorded.
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  2.     How do I see the correct answer?
    After the answer date, you may view the answer to a problem by checking the "Show Correct Answer" box and then submitting your answer, or by generating a hard copy with answers. Return to the top
  3.     I'm sure the answer is correct, but it is scored as a wrong answer. What can I do?
    Talk to your instructor.
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  4.     What happens if I answer a question right the first time, and try it again later and get it wrong?
    If you do a problem correctly once, its status will always be Correct even if you later do the problem again incorrectly. It the problem allows partial credit, the highest percentage correct you receive on any attempt is recorded, regardless of which parts are correct or not. So, to get 100% correct on a partial credit problem, you need all parts correct on the same attempt.
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  5.     Can I get an extension on the due date?
    The policy on extending due dates for homework is determined by your instructor. WebWorK supports individual due dates for students.
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  6.     How do I see my progress on homework for the course?
    From the welcome page, click the "Get Summary" button. Closed sets are at the end of the list.
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  7.    How can I look at closed homework sets?
    Closed sets are listed at the end. Scroll down the list to see them.
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  8.     The answer box is too small.
    WebWorK will accept hundreds of characters in an answer box, even if the box size on the screen is smaller. When you enter a long answer in a short answer box, the text scrolls to the left as you continue to type characters.
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  9.     How many decimal places?
    For most numerical problems, WebWorK counts an answer within .01 percent of the right answer as correct. So, if the right answer is 12345, anything between 12343.765 and 12346.235 counts as correct. If the correct answer is smaller, π /2 for example, an answer would need to be within about 0.0001570796 of π /2 to be considered correct.
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Errors and messages

  1.     How do I report a problem?
    If you believe there is a problem with the WebWorK software, click the "Feedback" button to send an email reporting the problem. If you are having difficulty doing homework or using WebWorK, see your instructor or attend a tutorial session.
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  2.     What does a "syntax error" mean?
    This usually means you entered a character or characters in the answer box when WebWorK was expecting a number. It can also mean you are missing a beginning or ending parenthesis. You will also get a form of syntax error if WebWorK expects a function of a particular variable as the answer, such as t, and you enter a function of a different variable, like x. Previewing your answer before you submit it can catch a lot of these types of errors.
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  3.     Why do I have a pink background?
    Although the problem writers have done their best to design error-free problems, an occasional one may pop up. It's a good idea to view your problems soon after the open date for the homework set so that if there is such an occurrence it can be corrected before the homework is due.

    To report the error, scroll down to display the Problem Set Version Number (PSVN). Make a note of this number, and the problem you are working on in the set. Click the "Feedback" button to open an email form. In comments, put the PSVN and problem number. Enter your email in the appropriate box, scroll down and click "Submit Your Comments".

    You should also speak to your instructor or T.A. about the error.
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  4.     What does this strange message mean?
    This error message appears when the file containing the problem you requested could not be found. Click the "Feedback" button to send email reporting the error. Include the problem set and problem number in your message. Return to the top
  5.     Another strange message.
    This usually means you have answered the question before, and your answer caused a syntax error. You can eliminate the pink screen by erasing the offending answer and submitting a blank answer, or of course by answering the problem correctly.
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Loyola

Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Loyola University Chicago · 1032 W. Sheridan Road, Chicago,IL 60660
Phone: 773.508.3558 · Fax: 773.508.2123 · Contact Us

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