WeBWorK Hosting

Runestone Academy offers hosting for WeBWorK courses. We do this to give greater access to WeBWorK, especially for institutions that do not have their own WeBWorK server.

Cost

Through Summer 2022 and possibly longer, the cost is $100 per section. There is no restriction on how many students you may enroll in one section. Runestone will only send an invoice once you are using the course(s) with actual students.

Restrictions

We must be aware of the potential for overuse of this server’s resources. WeBWorK in general may not perform well if too many users are active at the exact same time. Therefore we ask that no one use this service to administer quizzes or exams of any nature on a large scale. It should be OK for a typical course of around 30 students to have a timed quiz at the same time, but even that can become an issue if coincidentally, several other courses do the same thing at the same time. So it is best to plan to not use timed quizzes with this service, or if you do, to plan for times that are unlikely to overlap with other users. We will reach out to you if we find your course is responsible for too much activity, and we reserve the right to clsoe access to your course until the issue is resolved.

Demonstration Courses

Please visit the Runestone WeBWorK site to visit a few demonstration courses, where you may log in as a guest and try exercises.

Course Request Form

If you would like to request a WeBWorK course, please fill out this Google form. If you have a complicated request that the form doesn’t cover, please contact alex@runestoneinteractive.com.

FAQ

  1. Is WeBWorK accessible?

    Yes, WeBWorK itself is considered very accessibile, and has an Accessibility Guide. It is always possible for individual exercises in WeBWorK to have been coded without proper concern for accessibility issues, but for the most part, individual exercises are accessible. When they are not, the instructor has access to edit them to become accessible.

  2. Will I be able to integrate my WeBWorK course with my LMS?

    Probably. We will work with you to set that up. It does require some collaboration between us at the WeBWorK end, and you working within your LMS. Depending on how your institution manages its LMS, you may need the LMS IT staff to grant you permission. And again depending on your institution, there may be a lengthy review process for that. It has been done successfully with Canvas and Desire2Learn using this WeBWorK server. It has also been done successfully with Blackboard and Moodle with WeBWorK in general.

  3. Where do I find problems to use?

    Within WeBWorK there is an Open Problem Library with tens of thousands of contributed exercises. These exercises are tagged so you can search for what you would like to find. Depending on the subject area, we may be able to put you in contact with problem authors who will license their problems to you with no hassle. You may also write/code your own WeBWorK exercises. There is a strong user community and wiki site to help with this.

  4. What about pre-packaged ready-to-go courses?

    Depending on what you need, we may be able to set you up with something. A few examples are visible at the Runestone WeBWorK site. There are more model courses we can load for you as well.

  5. What kind of tech support can I expect?

    If something is not working with the WeBWorK course, you can contact Alex to look into it and work on it. Response times up through Summer 2022 will vary between immediate and 24 hours later. If something is not working with an individual WeBWorK problem, that is a different matter. See the next question.

  6. Something is not working with a WeBWorK problem. Or it has an accessibility issue. Or I want to design a new WeBWorK problem that behaves in a certain way. If I am not able to work it out using the user forums and reference information at the wiki, what can I do?

    Alex may be available to debug an existing WeBWorK problem or design a template problem from scratch. This depends on how busy life is at that time. But there is always the WeBWorK-using community mentioned above to support you.

  7. What if I invest my time in this service, setting up some WeBWorK courses, but then I have to leave? For example, if this service goes away or it becomes a service with a fee that I am not able to pay. Will I be able to keep my content?

    Yes, each WeBWorK course can be archived into a file that you can take with you. This file includes all of the course setup that you put in place, as well as student data. Then you can upload this file into another WeBWorK server and reconsitute the course. Generating this file is something that we must do for you, but we will always be able to do that when you ask.

  8. Will this service go away someday?

    Maybe, but we know that faculty cannot turn on a dime. (Well, they can when the need arises, but they should not be forced to.) So if this service ever goes away, we will alert all users sometime before the end of June and then continue operating all the way through any summer courses, shutting down before Fall.

  9. What about student data privacy?

    The only users with access to your student data are you and the faculty you add to the course, and Runestone Academy administrators. Runestone Academy will not access your student data except in the course of assisting you with an issue. Please see the Runestone Interactive Privacy Policy and Terms of Use for more details.

    If you do not use integration with an LMS, there is the option to make up code names for students and omit their email addresses, so that the Runestone WeBWorK server never has actual personal identifiable information.

    If you do use integration with an LMS, then depending on the LMS it may be possible to configure the External Tool (in the LMS) to use something that is not personal identifiable information as the student’s WeBWorK ID. For example, in Canvas there is an internal Canvas ID for each user that is not related to the institution’s student ID. Canvas could use this to authenticate a user into WeBWorK, and omit sending email addresses. This way the Runestone WeBWorK server never has actual personal identifiable information, unless you count the obscure internal Canvas ID.

  10. I’m in Canada, or Europe, or someplace where the local laws and policies make it problematic for me to put student data on your server. What can I do?

    For starters, see the options mentioned in the previosu item. But if there are still concerns, read on. We use cloud computing that is based in the US, but we have looked into the possibility of moving to a Toronto-based data center. If there is enough demand, we will make that move and we hope it helps smooth things out for you. Wherever you are, please look into the details of the local laws and policies before getting yourself in any trouble. It may help to consider using this WeBWorK hosting without using LMS integration.