Editor, Daily Nexus,
I am frustrated with the way WeBWork is run and how students are graded on their performances.
WeBWork is a system used by some UCSB professors to allow students to turn homework in through an online system. A student is given a number of problems and is then given a specific period of time to correctly answer problems. This is convenient for professors, but it brings about tremendous frustration for the students.
I would honestly compare WeBWork to those systems that electronically grade essays. Computers are designed with no abstraction. They are not designed to compensate for a user’s ability to please an electronic grader. If it came down to an electronic algorithm, essays would likely be very bland and very appalling to read. This goes the same for WeBWork.
Students should not be graded purely on accuracy either. This system does not promote anything but frustration and accuracy, and sadly, it provides professors with an excuse to improperly assess students’ potential. Is a student who attempts all problems in the assigned homework worse then the student who accurately completes all the required homework? A homework assignment should reinforce class material. It should not be a burden for struggling students who may require more than a week of studying to fully absorb the week’s material.
Another aspect that WeBWork overlooks is a student’s ease of cheating through WeBWork. This is simply done by copying and pasting from one student’s correct answer to another student’s blank answer. This is unfair to students who try to stay honest.
I do understand the convenience of having WeBWork though. It allows students the flexibility to turn in homework outside of lecture and discussion times, and allows users to use any computer to access their homework. However, in my opinion, these two conveniences do not outweigh the frustration given by the inflexible and illogical system of WeBWork.