You may be wondering how to combine your class policies with the many settings and capabilities of WebAssign as you start your semester. These are some tips to help create a syllabus for your WebAssign course. It should include access instructions, assignment due dates, and extension policies.
Communicate clearly the requirements
Make sure you clearly define the course materials required and any information that students will need to make purchasing decisions. These include:
Technology and materials required: Author, book title, ISBN, and any other technology such as WebAssign.
Affordable options: Encourage students not to buy a hardcopy textbook. Instead, they can purchase WebAssign for the title that you require. This includes an eTextbook. Cengage Unlimited is also available to students. This includes access to WebAssign and our entire library of eTextbooks as well as online learning platforms.
Include a warning about textbooks that have been used with WebAssign access codes in your message. Students often choose to buy used textbooks from outside vendors, only to find out that the WebAssign access codes were already used by a previous student.
Include Access Instructions and Purchase Instructions
Students can purchase course materials by creating a Cengage account and then purchasing their materials directly through the platform. Students can also purchase course materials at the campus bookstore or another vendor.
To make it easy for students to access and purchase WebAssign
Navigate to https://startstrong.cengage.com/ and select WebAssign to receive personalized instructions that match your course type. To create your syllabus, copy the link at top of page.
If you don’t use a Learning Management System, include the Class Key in your syllabus. This will allow students connect their WebAssign account with your course.
Your syllabus should clearly state that students will be required to purchase materials from a bookstore.
Students are reminded that they have 14 days to buy WebAssign. However, students will not be allowed to access their WebAssign class until the start of your course.
You can find templates for different ways to access WebAssign on our Syllabus Resources Page.
Introduce students to WebAssign
WebAssign may be unfamiliar to some students. Introduce students to WebAssign by including the following in your syllabus:
WebAssign brief description: Help students understand WebAssign and how it will benefit them. WebAssign can help you prepare for class with confidence. It encourages practice so you can absorb the material and are better prepared for test time. Videos, tutorials, and your eTextbook will help you understand concepts and provide instant feedback so that you know where you are in class. You can focus your study time and get additional practice where it is most useful.
Video introduction for students: This video guides students through the key features of WebAssign and gives tips on how to make the most out of the platform in their class.
To increase engagement, you can require WebAssign for your course
Students are less likely to purchase something if they don’t need it. Students should be required to complete WebAssign activities at least 20% of their class grade in order to keep them engaged in the course and WebAssign activities.
A value of 10% or lower may indicate that students are less committed and will skip WebAssign. This could cause them to miss great opportunities for staying on track, deepening topic understanding, and building confidence.
Define Your Class Policies
Do you ever wish to modify your class policies but weren’t sure what WebAssign could do? Let’s look at the common policies and settings that WebAssign supports and how they can be referenced in your syllabus.
Deadlines for Assignments
Give students instructions on when their WebAssign assignments are due. WebAssign allows you to set the due dates for assignments. You can either make them due at the same time each week (recommended), as well as making them due a few hours prior to class.
You have two ways to offer extensions in WebAssign–automatically or manually (which requires your approval). No matter which method you choose, you should clearly explain how you plan on approaching extensions in your course. This could include:
No extensions allowed.
Extensions are available upon request, if there is a good reason (e.g. an emergency or a health concern). These requests will be sent to you and you can approve or deny them.
You can customize the number of extensions per category. You might allow homework extensions for one semester, but not for exams.
Automatic extensions subject to penalty Students may request extensions more than once. You can include a penalty such as a percentage of their assignment score or a set amount of points.
Extra Time for a Timed Assignment
Extra time is required by a student or multiple students.