Webassign acts as busy work for students


sparknotes'n'webassign op art
Art by Natalia Sperry

As a students who has used Webassign for three of my five science classes, I think that I can easily say that instead of wasting my time googling answers to questions I haven’t even read, my time would be better spent looking at a study guide and spending time on things I actually need to know and asking questions.

  With some classes, there’s certain notation for answers, like in chemistry, that are easy to write out, but take a lot more time to fill in to a computer. Using the example of chemistry, some of the answers on webassign involve subscripts and exponents and Webassign will only take answers that are written out using perfect notation. Taking the time to put in an answer and making sure that it follows the correct set-up that Webassign has takes longer than the actual problem itself, making the whole thing very tedious and annoying.

  Getting a study guide from the teacher would make it go faster and it would feel like the students are actually doing something worth their time for an upcoming test. Also, paper study guides can be used to look back on for finals rather than having to go back into Webassign and backtrack the work done to find out how to get the right answer.  

  I’ll admit that I like the fact that Webassign gives immediate feedback when you answer a question, but when you constantly get a question wrong for whatever reason, there’s this urge to get 100% on the assignment so “googling” the question seems like the best option for most of us. However, the second we “google” the question, we no longer learn anything and are just plugging in random numbers and equations in to get an answer that most of us don’t know where came from.

  I know it seems like a simple answer to this would just to be tak the time to go into class for helps on these problems that we can’t figure out rather than just “googling” them. But after having several Webassign assignments contain nothing that has been on a test, it seems to me like just another grade in the gradebook, and “googling” the answer saves me time, and my grade, when I should be studying the things that really will be on the test.

  Overall, I think my time would be better spent on a study guide from the teacher or doing my own review rather than using Webassign because I can study the information that I need to look over and I can better know what will be on the upcoming test, compared to just saving my grade on Webassign.

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