The WeBWorK Project (TWP)

The WeBWorK Project is a large volunteer community that supports the WeBWorK open source software. Members of The WeBWorK Project contribute new questions and features to WeBWorK, curate the open problem library, respond to help requests on the forum, and communicate WeBWorK advancements and research at conferences and in university settings.

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Vision statement

“Ask the questions you should, not just the ones you can.”

To continue on-going research into harnessing the internet to improve STEM education. To develop software and best practices that extends the capabilities of online homework/intentional practice in order to enable and promote active learning.

Mission statement

The WeBWorK Project (TWP) is the administrative umbrella supporting the open source WeBWorK on-line homework system, and its goals are:

  • Sustain and improve the system
  • Increase its user, developer, and consultant/support bases to include those who would reasonably be interested in and benefit from engagement with WeBWorK
  • Manage and provide leadership for development of the system and the Open Problem Library of WeBWorK problems
  • Monitor and provide the contact point for academic and commercial uses of the WeBWorK system

TWP affirms and supports the development, promotion, and use of open source software and open resources in general, and seeks collaborations and supportive relationships with other open source projects and commercial and other ventures that support and honor the goals of open source software.

Community principles

  • The WeBWorK Project does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, creed, color, handicap, disability, veteran status, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation or any other hitherto unknown discriminatory method for discerning an individual from another individual in a negative fashion.
  • The WeBWorK Project will not allow exclusive licenses for work created by or donated to the TWP. No-one will be able to license exclusive access to our materials. (They can create exclusive derivatives, for example some have created proprietary questions, but most question developed have been contributed to the community under CC-SA-BY-NC ).

History and use of funds

WeBWorK was founded in 1996 by Prof. Michael Gage and Prof. Arnold Pizer, professors in the mathematics department at the University of Rochester, and further developed with support by grants from the NSF under the leadership of Gage, Pizer and Dean Vicki Roth. In 2009 they partnered with the Mathematics Association of America (MAA) and received a 5 year “dissemination” grant to expand WeBWorK’s use at a few dozen universities/colleges to many more institutions. Currently, there are at least 1300 institutions using WeBWorK. A map of institutions that have used WeBWorK for at least one course is at The TWP was formed in 2018 to oversee the continued development of WeBWorK and to seek new partners, collaborators and sponsors.

While we were supported by the NSF almost all of our funds were spent on “code camps,” hack-a-thon like meetings for developing webwork core code
(e.g insuring accessibility). The code camps encouraged casual WeBWorK users to become more deeply involved in the product by bringing them together with experienced developers. (e.g., ). We funded lodging/meal and travel expenses — labor was volunteered.

These code camps build morale, help key developers stay on the same page, attract more core developers and also get a lot accomplished since we are away from our day jobs. 🙂 Although almost all of our coding talent has been donated by volunteers we have on occasion commissioned a community member to develop and deliver a specific product (e.g. Goeff Goehle developed the Just-In-Time feature for North Carolina State). Until we can bring people together again in person, we will support our workshop leaders to develop creative alternatives in developing materials and presentation methods through quality remote activities.