WeBWorK - Brightspace Integration

This guide explains how to use the WeBWorK - Brightspace integration to have Brightspace automatically create student WeBWorK accounts, let students go from Brightspace to WeBWorK without having to log in, and have students' WeBWorK grade automatically transferred back to your Brightspace gradebook.

Before You Start

  • Faculty using WeBWorK and Brightspace must have an active teacher account in both systems.

  • Each Brightspace class must have its own WeBWorK class associated

  • Contact Aaron Heap in Mathematics for assistance with WeBWorK

  • You must know the URL of your WeBWorK class. The format will be: https://webwork.geneseo.edu/webwork2/yourclassname

Steps to Connect WeBWork to your Brightspace Course

CIT has added WeBWorK as an LTI tool in Brightspace. You will need to make an activity and an assignment in a Brightspace module that students can use to get to WeBWorK.

  1. Log in to brightspace.geneseo.edu

  2. Go to your Course, then click Content, then select (or create) the WeBWork Homework module. (If you do not see it, create it using "Add a module...")

  3. Add a WeBWork activity to "Existing Activities"

    1. Click on Existing Activities then External Learning Tools

    2. Scroll to the bottom of the window that appears and click Create New LTI Link

    3. Fill in the Title Field (Link to WeBWork)

    4. Paste the URL of your class in the LTI URL box. (https://webwork.geneseo.edu/webwork2/yourclassname)

    5. The Tool box will automatically fill in Legacy LTI Tool

    6. Click Create (not Create and Insert)

    7. Click Cancel to leave Activity window

  4. Create the Assignment in the WeBWork Homework module

    1. Click Upload/Create then New Assignment

    2. Set values for the assignment name (e.g.  WeBWorK ) and Grade Out of values (100)
      the assignment point value must be 100 if you are displaying the grades passed from WeBWorK to Brightspace

    3. Click on the In Grade Book menu then Edit or Link to Existing

    4. Select Create and link to a new grade item. Choose a Grade Category. Click OK.

    5. Add instructions. Enter the WeBWork assignment and click on "Link to WeBWork" to access WeBWork in a new browser window.

    6. Click on the button with a lightning bolt and link chain to add WeBWork.

    7. In the window that appears, click on External Learning Tools then the Link to WeBWork activity

    8. If the connection is correct, a preview of the WeBWork screen will appear

    9. Toggle the Hidden button to ensure the assignment is Visible to students

    10. Click Save and Close

  5. When students visit the assignment, they will have to click on Link to WeBWork to view their homework.

  6. Grades are passed back to Brightspace nightly. Students will not see immediate updates. Unfortunately, the grade that is passed to BrightSpace is the percentage of points earned over all assigned WeBWork sets, including those that are not yet due. Because of this, the grade in BrightSpace may not be a true reflection of their actual grade. For example, if a student has completed only one assignment (10 problems) out of four total assignments (40 problems), then the grade passed to BrightSpace would be 25%, even though at that time the student should have a perfect 100% grade. For this reason, instructors may want to Hide a Single Grade Item or Grade Category from Students.

When a student logs into WeBWorK from Brightspace, their WeBWorK user for that course is automatically created or updated. This can save a lot of work in setting up your WeBWorK class. There are a few features/quirks of this process that should be mentioned:

  • Accounts with a permission level of TA or higher are not automatically created by default for security reasons. So you will have to add your TA's and other professors manually.

  • WeBWorK tries to parse the course section from the course title by splitting on the dash character; "202201-MATH-223-02" would set the student's section to "02".

  • Students created via the LMS are assigned all visible sets. However, the due dates of these sets are not adjusted to take late registrations into account unless you get fancy.

Backend Technical Info

WeBWorK users are provisioned per-course using the LTI Advanced module. Because WeBWorK supports Central Auth sign-ins (in addition to Brightspace), we have configured LTI Advanced to provision users with their short Geneseo network account usernames to match what CAS releases to WeBWorK.


The WeBWorK code has two helpful mechanisms: warn() and debug(). You do need to restart Apache each time you make changes to WeBWorK's Perl files in /lib.

  • warn() - These function calls generally put the enclosed text in a red warning box on the web interface of WeBWorK.

  • debug() - If you have $WeBWorK::Debug::Enabled = 1; in a WeBWorK source file, any debug() calls below will add the enclosed text to WeBWorK's /logs/debug.log.

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