online homework vs paper homework

Some professors assign online homework in lower level courses, such as through services like WeBWorK or WebAssign. Online homework has some clear advantages for instructors. However, in my experience, such systems receive largely negative feedback from students. Further, some instructors worry that online homework may not be as effective as paper homework.

Is there any research that indicates online homework is better or worse for students?

• My university has adopted some of the online homework tools and they're clunky. I am not familiar with WeBWorK, but have worked with MyMathLab and Pearson's Mastering series and both are extraordinarily picky about formatting. For example, using $x^{1/2}$ instead of $\sqrt{x}$ will be counted wrong. – David G Mar 21 '14 at 0:46