Monday, September 17, 2012

So now there's this happening.

Moodle is an online system that allows students and professors to connect, share information, and go paperless. It is one of several such systems; my alma mater (where i am currently employed) uses Moodle. It's a great system in a lot of ways: changes to the syllabus can be immediately posted in an accessible place, make-up dates for snow days or other delays can likewise be posted, and assignments can be updated. Students can turn in work electronically, ensuring a time stamp and eliminating wasted paper. It is also possible to lock the assignment window after a certain date, ensuring that students can't turn in assignments late. It has many wonderful features, and it would be a perfect system if it would only work properly.

In four years as an undergraduate student and one year as a grad student/employee, i have seen innumerable Moodle issues. The site cannot be fully accessed from IE, despite the fact that IE is the only browser that fully supports the other three online systems that the school uses. It sometimes crashes. It often gets confused about login credentials and blocks all attempts of everyone to use it.

And today, it is sending me quizzes from a marine biology course.

I am not teaching marine biology this semester. I am not the TA for marine biology this semester. I have never even taken marine biology. In fact, i took a regular bio course in high school and have never studied biology since. Yet for some reason, as these students submit their completed quizzes to Moodle, the quizzes are being sent to me for grading.

UPDATE: Turns out, this particular professor has been using Moodle for his class quizzes for years. This semester, as he was setting up the page, he did exactly the same things that he has always done, and the quizzes are rocketing all over the place. I've gotten two so far, the VP of Student Development has gotten a few, our data technician has gotten some. The professor has gotten none.

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