September 6, 2003

Computer woes and lessons

The university computing center made a major mistake in upgrading Blackboard just before the fall semester began. The result? Significant glitches and long stretches when the server has either been down entirely or just so screwed up as to make no difference between screwed up and completely off-line. So I’ve been reassuring frantic students that I’ll adjust deadlines for on-line quizzes so no one in the class is penalized for technical problems.

I made my own goof yesterday in trying to upgrade the on-line journal system I’m using for my graduate class. Didn’t I learn anything from what happened with Blackboard??? Evidently not. Oh, well. I was able to revert to the older level. Fewer nice things, but I can deal with it, and I only caused minor panic when the database screwed up passwords and I couldn’t figure out how to reset them for students. (I did, eventually.) This should be a good basis for when we discuss educational technology later in the semester, no?

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Posted in Teaching at 9:14 AM (Permalink) |

September 3, 2003

And the pace steps up...

Thanks to several server failures at the university’s Blackboard portal, students have panicked this week about various deadlines for taking on-line quizzes. I say, “Don’t worry too much.” So this week is scrambling to figure out what Blackboard is actually doing (or not) and holding hands.

I’ve been invited to be a “fellow” at another university’s ed policy center. It’s a low-time commitment, and I’ll accept it pending my university’s approval of the outside work. That’s almost inevitably forthcoming, if you fill out the right forms. Now, if only that annual meeting wouldn’t conflict with the annual meeting of the Social Science History Association (which they do this year) ...

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Posted in Random comments at 11:07 PM (Permalink) |