By Erik Luna
Many instructors now use websites to put up assignments, tests and other useful information about their classes.
At East Los Angeles College, the three main websites that are used by instructors are Etudes, the Academic Computing Environment (ACE) and Moodle.
Etudes has always been a great website and I’ve never been let down by it in the three semesters I have used it.
In the first two weeks of this semester, Moodle has caused some very unnecessary headaches.
The biggest concern with using these websites is that at times students may not be able to access important files.
Teachers now refuse to give out certain handouts to students, probably because of laziness or an attempt to go green.
Students are forced to depend on technology that at times is not dependable.
Having asked some classmates about troubles with Moodle, I came to an understanding that the website had been currently under construction.
Kevin Huotari and Harry Lord who work as site administrators for Moodle said they had been going through some modifications to the site and it caused a scheduled maintenance outage. All Moodle users received this announcement.
During the middle of studying for my first exam of the semester, I was not able to log onto Moodle to look at the study sheet that was placed by my instructor.
I panicked and grabbed my book to reread the chapters to see what nuggets of information could stick in my brain. I guess I simply did not get the message that was sent out.
No one is to blame, but changes must be made.
Putting important academic documents up online is a vital way to try and get this information to the students, but whatever happened to the good old-fashioned way?
Whatever happened to teachers passing out handouts that students so desperately need? Not every student has a smart phone, or has regular access to a computer.
Instructors could also ask their students “Who has trouble getting their assignments from online?” Students can then visit their instructors during office hours to get a print out.
It would save students the headache of not being able to access the sites.
Ultimately, if instructors feel a handout is vital for student success, then they should hand them out in class instead of resorting to putting them up online.
These websites that students use everyday are wonderful, but systems can and have failed.
It would be up to the instructor to make sure their students are well caught up, and have all the materials they need to pass the class.