Sunday, October 12, 2008

when is a hand-out not a hand-out

Currently waging a war against administration as the University have decided to ban students from accessing online resources until their fees are paid. One of my current courses has 120 students and is run entirely via 'e-learning' (whatever the hell that is). Basically, we can't use paper hand-outs, and all resources are on the intranet. Mmmm, lovely. However, given that a fair proportion of students are unable to pay their fees because their local authority has a backlog of loan payments, this means large sections of the class can't access the materials, or the exercises they are supposed to complete each week. It's as if the 'old-fashioned' lecturer with photocopies were to have intimate financial knowledge of their students and, on this basis, refuse to give copies to people in their class. It's immoral, and stupid, and cataclysmically time-consuming as I seek to find a way to get the oh-so-supposedly-bleeding-edge-of-technology materials to oh-so-old-skool-boringly-anxious students who are being punished for something that isn't their fault.

Infinite Thought

5 comments:

Andrew said...

We have this horrible thing called CourseWorks at Columbia for posting syllabus, homeworks, etc. CourseWorks was so slow and bureaucratic that I just avoid it. My TA set up a blog for the course where we post things. This also solves the problem of communicating with students who are not officially registered.

bernardomoraes said...

The simple solutions are often the best.

"Post-Google" by TAR ART RAT said...

been keeping an eye on the poor Icelanders- there was a radio report about how Icelandic students in other European cities were not able to access their bank accounts (because they've been frozen) and they have just had to make do-- without money- which is pretty freakish.

"Post-Google" by TAR ART RAT said...

p.s.- I know that wasn't totally related- but it has the same sort of "human interest" angle... or rather "human getting screwed by system" angle

bernardomoraes said...

You have to check out this site:

http://graphjam.com/