Complaints arise on new Moodle
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Complaints arise on new Moodle
  • Park Se-ra, Ko Min-seok
  • 승인 2012.09.18 09:25
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Moodle, tangled with errors, now in process of stabilization
The new Moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) system has been receiving some complaints from students and faculty since it’s first week of launching.
Starting this fall, Ewha’s course management system – the tool used by professors and students for classwork and announcements – has changed to Moodle. Despite the attractive new features the system promised, students seem to feel uncomfortable about the numerous glitches they have been experiencing for the past week.
“The professor uploaded the course materials on the site but somehow it wouldn’t operate properly. The professor had to carry out the class without any materials, and all of the students had to sit there listening without handouts for the entire 90 minutes,” Ju Se-jin (International Studies, 2) said.
Frequent errors have been causing students problem to access to most course materials, faculty to update their pupils on syllabus changes, and entire classes to simulate discussions in written form.
“Our class needed to do an online discussion but none of us could get to the site. The teaching assistant (TA) had to make a page on Facebook for us, but this was also bothering. I couldn’t concentrate during class because my phone kept ringing,” Yang Su-bin (International Studies, 3) said. Also, having the server inspection occur randomly, a number of students had to wait in front of the monitor endlessly.
Foreign professors had their own problem as the Cyber Campus notice was posted in Korean and there wasn’t any explanation in English. Graduate school students who also use this system had to submit their assignments personally via e-mail to the professors.
Other students reported instances in which the online board failed to submit the assignment on time.
“Many of us were in trouble because some of us had to turn in assignments after the deadline. It took me 30 minutes to upload a single file,” Hwang Jee-won (International Studies, 1) said. “The professor seemed troubled too. In the end she made an exception in allowing late assignments just for this time.”
Like this, students have been reporting problems all around campus about how the new system has been causing them to wait in a long and motionless line, wander around looking for the changed classroom, and come into class empty-handed.
“Three years since its inception in 2009, we’ve prepared to accommodate most classes. However there were problems that we did not predict, and I am deeply sorry that students had to suffer during the process of fixing and adapting it,” Jo Il-Hyun (Education Technology), the head of ITL said.
To test the system beforehand, the ITL recruited 70 professors to actually incorporate the program into the classroom for one year before the official launch.
In spite of the testing process, the system proved to be problematic ever since the beginning of operation.
“In the previous cyber campus most of the menus and functions are fixed but for Moodle it’s different. Professors can insert  various types of class materials if they want to. We didn’t expect so many people to use such services  from the beginning, which caused the site’s traffic,” Jo said.
A group of four of ITL is working to improve the system.
“Adapting to Moodle is a learning experience for both students and faculty; the Office of Information and Communications and other organizations are sending experts to help us build the infrastructure,” Jo said. “We have made improvements to the system, and the servers are in better condition – complaints on the speed has diminished. We look to better the situation by keeping keen interest on students’ frustration as they are the key indicators of the situation.”

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