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Uh-oh Spaghetti-o’s

October 11, 2010

Staff Opinion

Because Young Harris College has transitioned into a four-year school, there are several new academic resources, such as Moodle, that were instated this year to help the college reach the stature necessary to be recognized as a four-year institution. While Moodle has the potential to be an excellent resource for YHC students to use in their classes, the level of use throughout the college is inconsistent. This inconsistency has led to confusion, and this uncertainty allows the usefulness of the program to be overshadowed altogether.

When classes began this fall, the finishing touches were still being made to Moodle. Only after a few weeks had passed did the program begin to function. Then, once the program was running, professors and students began trying to understand how to use Moodle and what capabilities the program offers. For some professors and students, Moodle was easy to learn, but an overwhelming majority of students and professors have had difficulty navigating the program.

Because of Moodle’s late blooming, some professors have chosen to exclude Moodle from their course entirely, while others are completely dependent on Moodle as a teaching tool.

This creates a huge level of inconsistency for students. Students are bounced back and forth between professors that post lecture notes and those that don’t post lecture notes. And, on the flip side, professors encounter students that do upload assignments and do not upload assignments.

This resistance is attributed to the lack of preparation for this technology. Moodle was thrown into the laps of professors and students with little, if any, training. Many professors have chosen not to incorporate Moodle into their subject matter simply because they don’t know how to use Moodle. Likewise, many students have failed to turn in assignments on time because they didn’t understand Moodle.

The confusion completely eclipses the potential that Moodle has as a teaching tool. Moodle has numerous features that could prove useful for class discussions and make turning in assignments easier, but the confusion that has erupted as a result erases any evidence that Moodle could be a valuable academic commodity.

If programs such as Moodle plan on being implemented in the future, these plans should be incorporated in a way that provides adequate time for students and especially professors to understand the program. And, the program should be introduced at the initial beginning of the semester. This way, a program will provide students and professors with an academic service without causing unnecessary confusion.

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