oxymoron67: (Default)
Today, I spent most of the morning in a seminar all about our new ePortfolio system.

Our ePortfolio program is one of the more advanced (perhaps THE most advanced) in the country, which is amazing considering the ePortfolio platform we are currently phasing out was Godawful.

No, seriously.

I'm a tech-friendly guy: I use tech in my classrooms all the time. My students create and edit their own audio and video clips, and I create audio and video stuff for them. I use Blackboard extensively.

Yet, I refused to use our ePortfolio system.

Why?
1) The limit on file size was a bit daunting.
2) The interface sucked out loud.
3) It was a complicated multi-step process, and if you did the least little thing wrong, you had to start all over.
4) The server it was on crashed like a 1973 Ford Pinto: often and catastrophically.

Ick.

So, in my classes, I'd say "You all know what ePortfolio is. If you do something in this class that you're proud of, go ahead and post it there."

The new system is much, much simpler. The interface makes A LOT more sense.

I may not include it with my Fall class. I'm planning on doing a number of new things in the Fall (or else I get bored), but I probably will in the Spring.

The seminar itself was kind of boring at first. Mostly because the first presenter read from her Powerpoint to us. (I LOATHE this. I can read. If you're giving a presentation and all you;re doing is reading from the Powerpoint, sit your ass down, I can read it myself.)

She also punctuated every third sentence with a cough.

So, I was totally bored by the time Prof. Asthma sat down.

Oh, and there were no snacks at first. They didn't come in until Prof. Asthma had started her talk, and we couldn't access them until she sat down. They were in front of the screen, so if we got up... we'd block the screen. Hmmph.

Then they gave us an overview of the new ePortfolio system. I'd already played with it earlier, so I knew some of this stuff.

But it was still a good overview.

Then we were supposed to get hands-on time, but we never did because my fellow seminar participants asked question after question. In their defense, most of the questions were on-point. But two people in particular were ... um... let's just say that their phasers were set on stupid.

One was in out College Now program, which works with the high schools which are affiliated with us. She was obsessed with seeing what the software company had to say about program assessment. Which we can;t see, because the contract we signed didn't include it. We're doing our own assessment stuff.

But she wouldn't accept that for an answer. Ten of us, myself included tried to tell her this.

The other person was the adjunct coordinator in one of our academic departments. She wanted to know what she had to tell her adjuncts, and could they just give her a handout because her adjuncts REFUSED TO USE E-MAIL.

A few years ago, I came across someone like that. They wanted to make a reservation to use one of the computer labs. I told them to e-mail me the information, because a hard copy means fewer mistakes. He said that he didn't use e-mail and got all assy about it.

So, I told him, "Look, I've been using e-mail since the early 80's. By using e-mail I'm only asking yu to be two decades behind the times. You can manage that, right?"

He complained to my boss, I refused to apologize. He never used the lab. No great loss.

Anyway, the seminar.

Then adjunct coordinator woman said something that struck me as even dumber. Her department requires all its students to have an ePortfolio, it doesn't require students to put ANYTHING IN IT.

This is like saying, "You have to turn in a ten page paper. I can be blank, mind you, but you have to turn it in."

Stupid.

Despite dealing with these people, the seminar iteself was a success. I enjoyed it and got a lot out of it.
oxymoron67: (hypnobasset)
So, do you want to talk about higher education? )
oxymoron67: (no bear)
click here for details )

Part V

Oct. 28th, 2007 10:12 pm
oxymoron67: (Default)
I know it's long. )
oxymoron67: (reading)
The next chapter of the Vermont Saga. )

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