Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Goodbye, semester; hello, summer session

  • I turned in grades on Friday. My summer school class started today.
  • Since it's an online class that I've taught before, I've been updating and rewriting and generally fine-tuning the materials. This was my "weekend off."
  • However, I console myself by thinking that movie stars of old like Clark Gable and Barbara Stanwyck also had to turn around after finishing a movie and report right away for the next one. That's it: I'm a movie star.
  • Is anyone else demented enough to enjoy (very briefly) the period of setting up the gradebook in Excel, when everything's all shiny and the reality of grading hasn't set in yet?
  • You notice I didn't say anything about enjoying Blackboard/WebCT. I estimate that I spent a good hour of the time just waiting for it to upload and load things, to say nothing of the times that it just plain melted down and declined to do anything at all.
  • Among my grievances is the tiny box--about the size of an address label--that Blackboard/WebCT allows for those who want to write something in HTML and thus control the appearance of the page. Add that to the copious amounts of garbage code that Word inserts into everything, and inserting code into the page becomes an exercise in patience, like those artists who write names in calligraphy on a grain of rice.
  • I really should stop complaining about Blackboard/WebCT, but the school uses it and isn't inclined to change.

    Professor Zero said...

    Learning how to keep an Excel gradebook, or anything in Excel, is something I really should do.

    I also hate Blackboard/WebCT. And other such systems. And Quia.

    However: for these purposes I save a certain amount of suffering by not writing any handouts etc. in Word. WordPad, NotePad, SimpleText, the PiCo text editor for that matter, all put in less garbage code.

    Do you *like* online courses? I have never done one, or any form of distance learning. I can tell I would hate videoconferencing courses, but is online fun...?

    undine said...

    I resisted learning how to do anything in Excel for years, and even now I'm not good at it. But I can make up a gradebook that does what I want it to do, and it saves lots of time at the end of the semester.

    I haven't used Quia; what is it?

    Anything puts in less garbage code than Word! I have to wrestle with this when I adapt an old piece of text, though. Just doing the whole thing in Dreamweaver from the start is easier.

    Great question about online courses--I think I will post about it.

    And I'm *still* thinking about the great imperative.