January 18, 2005

The students return...

Once more, it is time for first week roulette. I'll let you know how it goes. Meanwhile, for your entertainment, I give you a first week roulette result from some time ago...

The University has quite a nifty system for registering students on the computer, to give them their new usernames and passwords. Students sit at the computer, type in some special guest username at the login screen, it then grills them with a few questions to see who they are, and then it tells them their name and password. Quite a handy system, when it works, much better than distributing little slips of paper to individual students, and much better than relying on students to have obtained their own login ID before their first programming practical lab.

So there I was, starting the practical session, with students all tappity tap tapping away, trying to get their brand new usernames. The registration system wouldn't let them on. What the F***?

It turned out that someone had turned the system off. Why? You might well ask. Someone decided to impose 9am-5pm hours on the system, and my practical class was in the evening. I ended up having to go and drag some poor IT support staff member who was working late in his office along to the computer lab, and he ended up sorting them out manually.

It baffles me. A University that regularly puts on a whole raft of courses in the evening, and someone just decided, at a stroke, to make it impossible for programming students to have their first class. Furthermore, the IT support staff had already been reprimanded a few days earlier for the very same thing! They had the registration system turned off at the weekend, when some other class was starting!

And don't even get me started about the difficulties of trying to get IT support in the evenings. How a University can not only insist that courses be taught in the evening but also insist that IT support will not be provided in the evening for said courses, well words fail me.


At 10:11 pm, Blogger totalxsive said...

At our university, they let the person who manages postgraduate accommodation allocations take the weekend off the weekend before freshers' week when about 80% of postgraduate students arrive.


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