New website brings simplicity, ease
The simple fact is change is not always a good thing. Sometimes decisions that are made with the best of intentions do not have the desired results. For the most part, however, changes made to policy and the way things are done help to improve the company, business or school they pertain to regardless of scale or weight.
As a junior, I made it through two years of using Edline hoping that the site would not just time out or refuse to save my interactive assignment. I was not the only one who complained and griped about the lack of reliability on our old site.
Many of my fellow classmates voiced their grievances and dislike of the Edline system, and the technology department and administration acknowledged most of them.
I cannot tell you how many times I was working on an assignment or trying to get some homework submitted, only to find that Edline had mysteriously timed out.
It almost seemed like Edline was trying to turn me into a counter-productive and procrastinating teenager who easily gets distracted by the Internet and the people he subscribes to on YouTube.
I can remember dreading signing on to Edline because it took so incredibly long for me to get anything done, whether the task was submitting an article or downloading a LAP. Every single command took what seemed like an eternity to respond.
However, with the start of a new school year comes the start of StudentPlus. In theory, StudentPlus was designed to be the exact opposite of Edline, fixing all the major issues and bugs that came with the old site, and while it might have some minor problems of its own, they are nowhere near as terrible as the snail-like pace and confusion of Edline.
One of the major positive additions with StudentPlus is a clear and concise way to view our grades and averages in each of our classes. Instead of having to link to another screen entirely, all of your grades, be they outstanding or otherwise are prominently displayed as soon as you log in to the site.
Another plus when it comes to the new site is speed. When the entire school revolved around Edline, students would have to wait anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for grades to be updated so that they could have a better gauge on where they stood in a certain class. For someone like me who begins to get more than a little curious when I am waiting for a grade to come back, this was more nerve racking than taking the actual test.
With the current system, StudentPlus provides updates within a day or two because it is directly connected to each teacher’s grade book. In other words, if you know you did not perform so well on that history test, you do not have to wait in agony for a week only for your fears to be confirmed. The pain of a bad grade is swift and over quickly.
However, StudentPlus is not without its flaws. The lack of a reliable system to turn in assignments is one positive thing that Edline took with it, that is about the only good thing that was lost during the switch. The new site is much more aesthetically appealing, easier to use, and overall, more reliable. StudentPlus may take a while to get used to, but it will be worth it.
New portal fails to impress users
Our learning management website has changed, and not for the better. Gone are the days of an easily navigable website, where clicking on a class would bring you all of the information. Gone are the days of online quizzes and homework assignments.
While a great deal more aesthetically pleasing than little old Edline, StudentPlus needlessly complicates what should be easy and quick processes. Edline, despite its flaws, had a very user-friendly interface which the same cannot be said for our new learning management site StudentPlus.
On StudentPlus, everything is divided into tabs and each tab is split into each class. To look at your history grades, you must go through the grades tab and then filter the page by selecting history before being able to see what homework assignment you did not turn in two months ago. In addition to being a multi-step process, the issue is exaggerated by the incredibly long buffering times.
Even on our personal computers signing into StudentPlus can take up to two minutes, an issue we never had to deal with when Edline was in use. The slow performance of StudentPlus is quickly becoming legendary not just among the students but among the teachers as well.
Almost all of the faculty here at St. Thomas depended on Edline to post discussion boards, homework assignments and quizzes that could be completed and submitted all on the website.
With this process, our school not only consumed less paper but made the whole process much more efficient.
Assignments could be competed exclusively on tablets which was much easier for students who only had to switch tabs between the assignment and textbook instead of the tablet and paper.
The English Department can no longer hold its beloved storyboards over books such as Life of Pi and Candide. These activities were often a central component of a LAP and their absence has left a yawing void felt especially by the freshman and sophomores.
However, this technology was promised to us by the start of this school year. A glitch in the website itself presented a larger issue and the addition of this invaluable feature was pushed to a later date.
Students are no longer capable of discussing the course in an academic manner outside of school. Discussion boards were not only a useful tool for teachers but a valuable resource for students, who when they completed it, albeit grudgingly for most, understood the material better.
This feature was of paramount importance, especially for the aforementioned English Department. It’s not a very good sign for the future of StudentPlus that one of the most useful and vital features that made Edline run smoothly was unable to be successfully transferred to the apparently superior new site.
Besides saving paper it made the process much easier and less time consuming. I’m not saying that Edline was perfect, but StudentPlus needs some upgrades. As long as a student had their tablet with the file on it, they could submit a 40 slide power point project with the click of a button.