March 7, 2010

Clues to the Clueless #26

Posted in clues to the clueless tagged , at 1:51 pm by profart

When completing work online, it is best not to be running extraneous programs on your computer. Technology is a funny thing, and programs tend to crash when you least expect. Or when you least want them to. Don’t be caught like this student:

Prof Art:
I don’t know what to do, i was taking the online test yesterday on a friends laptop when it crashed. They were downloading music while i was accessing the test when the computer shut down. I was at about 14-15 questions into the 20 question test, i was also saving after i answered them. We tryed turning the computer back on and it would light up to say corruption data loss. I had my essay saved on their computer and everything. Its a lesson well learned but i would like a chance to finish the exam if you could allow it or if not all just the majority percent of the test, the first part. Thank you for understanding, and whichever way you feel about this i’ll understand too.

Fortunately for this student, I do understand. And I also know they do not have their own computer, and are not used to online work and such. But seriously folks, learn the lesson before it happens to you: dedicated computer in stable environment. When taking your exam, go to the computer lab or library.



  1. Or, the teacher could quit giving tests on a computer and hold a regularly scheduled exam in a classroom.

    • profart said,

      That is more helpful if the class is not online or virtual.

  2. econprof said,

    Well, if you are using Blackboard, it may not be the computer, it might be Blackboard. I have been teaching on this platform for years, and it does it once in every class, sometimes 4 or 5 times. It might not have been the students computer after all.

    Remember that when calculating your response.

    As far as in class- by giving online exams, it frees up class time and the computer does the grading (except essays)… why would you do an in class exam in 2010?

    • profart said,

      I like having live exams, especially at the community college I work for, because students can ask questions immediately, and they can practice timed writing.

      In this case, it was not Blackboard. I do have occasional Blackboard issues, but student inexperience with computers is more prevalent. However, many of my colleagues are not so forgiving; students are told Blackboard can have issues, and are expecting to have a Plan B. 😉

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