Friday, September 18, 2009

Sometimes I have conversations....

....that I can't believe happened.

One of the college's education courses has an online component in which students participate in online discussions. It's a message board, and the students are graded on their participation.

Three instructors co-teach this course. Each has her own discussion topic in the online course. One of those instructors is my friend and co-presenter from last year's fall conference, Cathy.

I got a frantic message from Cathy:

"Big, big, BIG problem. That new teacher, Lonnie, just deleted some of our discussions. I don't know how, but she did. Please tell me you can restore it from somewhere. Please?"

Well, no good news there. I can't restore it.

Next, I got a call from Lonnie. She told me what she'd done, then said:

"Can't you just restore it from a backup?"

"No," I said. "We do regularly scheduled maintenance, which includes backups, throughout the year, usually at the end of a term. If an instructor wants a backup done at a different time, they have the capability of doing it themselves."

"Well, that's weird," she said. "I don't know why you all can't just keep continual backups of my course yourself."

"The drain on our manpower and servers would be incredible," I said. "That's why instructors can choose to do periodic backups themselves."

"I don't know how to do that," she said. "And no one has told the others how, either."

"Yes, I have. It's in the training workshops they took." I reminded her that we're offering said workshops in a couple of weeks.

"Then I guess I need to take a workshop. You never trained me properly when I started. Cathy showed me what to do, but I shouldn't have been allowed to touch this until I'd had a workshop."

I smiled. "True. If I had my way, no one would use the system until they'd taken the workshops. But too many of your colleagues take exception to being told they HAVE to do something, so it hasn't happened."

"Then you should have had one when I started." Which was about two weeks ago. Yes, ma'am, I should hold four-hour workshops each time a new faculty comes to work at the college. Just for them. I'd never get anything else done.

And I said so. She had me repeat the dates of the workshops to her, and she picked two.

"You know," she said. "I should call the publisher and see if they can do anything about this."

"The publisher?"

"Yeah. The people we bought this WebCT thing from. I'll just call Novell."

WTF?! I tried my best to explain who Novell is and what they do. I ended with, "They have nothing to do with WebCT."

"Then who did we get it from?"


"Then I'll call them."

"That won't help. Like you said, we bought this from them. It's ours. We maintain it on our own servers. The company of WebCT has nothing to do with what's on our campus."

"Oh," she said. "Still, I don't know how this happened. I was just trying to delete my own stuff."

"Well, it sounds like you just accidentally hit the wrong checkbox. That's all."

"I just can't imagine myself doing something like that." Of course not.

"How about this," I said. "Just don't click anything that says "Delete," anymore. OK?"

So, in the end, it was still everyone's fault but her own.

I cannot begin to tell you how much I'm looking forward to having her in my workshop class. Oh joy! Can't wait for that day!



Angella Lister said...

Makes you want to tear your hair out, doesn't it. I must say you showed great patience.

Blogget Jones said...

Thanks, Angella. You k now, I think being able to vent in places like this lets me have that patience!

Walker said...

It was computer Gnomes that done it.
They just happen to look like Loonie

Blogget Jones said...

ROFL! Thing is...she kinda looks like a gnome....