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Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.



Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Software Hinders Online Learning

Joanna Cabot has been taking online courses for the last seven years. In a blog post for TeleRead, she claims they haven’t gotten much better over that span.

Her biggest complaint is how the courses are implemented. A check of the gradebook function for her latest online study required a variety of clicks and scrolling, then waiting and more scrolling, before the function was accessed.

“It would be like driving to the grocery store and finding that all of the fruits and vegetables had been taken out of the bins and replaced with paper copies of a map you can use to drive to the farm,” she wrote. “Why on earth would somebody design a forum software this way?”

She also had issues navigating the digital content, the course readings, and library databases that were not integrated into the software.

“I understand that technology is harder to do right than most people think it is,” she concluded. “I understand that there is no perfect system and there will always be bugs and glitches in something like this. I am not saying everything has to be perfect just yet. But it startled me just how little things have improved in all the years I have been taking these courses online. It’s not that we should have progressed to perfection just yet. But we should have progressed a little.”

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