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My Evening Rant

So, working on the help desk for a University I think it's entirely stupid how much access I have and the extent of my 'discretion' in certain situations.

Is it reasonable that your local IT department staff should be able to say "I know you were having issues with this assignment/quiz/test/mid-term/FINAL!!! but I'm going to ignore this attempt and give you another shot because you're saying you were having issues and I can loosely see this.

Whyyyyy do I have this kind of administrative power over submissions in the freaking grade centre?!?!?!

You can't log in? I can help you there.

Page not displaying properly? Sure, let's have a lot!

Submitted the wrong thing... yes... Well it's still available so I guess I can ignore this one and let you try again...

Has crappy internet or was using a freaking iPad to do a mid-term!?! Okay, ignore that attempt to and give that another try...

My job description doesn't actually say I can do this.

I mean, the rough description in the collective agreement for one half of the faculty positions (Course Instructor to be more specific literally says:

"Duties related to the position, which shall be in accordance with University and departmental practices, include lecturing, the conduct of seminars/tutorials, marking, the development and administration of tests and examinations, submission of grades, as required..."

Why aren't the students just always required to go to the instructor for the course if they're having trouble? I mean, they have the tools to clear these attempts and allow additional attempts at their discretion and rightfully so! I mean, the student can access and submit assignments easily enough and they can access the quizzes, that's not what got them in this muddy position. I get that there may have been a glitch somewhere (using an iPad for something as important as a final is just stupid), but... why does it make sense that the IT department can allow additional attempts on these things?

Trying to find a job description to actually outline duties and responsibilities of a faculty member is kind of frustrating. Ours are plain as day and really they don't have enough pages to actually define what we do. All I could find is a measly 1 page document that just mentions they're expected to teach a course in certain areas.

I get that, in a University environment, you're expected to do research and bring money to the institution... But you really should look after your students and that should include making that call to clear attempts.

I mean, I should note that when they're setting up these assessments and dropboxes for assignments that they can define the number of attempts a student can make. So maybe quizzes should have a few so if one attempt screws up they can burn another one. If they have trouble submitting a document have that extra 1 or 2 attempts so they can try again.

It just feels so weird! I shouldn't have that kind of power! I shouldn't be in that position, period!

2 blog comments below

I agree with you. Those problems should be handled by the course instructor.
standready on Thu Dec 03, 2015 5:33 pm
Problem is that those course instructors in general aren't always that IT savvy. They probably would consult with you in addition to with the students. But I'd say out of the two of you, the course instructor probably would need to be consulted first. Either him or someone who has been nominated by him for invigilating/supervising/marking the exam/test/course paper.
deanhills on Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:32 pm

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