I thought I would put my Journalism midterm on Blackboard (our "online classroom environment") so students could cut and paste from the fact lists in the questions into their lead rewrites. The web portal, MyPlymouth, crashed and we spent 15 minutes trying to get all but one student logged in. Finally, I had to throw in the towel and make a take-home exam.
What are the lessons I can take from this?
A. Since you can't trust technology you should make a backup exam - in other words, do twice the work ahead of time or do the twice the work after the fact.
B. It's not ITS's fault the servers crashed. Even though the classroom has 20 computers, the system was never designed to allow more than four people to logon at the same time. I should have the other students wait in their seats until the first four are done.
C. One person's Spring Break miracle is another person's March 30 nightmare or -- since the take home exam will be an essay exam--the WHOLE CLASS'S March 30 nightmare.
D. Why bother to kick the ball, Charlie Brown?