Imagine being able to log onto a website to see your grades instead of having to email a professor or visit their office. That’s what Oakland University administrators intended when they created the website Moodle.
Moodle has immense potential: it gives professors an easy way to keep track of grades, assign online quizzes and tests and provides an easier way to grade essays. It also allows them to see how students are struggling through the use of online discussion forums. But in my experience as an OU student, a majority of university professors fail to utilize it.
This past semester, I took a full course load, including three
300- and 400-level classes. Though one of my professors used Moodle regularly, updating more than once a day, my other two professors failed to even mention the program once, let alone put grades online.
Picture my fear at the end of the semester when my grades were only an estimate, calculated from my amateur math skills (I’m a journalism major for a reason) and my increase in anxiety when I couldn’t find a copy of the course syllabus anywhere online. How are professors, let alone those who have earned Ph.D.s, getting hired without even basic Internet proficiency?
It made me wonder what makes the website so difficult to use. From what we see every time we log onto the blue (or multi-colored if you’ve figured out how to personalize it) website, instructional classes for professors are always being offered, but it doesn’t seem like they’re taking advantage of the opportunity.
Professors should learn how to use Moodle to their advantage. For starters, it’s an online grade book. If they keep up to date on posting what students have on each assignment, it should be really easy to configure semester grades at the end of the marking period.
Also, using Moodle eliminates wasteful appointments and
office visits. Grades shouldn’t be a secret; they should be visible at all times.
Moodle allows students to be self-reliant. It gives us a break from helicopter parents and teachers, and lets us depend on ourselves for our grades.
For students, Moodle is a life-saver. Yeah, it may cause a few headaches every now and then when it’s not working right, but when you’re pulling an all-nighter and need to figure out if your 12-page paper actually needs to be 20 pages, the website comes in handy.
Professors, students generally work hard to succeed in your classes. It would be nice if you could work with us in
making our busy lives a little easier. By developing a short routine of uploading our grades to Moodle you will do just that, and we would annoy you less in the long run.