Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Things I never thought I'd miss

On the list of things I never thought I was going to miss, Fronter is way up there. Volda University College started using it when it was new, experimental, horribly buggy and impossible to manouver in. Frustration abounded, with access, with the interface, with the demands on us for detailed administration and a much more computer-bound work structure. I hated it. Then I started to tolerate it. Then I discovered the occasional useful factor, such as not having to keep track of a stack of papers - I could just have the students submit to fronter, the system kept track and I could accept, comment and refuse, and the students got immediate feedback. There would be a history for me and the student to go back into (finally, after a couple of years fighting for the students to keep access to their earlier work), and it generally made for a much tidier way to cooperate and share, particularly when the students had to submit work to me.

I didn't even notice how easy that was, until I suddenly stood without this option.

I am now at ITU-Copenhagen, where some of the really interesting researchers on Internet technology and culture work. Of course we don't have an easy, simple, accessible net-based platform for students and teachers to cooperate on. That would have been too easy, wouldn't it? (Touch of academic traditional irony there: Organisation studies are disorganised, communication studies never communicate, art studies are in ugly, badly decorated buildings.)

This semester, I have 80 students to keep track of. I have to do it by hand. I never thought this would happen: I miss Fronter.

No comments: