Too many UI websites frustrate

Billy Galant | The Daily Illiin

Billy Galant | The Daily Illiin

By Hayley Nagelberg, Columnist

Another school year has begun, which means cute new clothes, clean organized notebooks and a crazy, jumbled mess of online sites to accompany your already overloaded schedule.

As if it isn’t enough to have to get used to new classes and teachers, students of the University are also expected to master a significant number of complicated class websites. Lon-Capa, Moodle, Compass, eBooks and OpenStax are some of the most notable ones on an even longer list of online sites and apps.

Last fall, after only having been a student at the University a couple of months, I couldn’t keep track of the various websites and I missed an assignment. I vividly remember declaring my frustration on Yik Yak (R.I.P.), and receiving so many upvotes that my complaint became one of the most popular posts of the day.

Of the many comments on my post, most came from students who were clearly upperclassmen complaining about how I was a clueless freshman who would just have to learn to deal with the usual stresses of college without whining.

Most departments generally adhere to certain sites, but most students take classes with more than just one department. My teachers assure me that I’ll easily find my way around their online sites in a few weeks time, but why do I have to commit a new set of systems to memory every semester?

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There’s nothing wrong with what the sites are trying to accomplish; they’re designed to store presentations, upload homework and communicate with teachers. But there’s absolutely no reason to have so many different sites that all seemingly do the same thing.

Thankfully, that missed assignment was only worth two points out of a thousand for the semester, but I didn’t neglect to answer those two questions because of procrastination or a lack of knowledge of the subject — I honestly just couldn’t keep track of it all.

In my second year here, I’m still struggling to keep up.

The technological transitions in schools worldwide are constantly evolving, and not everything is going to run smoothly overnight. It is still the student’s responsibility to keep track of assignments and understand where to complete coursework. But it simply should not take more time to find homework on a website than it does to actually finish it.

You don’t have to be a tech wizard to see the simple, unified solution to this problem. It would be incredibly beneficial to have a single website connected through our student IDs that contains all of our classes.

All work that teachers assign could be added when they initially write up their syllabi, and you could easily check to see what is due every day. Teachers could scan and upload pages from textbooks or their own notes, which could help students avoid some of the the additional stress of paying for textbooks. Class rosters could be posted, with groups and subcategories for certain projects remaining easily accessible.

The potential benefits of a single, University-wide online system are endless. We are here to get an education. But when I’m spending my time scrolling through endless tabs on endless computer windows, I’m not being productive. I’m just getting frustrated.

Hayley is a sophomore in ACES.

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