I have been studying so hard this week to make sure that I can get good grades on my finals, thank heavens they were no cumulative finals!!! Wednesday rolls around and I take two of my three finals that I have (there was an option to take the final in a two day window, and being the two easiest classes, CLA 131 and 135, I took them early). All was well with no problems from Blackboard or any other site related to it.
But of course, on Thursday my ANT test comes around at 8pm. Well, I'm sitting outside on my computer, enjoying the summer weather, and I am finishing filling out my reading questions before I take my exam (that could be taken anywhere from 8 to 10pm). When, BAM, Blackboard kicks me out!! Oh my goodness I was flipping out! I started to shake and I kept say "Oh my gosh I am so screwed!" So after numerous attempts to log back on to Blackboard in a thirty minute span I emailed my professor. I didn't get a response till about 930 from her, but in the mean time my anxiety levels were through the roof! I decided that I needed to come downstairs and attempt to log on to Blackboard with my other computer.
Ta Da! It worked!! I think that my nerves were all in a bunch and I was still trying to calm down when I was taking the final. I was so nervous that I wouldn't get everything done, that I misinterpreted several questions that I knew the answer to and unfortunately I missed those. But all was well when I scored a 86% on the final. I'm still sort of disappointed in myself but I tried, and I conquered to the best that I could give!
Now that the semester is over I feel sort of bored now! I was constantly busy with reading or working on assignments (and yes they were self made assignments for my Classics courses) and recovering from my knee surgery and playing with my kids that it was a full work day for me. Now, I feel sort of lost, I found myself today just randomly walking through the house, trying to find something to get my hands on. I think I have one of the cleanest houses on the street right now!
I am anxious though to find out my grade in Anthropology. I will say though that I am proud of myself, I started the semester with 9 hours and I finished the semester with 9 hours, I had a successful arthroscope of the knee, and I have got to spend a lot of time with my kiddos. This all couldn't be possible for me if there weren't online classes available this summer. Thanks to all the professors for all of their hard work and a big thanks to the tech team who has had to deal with a lot of complaints I'm sure!
I have no idea if my computer is just not up to date or if the operator of the computer needs an update.. but Blackboard just does not like me, at all! I tired numerous attempts to log on to Blackboard and to no avail the screen just refreshed itself. Once I was able to get through the entrance of Blackboard, I clicked on my Anthropology course, and what did it say? "Guests are not allowed to view this material." I'M SO NOT A GUEST!!!!! So I figured I would click on the myBB tab thinking that it would take me back to the home page, but yet again I was wrong! I had to log back in and finally I just got so fed up that I went to myUK and logged on that way.
And the weirdest thing happened, I was checking my email one day, and I got an email from the Blackboard administrator saying that I had been enrolled in CLA 135-229, well I really hope so, I have been in the course since June! That isn't the only email I have gotten with the same context, I got one in June that was about CHE 105 (which I had actually taken in the Spring). So I don't know if there is some kind of "glitch" or what, but it makes a person like myself, sort of confused.
So yesterday, I was so excited because it was my birthday, but unfortunately I had to sit down and take a test for my Medical Terminology class. I was okay with taking the test, I felt very confident in myself. Up until the point I started my test.
I am starting to open my test. I answer the first question, all is well in the world of test taking, until I get to the second question and try to save the answer... yeah it definitely was not going to save any of my answers. I had to log off and open it from other computer. This makes the second time that this has happened and I have no reason why.
To make things even more interesting, I had to stop my exam because one of my offspring was yelling at me because he had his head stuck in the chair. But to my dismay when I logged back into the system the timer was still running. I was told that there was no time limit on the exam but yet there is a 3 hour timer on the test, and the timer still runs even if you save all your answers and log out (because I doubled check to make sure you can save and resume the test later).
Like I have said before my ideal test is: no time limit, open times (6am until 11:59pm for example), and all the questions displayed at once.
I think that the testing standards need to be set by the University and not by the individual teacher. It is good to keep consistency, I think it would help keep questions down from students because it is simpler to get use to one set of rules verses 3 different professors telling you different things.
Where oh where are the grades? Dr. McDonald keeps talking about the grading center and nonesuch things (that just means mumbo jumbo to me). All I want are my midterm grades!!!!! For my Classics courses it isn't that hard to calculate my grades since we only have exams and the exams are graded on the spot by Blackboard. But this is not the same for Anthropology.
I have written a paper, and have had to complete reading questions for the class, and since the first assignment was due (back around the first week of classes) there has been nothing graded except the one exam we have had, and I just want to know my grade!!!
I don't know what exactly the difficulites have been with Blackboard, but this is the most challenging semester I have encountered with it since I have started school back in 2006.
(Maybe its just the operator malfunctioning, who knows!)
I have come to the realization that Blackboard does not like me this summer. I don't know why it takes so many attempts to log-in. I think that the most tries I have had to do was around 19 times. It is so astonishing because the page acts likes it is refreshing itself, but if you put in the password or something wrong it'll let you know. I just don't understand it all... but oh there is more!
I love it when you finally log-in, but the Blackboard homepage looks sort of different, I will see my classes displayed but when I click on a class I get DENIED! "Guests are not allowed", I am thinking to myself, "What the beef dude? I logged in!" Oh my goodness it gets so frustrating!
Then I love it especially when I log in and it says that I am not enrolled in any courses. Geezzzz guys!!!! I just want to get on blackboard!!! So I have established that if I log onto myUK, and then click on the Blackboard tab, its almost a sure fire way to get in without all the hassle.
I will give another example of my difficulties, (I swear I'm cursed now), I am in the middle of taking my Classics exam, when I clicked on my answer and then went to click the "Save Answer" button (like you are suppose to), when the freaking system said that it could not save my answer because it was blank. NO IT WASN'T!!!!! GRRRRRRR.................. So I am flipping out at this point wondering how in the hell I was going to finish my test, but luckily I could save the test and resume it later, so I moved downstairs and took the test there with no other interferences.
Apparently I must have some demonic forces out to get me, because I have never had such problems before. Oh well, life goes on, as the Ju/'hoansi of South Africa, I tend to complain about my problems and over talk them.
Well after almost five weeks of being into the semester I think I am finally starting to get the hang of juggling school and taking care of my kids and house. The ability to take a course online has been like heaven on earth for me! I get to keep my kids during the summer, which is awesome (at least when they are not nagging at me), and I have the convenience of working on my classwork when its their nap time.
Just now I took my Medical Terminology test while my kids were watching a movie and resting, and I so got a 96% on that test! I like the ability to take the test whenever I want to during the day and I don't have to worry about window times, because having kids makes your life unpredictable. I also like not having a specific time to get the test completed and the option to save the test and resume it later. Just today when I was taking my Medical Terminology exam I had to stop, get my children some juice and a snack that they were bugging me about, and I had to freedom to do such! That was so nice!
For my Anthropology exam I was able to take it in the evening after my kids were in bed and my husband was home to keep an ear out for them just in case. Although this test did have an hour setting and there was a specific window for the test, it still worked out okay.
But I think I am getting the hang of things, on my first medical exam I received a 100%, and my Anthropology exam I received a 94%, my mythology test was a bit harder and received a 76%. But I think considering what is required of me (physical therapy, recovery from my surgery, kids 24/7, and maintaining a household), I think I am doing pretty darn good!
So to all those moms out there, online classes are heaven! I always say that one of the perks of being a mom is that you have a natural gift of multi-tasking.
I think that I have received more emails from all of my professors this week than I have all semester long! The emails were information about the upgrade on Fire Fox and nonesuch things. I can see why now that my Classics courses have all reading assignments and only exams online. Poor Dr. McD, she has had some major issues with using Blackboard. Apparently there were students trying to take the test last night and to no avail, Blackboard shut down on them and wouldn't let them finish. I like her words of describing the massive issues with Blackboard, "My explanation for problems with Bb is that it was possessed early on by a demonic spirit or even more than one. There has been no successful exorcism of Bb to date. Only a very powerful shaman can probably do it and they are expensive and hard to find!"
I guess you have to have some kind of funny personality to deal with the issues that Blackboard seems to be having. I think that Bb needs an "easy" button. I have never really had any issues with Bb thus far in school until now. I have no idea why it is so hard!!! (but then and again I am no whiz at a computer so, there ya go).
I have finally put my children down for a nap and as I am preparing to listen to my lectures from ANT (which by the way is one of the most helpful tools available for students) the "week 4" folder has disappeared! What else is next? I just want to work on my school work and stay caught up!!!!!
I hope that these demonic forces decide to move to another computer software, one that I don't have to use!
I am so thankful to have a supportive family and friends. I also have to extend my thanks to my professors. This summer semester is a true test of my endurance. I have had to remove my children from daycare due to the overwhelming costs I am incurring because of my surgery. There is no way that I could go to campus and take my classes this summer, it just wouldn't work.
With school work piling up, my 4 1/2 year old wanting everything right now, and my 2 year old daughter with the diva attitude, and a house to run it is a handful! I am able to take my tests for my CLA courses on Monday and Tuesday of next week, then I have got my ANT exam on Wednesday. I don't think there are enough hours in my day to get all of my stuff done.
I have learned through the semesters that having children and a household puts school on the back burner. Life tends to be a little bit more important sometimes, but I also have to realize that school is going to get me in the place that I want to be financially.
As I said in my last blog, I would really like to have a structure set up for my Classics courses, you just sort of read the book which is fine but I am the kind of person that needs structure, I can make a schedule for myself but I always tend to "change" it to accommodate my life at that present moment.
I guess one must take it a day at a time and hope for the best and do everything that they can in order to achieve their goals.
Being the first time I have ever written a blog, I apologize in advance if I am doing this thing all wrong. I guess I should tell you guys a little bit about myself so you can get an idea of what kind of personality I have and who I am. My name is Nikki Noe (as you can see from the blog, duh!) I am a biology major (sophomore) at UK and am currently enrolled in three summer online courses. I am sort of an easy going person who dedicates a lot of time to school work and to my 2 children and my husband (I swear sometimes I have three kids!) but nonetheless I am a very busy individual. The online courses have been beneficial to my sort of lifestyle. I recently had knee surgery (technically a day before classes started on June 10) but I am still able to complete my courses in a timely manner. The professors have been amazing in helping me with my situation. One pitfall I have noticed would be the tech issues on Blackboard, somehow it keeps going down on various documents and won't let me get to them.
My Anthropology class is very structured but laid back. I love Dr. McDonald's outlook on the course, even though she hates BB. Your syllabus is given with dates that assignments should be completed (p.s. I like structure - I'm just weird I guess). You as a student are expected to try to stay as close to the syllabus as possible but you could slack off a bit if you were willing to play catch up.
My two Classics courses are very laid back. Readings are required before the exam dates and that's it! No cumulative final, no daily assignments, just reading. This could be viewed as a curse or a blessing. I view it as you must have the incentive to complete the readings because you would be bound to fail.
I have a compliant of an addition cost being added on to your tuition. I understand fully it has multiple uses for running the show but, don't we use blackboard during the Fall and Spring? Last time I checked there wasn't an additional cost for that. Regardless we as students still have to buy books for the classes and have a computer to access the Internet to therefore access the course(s). But yet the student inherits the extra cost. Oh well, I could ramble on and on about the money aspect of things.