If you are a student at William Jewell College, you have used our learning management platform: Moodle. While Jewell has been using Moodle since roughly 2015, and while it is a fairly simple platform on the surface, it has major problems rooted deep into its very being.
Personally, Moodle has been the bane of my existence during my time at Jewell. There is rarely a day that Moodle works effectively and simply – it just always seems to be having some type of internet temper tantrum. I have heard the same complaint all across campus from both students and professors.
On a technical level, Moodle refuses to function as a website. To give it the benefit of the doubt, we do perhaps expect too much from one webpage, loading it with hundreds of courses and large files. However, since this is a learning management platform, you would think it would be up to the task. When you try to load something on Moodle, it will, in my experience, 4 times out of 10, crash completely. If it does not crash, it’s probably lagging and taking its sweet time. Jewell students know that time is always of the essence so we don’t want to be sitting around waiting for it to decide to work. Another problematic feature of Moodle: I can’t count on one hand how many times I have gone to submit something and Moodle deletes the file or just does not upload it without my knowledge, making it look like my work is just not being done.
Speaking of work not getting done, the grade book feature on Moodle? Horrific. Professors do not know how to use it and so, as a student, you rarely know what your standing grade is in any class. If your professor has figured out how to use it, there are normally more steps than what there ever should be to check a grade because it is not accurately scored on Moodle. Not to mention that there’s no way to put a ‘pass’ type of grade on Moodle, so if you had an optional assignment you didn’t do, it just puts a big ol’ fat “F” in that spot – which is enough to send any college student over the edge.
As a whole, the usage of Moodle at the college has had its moment, but I am over it. I understand that it is a cheap and easy option – and no one loves cheap and easy more than college students – but this just is not working as a learning management platform.
If you share my absolute disdain towards Moodle, I am happy to tell you that we don’t have to deal with it much longer. Jewell finally heard the student and faculties complaints and is switching to something better. Recently, the school announced that they have made the decision to switch to D2L Brightspace, a different learning management system. With any hope and luck, this system will be more productive as a whole for Jewell’s students and faculty. At this point, my opinion is that anything will be better than Moodle.