‘ICT systems need to be better and simpler’

Criticism from unit participation council from the BMR division on ELO and DIBA

  • The unit participation council from the Business, Media and Law division lists frustrations with ICT systems
  • Digitally archiving and grading by means of the Electronic Learning Environment should be simpler

Several digital systems at Windesheim are making work for the teachers more difficult rather than easier, says the unit participation council from the Business, Media and Law division. The commission, named Elektronische Ellende (Electronic Trouble), has specifically criticized the digital grading system (DIBA) and N@TSchool, the digital learning environment (ELO). Teacher Sander Janssens, member of the commission: “We see things go wrong on electronic area and the negative effects are pushed off on the teachers.”  As a most recent example he mentions the implementation of the DIBA system (digital input, grading and archiving), in May 2016. “Before this, archiving was done by the administration office. Suddenly, however, teachers are responsible for the digital archiving and grading, a time consuming and unnecessarily difficult procedure.”

Eugène van Roden, manager of information management, thinks the conclusions of the commission are a result of jumping to conclusions too quickly. “Registering the grades and digitally archiving was being done by the administration office for a few studies, but of course it has always been the responsibility of the teacher.” However, the digital grading system is not perfect, admits Van Roden. Based on an evaluation from October several points of improvement were listed, which his department is working on. He emphasizes that the demand for a channel to digitally check and archive came specifically from the teachers. “During the development of the digital grading system there was much contact with the divisions. Teachers were invited to multiple sessions, there have been pilots and there have been user acceptance tests. Only a limited number of teachers, including those from Business, Media and Law, have participated in these.

Louis Klomp, teacher and information coordinator within the Business, Media and Law division, partially underlines the criticism given by the commission. “Concerning the digital grading system, we, speaking for our division, have stated that the amount of steps which need to be worked through has to be drastically lowered. In addition to this, the implementation of this system was done halfway through the semester, while the first of September would have been a better moment.”

A taskforce has listed the problems concerning N@TSchool, based on feedback from users. At the start of January, a new version of the electronic learning environment will be implemented, with which several problems will have been addressed. Van Roden says: “Specifically the interface, the face of N@TSchool, will be more user friendly soon.”

N@TSchool really had to be improved, which is why the contract with the supplier has only been renewed for a year rather than three years, Van Roden says. “To stimulate the supplier to immediately come up with a few good improvements.”

The conclusions made by the unit participation council have been passed along to the central participation council which will catch up on this matter in the coming period after which it may come out with its viewpoint on the matter. (WvE)

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