Now we're at the end of the second week of the first summer session, and more often than not, BB has been down or parts of it inaccessible. So in a 5-week course as fast paced as it is compact, too much of our time has been spent dealing with BlackBoard troubles.
Here's the current system health report--it hasn't changed since yesterday afternoon:
Now, I've been teaching this course the past few summers, so I have the pace and materials pretty much set, and that means most of the work now is reading and responding to student work and the avalanche of email that fills my in box each day. Most of the email I receive is asking questions about information I have painstakingly detailed in various places, but I digress.
These outages have not only been frustrating, but they have also screwed-up my course plans. And in a 5 - week course, there is very little if any time to revamp. Take yesterday for example. My students posted their first papers by 9:00 pm on Thursday. I was planning to grade them yesterday and today, but instead I spent an hour on the phone with the help desk only to have the case referred to the folks at BlackBoard. The problem is this: I cannot access the grade book which is where I have to go to download their papers. The grade book won't load in Firefox; it will load using Safari, but clicking on download the files to retrieve papers results in a 404--information cannot be found--error message.
So, what the hell am I to do? I need to get these papers graded and back to students so they have some indication how they did, and they need this before their second paper is due, which, by the way, is this coming Friday.
And so it goes.