Online quiz fail

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By Dave Butler:

   I bring to students’ attention an unreasonable flaw in the WSU quizzes which are run online.  As it currently stands each unit runs an online quiz, with the majority open for a week and managed from the Vuws site.  Recently I spent several hours studying and note taking for one of my units in preparation for my just opened, half hour, multiple question online quiz at home.  I was given information on Vuws to study a specific chapter of the text book, and to my distress when I opened the quiz, it was based on a chapter of which I had not read or studied; as it turns out the wrong information was posted on Vuws.  I quickly abandoned the quiz and sent an email to the unit coordinator to alert them to the mistake, and it was immediately rectified.

  The problem being, once you start the quiz you have to finish it in the allocated time, and when I asked that my results be annulled due to the error, the unit coordinator explained they could not do this  as they cannot access the system to change marks.  I completely understand why lecturers and tutors cannot access the system to change grades.  However, this leaves me in a situation not of my making, where I am now down as failing the quiz due to my abandonment.  Luckily the quiz is best of two, and I did well in the first, so am not overly concerned about the result affecting my grades.  I am also able to apply for special circumstances and resit another quiz if I was not happy with the situation. 

  However, I would like to give another example of the inflexibility of this particular system. If for example you lose your internet connection, or press the wrong key and lose the page whilst attempting a quiz, (which is easy to do); the result is the same, you will be graded on what you completed which is wholly unfair.  I personally do not attempt any quiz in the WSU library or whilst using the WSU wifi as it is altogether unreliable, and luckily I have access to a good, (but expensive), internet connection at my home.  This seems completely unwarranted to me, and does not take into account human or service provider error, or the increasing unreliability of those major service providers, and the presumption by WSU that we are machines that never make a mistake.  I would suggest if WSU was to broaden the current scope of updating the online enrolment process to include an examination of the online quiz system, it would be a vast improvement to the current model, and prove satisfactory to all parties involved.

I would be particularly interested to hear of any other examples where situations like this have occurred to other students, or any feedback or solutions to this unmerited problem.

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