"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)



I'm grading finals today, because (lucky me!) we get a whole 24 hours from the exam time to finish grading and submit course grades. Right now I haven't started the essays and I have about 5 1/2 hours to get it all done.

This would normally be easy, because grading finals doesn't take so long (you don't have to write comments on an exam a student will never see). But. But.

The bane of my existence, a course management program called WebCT, is making my day INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT.

See, WebCT is one of the two course management programs used by most American universities. The other is Blackboard. Blackboard, for all its faults, is overall great. It's intuitive, it's fairly idiot-proof, and (and this is key), it automatically calculates grades. All I do is plug in the grades, plug in the percentages, and presto! I have course averages for all my students.

Not so with WebCT. WebCT is counterintuitive, it's built on a crazy, nonsensical menu system, and the only way to get it to calculate grades is by creating a complicated formula.

When I logged in to create my formula for the course yesterday, WebCT didn't show me the menu of course items that I need to plug into the formula. That's right. The program itself sabotaged my ability to calclulate grades.

The IT guy says he'd never seen this before (he actually didn't believe me until he logged into my account and saw it for himself). He was a sweetheart and created an Excel file that will automatically calculate my grades, because I am hopeless with Excel. But I still feel a need to complain about WebCT. It is a vastly inferior product and I hate it.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some serious grading to do.


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