Moodle update causes frustration

When students returned to Castleton for the start of the spring semester, a few significant changes had occurred to the online learning platform, Moodle.

Instead of the familiar white background with the light blue banner asking students to sign in to continue, the VSC logo appeared underneath a green header, newly upgraded to the recent version for the semester.

One change that has not been welcome from students has been the removal of the one-time login.

“Moodle was fine the way it was before,” Mary Franks said. “The logging in three times is ridiculous and it wastes my time.”

She said that sometimes it would refuse to let her into her email until she went back to the beginning and started the process again. “I don’t understand why they changed it, the way it was before was perfectly fine,” Franks said.

Marchello Taravella agrees. He said he understands where VSC is coming from, but he believes logging in once should be enough.

“I just think it’s dumb that we have to log in a few times when we need to go to both our emails and our classes,” he said.

Gayle Malinowski, chief technology officer at Castleton, said this recent change to Moodle was because of the recent upgrades.

“We had multiple upgrades that happened over the break,” Malinowski said. “We had the Moodle upgrade, but we also had the implementation of our new identity management system.”

She said that the recent change to the Moodle system was a part of putting the identity management system in place.

“What we had before was single sign on. Because of the depth and breadth of this identity management implementation with this entailed, we wanted to make sure everything worked, and so what we did temporarily was turn off single sign on,” Malinowski said.

William Chmielewski approves of many features of the upgrade.

“I like the new systems’ safety features and the upgrade is nice, although I’m a bit annoyed that I have to sign in, then sign in for email and classes,” he said.

English professor Christopher Boettcher said that having to log in multiple times does not bother him.

“I’m so used to logging in to all kinds of different sites and remembering different passwords and all of that, it’s not a big deal for me,” he said. “I recognize it as another step, but it’s not a big deal for me.”

According to Boettcher however, there has been issues with the email that faculty has taken note of. He said that it has created some issues with communications between students and professors.

“I think that there seemed to have been some glitches in how the system assigned email addresses to individual students and faculty,” Boettcher said. “What seems to be happening is that some email addresses are being transferred to CCV email addresses, and so emails that we’re trying to send aren’t getting to students and students sending aren’t getting to us in some very limited cases.”

He said he did not know how widespread it was and had heard much of these complaints regarding emails from other faculty members.

Malinowski said that there is no timeline for when the single sign on feature would be returning to Moodle for students and a timeline may be set down in a few weeks.

“We’re still kind of working on some other issues here and there with it,” she said. “I’ll be meeting with my counterparts in the Vermont state colleges and also with IT in the central offices, but I don’t have one right now.”

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