Queensland University of (Frustrating) Technology

Cross-posted from my INN540 Blackboard-based Journalling blog

My experiences with technology at QUT have been both profoundly transformative and profoundly disappointing. Participating in mixed-delivery classes that provide external students a presence in the classroom via Collaborate is meaningful and cool in a way I would not have anticipated before experiencing it myself. However, as part of Blackboard, Collaborate suffers from the most egregious of issues with the QUT technology base.

Everyday I find a new way to be frustrated by the disparate, disconnected nature of the elements of QUT virtual, Blackboard, and the Library. Nothing works the way you expect between the platforms, and the level of interoperability is non-existent. Links from one area to another will time out, die, or get stuck in endless redirects. Trying to access readings via Blackboard will often leave you at the landing page for a journal service without first authenticating via the library. Direct links will frequently be incomprehensibly obscured by the Blackboard wrapper and need to be manually extracted. Enrolling in units of study or training modules on Blackboard essentially doesn’t work, and requires multiple approaches through non-obvious pathways to navigate. Everything is just that little bit more frustrating and convoluted than it needs to be, and it can be wearying.

I don’t want to come off as a malcontent, QUT’s online services are incredibly diverse and feature rich. They just lack a meaningful coherence that creates a ‘whole’ integrated experience.

(Addendum: The ‘walled-garden’ approach to internal QUT blogs has no way of cross-talking with other blogging platforms, which leads me to manually re-purpose and re-post these journal entries.)