August 31, 2012


College of Southern Idaho Epic Fail
I've blogged a couple of times now about my attending the College of Southern Idaho.  I've been to school a few times now and I know there is this weird bureaucratic "thing" that often just has to be endured, but there are some things that should not have to be endured, and crappy teachers is one of them.

As of this morning I was taking 16 credit hours this semester, which means I had to pay extra over and above full-time tuition.  I was OK with that since it meant I got to take a course I really wanted to, which was CISW 111: Web Authoring.  I was excited about this course...and even more so for the next class which was CISW 113: Website Design & Management.

As of this afternoon, however, I'm at 13 credits because I was forced to drop CISW 111 while I could still do so for full refund.  The reason?  My instructor's EPIC FAIL.
Picture this:  It is Monday afternoon.  I'm sitting at my laptop on the kitchen table, brand new $120 textbook in hand.  I login to Blackboard, the online instruction platform, and look for my first assignment.  I have 55 pages to read and some exercises to do.  All I have to do is upload them to the schools FTP server.  No problem....the instructions are on Blackboard.

Fast-forward an hour and I still cannot get onto the FTP server.  I've followed the instructions and tried just about every permeation of option choices since I'm trying to use Adobe Dreamweaver. I take a screen shot of my site server setup, clean it up, and post it to Blackboard.  A day later the professor responds with something along the lines of, "I'll get to setting up the FTP today or tomorrow."

Wednesday....two days after class has started we get the word that FTP should be up.  Of course I cannot log in still.  My instructor sends me a brief response via Blackboard that "You need to put CSI/ of you student id."  Wait....what?  My student ID is the username, but instead of saying "Your username should be 'CSI/#####' where '####' is your student ID, I need to parse together what he is typing.  It should be easy to understand, but I still have to make that jump.

Nope...still nothing.  I fire off an email and post a rather lengthy description of exactly what settings I'm using.  This isn't rocket science.....I'm already using Dreamweaver to FTP to 5 other sites.  By now it is this morning and I get another brief Blackboard message, "You do not need to specify a root directory...everything else should work."

The thing is.....I have tried multiple times without specifying a root directory, despite the fact that putting in a root directory was part of the instructions!
FTP Instructions
Click for larger/readable picture
Ok, now I just don't know what to do.  This instructor has communicated less than 50 words to me, none of which have been helpful.  He hasn't responded to email and when I call his office number I'm faced with a voicemail message that was made months ago.  It still says he is on summer vacation and won't be back until the 20th of August-11 days ago!

I try the computer help desk.  Even they cannot get into the professor's "stuff" they try their damndest for almost 20 minutes.  I even went so far as to give them the settings, including my password, but they cannot get in either.

At this point I've literally spent hours working on this simple task.  My instructor cannot be bothered to check that he actually created my account.  I had until 5 PM to withdraw and still get a full refund.

If I cannot trust this professor to help me with this one, simple task, can I trust him to actually teach me?  I'm not willing to bet $450 on the prospect so I have to withdraw.

I'm pissed that the instructor cannot be bothered to get back to me in a timely manner.....but within an hour he is able to delete the thread where I was asking for help on Blackboard! 

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