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Why Moodle is trash

Photo illustration by Caleb Thomas

Campbellsville University’s (CU) main online learning management system, Moodle, is a frustrating and bugged program. Disorganized, slow and complex, Moodle is a system that needs a lot of improvement.

Online learning management systems have been around since I was in middle school. Google Classroom was the main system that my school used. It was basically what you see when you open the “My courses” tab on Moodle, all your courses that you take, colored backgrounds, all separated in individual boxes. The only difference is Moodle has many other tabs, like a calendar that shows when your assignments are due, or one that shows all your grades for all the classes you’ve taken at CU. My mother, Courtney Thomas, had some insight about navigation through my grades on Moodle, which is pretty much any parent’s true concern when logging in on Moodle.

 “It’s just all piled up together,” Thomas said. “I wish it was in separate columns where it says which semester you’ve taken the course. Mixing it all together with no context in one of these tabs just makes it look disorganized.”

Turning in assignments is hard, as well. Peter Kolomiyets, a student at CU, reviewed some problems with the services Moodle provides with turning in assignments.

“Sometimes when I try to submit a paper on my computer, Moodle says it can’t accept it,” Kolomiyets said. “The page will say ‘error can’t upload something over 100 megabytes.’ Also, it takes a long time for the pages to load, but that may be because of the school’s WIFI.”

The page is also just very clunky in general. The system could do a much better job at making things much simpler and faster for students, as well as faculty.

“The mind-numbing amount of cursor-moving and clicking it takes to set even one quiz question saps my energy, my ability to think – even about the next quiz question – and after about an hour, sometimes even my will to live,” said Dr. Judith Collins, professor of English at CU. “When I log into Moodle, in order to log into Zoom at the start of a class, the campus-wide system I have to start with works beautifully – it’s fast and irritation-free – but the second I log into Moodle, each step slows down maddeningly. Everything takes ten times the number of hours I would have spent in a normal semester 10 to 15 years ago.”

Something that’s annoying to me, though I might just be nitpicking, is when I’m writing a paper on Google docs, and I go back to Moodle to see the instructions for the assignment, and it says, “expired session.” This is infuriating to me, because then I have to type in my student ID/passcode, and wait for the schools WIFI to successfully load the page.

One thing I will say is pretty cool about Moodle is that it has an app for my iPhone, and I presume some other students have it on their Android devices, as well. This helps because we can check our grades quite easily. It’ll notify us an hour before each of our classes start, and remind us of exams, as well as when a project is due. However, there are still some downsides.

“If you use a tablet or iPad, Moodle is incredibly hard to get documents from your device into the website to send in,” said CU student Donovan Matthews. “Also, Turnitin on iPads is incredibly glitched.”

I’m not necessarily saying Moodle is terrible, and we should just remove the whole program and get a new one. But, some major improvements are needed.

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About the Contributor
Caleb Thomas is a junior from Monroe, Ohio. He is majoring in mass communication with an emphasis in public relations. He is also a member of Campbellsville University's wrestling team. His hobbies include playing video games and writing. This is his first year reporting for The Campus Times.
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