Now that our dear old First Class system is reduced to read only, I find myself missing the busyness of my various favourite forums, which had been saved onto my FC desktop, and so were easily found by accessing FC - which was done with the mere click of a button.
Now, I'm having to negotiate Moodle - a hotchpotch of different pages and links that confuse even the more computer-literate of us, which I'm definitely not!
The biggest problem with this, is accessing the new forums placed on there, which I had been having great trouble finding, ending up going around in circles until I gave up in despair! If it wasn't for a lovely student who was more computer-savvy than I - and many more of us humble students - I'd still be either struggling with the system, or giving up the access to my fellow students, and going it alone, as I'd had to do before getting First Class access in my early years with the Open University.
But, with her idiot-proof, step-by-step instructions, I eventually worked out how to find all my favourite forums on Moodle, and then save them to links on my Student Page!
For the first time in what seemed like ages, I went through the links yesterday, and caught up with all the news, although I've found that many of my favourite forums are still only lightly used - whether by the fact of holidays, or people finding access to Moodle difficult, we shall have to see - although there have been some comments where some students, because of their various disabilities, are finding the whole thing impossible to negotiate - bad news for those of us left, as we are now missing out on the wisdom, and delight, of some very special contributors to the various forums!
I still have no real idea why the O.U., in their supposed wisdom, decided to change over from FC to Moodle - although I suspect the main reason was financial, as usual :(
I find it ridiculous, though, that a facility that was important to all of us far-flung students, has now been compromised for the sake of penny-pinching!
One of the reasons I stuck with the O.U., was the fact that I could contact, and chat with, students from all over the country, and even all over the world practically, and we were able to discuss both the work we were studying, and also any problems we were facing both with study, and personally, which also put us on a par with students who access brick Unis, when they meet up with their fellow students.
FC had made it possible for our forums to feel like a huge family to me, and I loved that instant access to people who had more than studying in common, especially with all my health problems but, with the Moodle access, there isn't the flexibility for discussion that we had with FC, and this is bound to put off students with more serious problems than my own to cope with.
I feel like Mum and Dad have divorced, and we children are now having to cope with step-parents who, although they still look after us, don't have that same family feeling of caring to back it up.
I feel like we are now all second best to the new-born child of this new family group and, like the child with her nose put out of joint by the newcomer, I don't like it at all :(