eTesting, no thanks

Moodle is an eLearning system thats in use at the JK University in Linz, where I study. So far theres nothing special to that, Document and Link distribution, a classroom concept, personalized logins, Student/Teacher distinction etc. Everything you would except.

Furthermore it provides a functionality for performing online tests. You have a time frame for taking the test, eg one day. And for each test a limited time, eg 5 minutes. I attend a course, where this functionality is used.

Last Friday I've taken the first online test for that course and if I recall correctly, this has been my first eTest ever that had some relevance. I had some sickish feelings then with my non-standard Setup: Debian and Firefox; and was afraid, that simply the system, firefox or something else would crash during the test. Would the entering of diacritics work, what if the PC was syncing with the time server during the test and the counting was not server-based (though very unlikely).

So much could go wrong and my standpoint of: My PC crashed or I was fighting with my keyboard layout because I unfortunately pressed the wrong key sequence, etc.. would not be an easy one to argue / hold.

Summing up my experience, it kind of reminded me of eVoting: The whole system is too complex that anyone can rely on it for nontrivial issues. I would prefer a 'Viva Voce' over this eTesting. Thus I hope that idea doesn't go mainstream.

A last comment: I think eLearning is a good and great thing to have, it's only eTesting that I dislike.

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