# Notice (Oct 19/05): So ends my stay here on Blogger. This morning Google implemented an anti-spam 'feature' that forces me to answer a challenge phrase when I want to post to my own blog. No notice of the change, nothing. Worse is that it doesn't even work! I type the phrase, submit, "An error occured", post deleted. Damn you, Google. Chances are I will revive my blog somewhere else, sometime soon. I'll post the new coordinates here as soon as they become available. (BTW, I'm unable to post anything to my RSS stream, so I'd appreciate it if readers could spread the word and ask people to take a look at this notice)
Update (Oct 19/05, ~noon): After a frustrating few hours (and not just trying out alternatives to Blogger), I've decided that this is a good time to take a break from all this. A day? A week? Who knows. But I need to step away from it before I pass a heavy magnet over the whole mess.
Update 2: According to this post, the reason I'm seeing the CAPTCHA (challenge phrase) is that Blogger has classified my blog as spam. Thanks. User for five years and now I'm spam. I searched the Blogger site, but there is no mention of how to get the spam flag turned off. There is also no way of contacting anyone at Blogger. Wow. Spam they say I am, so spam I must be. Maybe it is time to take a break.
Update on auditing and student anonymity in open learning environments
Yesterday I brought up my concerns regarding course auditing and student anonymity in open learning environments at the Standing Committee - Web, of which I am a member.
It looks like the auditing issue will, I think, turn out to be less of an issue then I previously thought. The thinking on the committee was that the no-auditing policy was in place because at other institutions, 'auditing' has a special definitions. Students pay a reduced rate to audit classes, which allows them to attend classes, get access to some library resources and services, etc. The policy also give the university to prevent someone who has not registered for a class from attending the class lectures. Having others access an open learning environment isn't, I think, a concern.
The issue of student anonymity and privacy, however, is huge. There seemed to be agreement from the committee that the existing policy needed to be clarified as it relates to online learning environments, and communicated to faculty.
There have apparently already been a few complaints from students in classes that are being recorded and then made available to the public. These students wanted to ask questions in class and make statements, but they didn't want these available to the general public.
We are going to hold a joint meeting in January of our committee and the Senate Committee on Teaching and Learning. There we will discuss the issue in more detail and decide what needs to be done. I'll post developments here as they happen.
If you have any experience with these issues at your institution, I would encourage you to post them here as a comment or send them to me via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org
). Although our policy needs to take shape within the McGill context, it is always useful to hear how other people have addressed the same issues.