MOUNT VERNON — Students at Mount Vernon High School have gone moodling twice this week, rather unexpectedly. One of only four schools in the state that have been approved to use Moodle as an alternate learning venue on calamity days, MVHS had scheduled a test run for today. Tuesday’s ice storm closed schools and turned the trial run into a for-real online instructional experience.
About 80 percent of the student body logged into their virtual classrooms, and the server crashed. Superintendent Steve Short said the server problems had nothing to do with the number of students who were logged on; there was a corruption on the main server. After reconfiguring and tweaking some things, the server was back up and functioning by 3 p.m.
“It’s a good thing we went through the things we went through on Tuesday,” said Short. “Although it wasn’t necessarily related to the number of people who logged on, it was more trying to clean up the Moodle itself. As you work through things, you’re going to have kinks that come up, and we take care of those and adjust.”
Because of power outages, Moodle could not be accessed on Wednesday, but Thursday was another Moodle day.
On Thursday morning, about 200 students at a time were on Moodle, according to high school principal Kathy Kasler.
A variety of learning activities were taking place, she said. Some assignments were independent exercises; some teachers had a scheduled online discussion; some were linked and going to a different web page; some teachers had posted online quizzes and the students had to take the quiz right then and there.”
“With Moodle,” continued Kasler, “the teachers can go in and see what the kids are doing online. The students can send a message to the teacher if they are having problems, or they can send an e-mail to the teacher.”
Science teacher Bonnie Schutte said the Moodle option has been a great experience so far.