We at the Warrior Weekly would like to address the use, or lack thereof, of Aspen by some members of the faculty. We believe this service creates numerous problems that could be solved by a more intuitive user interface or more frequent training sessions for staff.
Huge differences exist from teacher to teacher with regards to technological prowess. This creates a lack of uniformity between classes–one teacher may post everything, while another may abstain from Aspen completely.
Furthermore, numerous students have no idea how to use Aspen, because we’ve never been taught how. Plus, there are a bunch of features in the program that are extremely useful, but hard to find. For example, students can check their weighted and unweighted GPAs by navigating through several menus. Yet, there is a lack of clarity surrounding these tools, encapsulated by Aspen’s interface, complete with ugly color scheme and 2004-esque design. Of course, if nothing is being posted on Aspen, there is nothing to be found.
It only gets worse for the teachers, who have to traverse through tables in order to input grades. The process can be convoluted and is a nightmare for the technologically challenged.
George Leeds, application software specialist, said he had multiple training sessions during half days and conference days last year to help teachers get acquainted with the program. He believes that the switch from Edline over to Aspen has been pretty successful for the most part, but he does receive calls from teachers on particular questions they have.
Of course, there is also a generational age difference between members of the faculty that contributes to the difficulty of using Aspen. Typically, the younger teachers will embrace new developments, while older individuals tend to have more trouble adjusting to them. Students can only hope that teachers will continue to improve with time, as the year has almost drawn to a close.