me, myself & andrei

22 Sep 2009
Lack of fairness (KTH/DSV)

KTH/DSV students are in the following situation: 5 Email addresses (2 aliases), 6+ services that can have different passwords, 20+ web addresses that they should access to get things going, 4 management systems !

That being said, along with the fact that I wrote an extensive resource in order to bring some clarity into this (simply because I experimented it, and it’s something that you do not wish to your worst enemy even), let’s just take it as it is. It’s the best we have. And ok, let’s waste one hour of more or less each course in order to have yet another useless partial induction into the world of some management systems that the course uses.

But then you get a very awkward attitude from professors and teaching assistants. They are well intentioned and nice people, no doubt about it. But certain decisions need to be “analyzed” (=judged) because they hide a certain “I couldn’t care less” feeling.

  1. A teaching assistant (a former student just like us) starts telling students to use the email address that he posted on some slides, because he doesn’t check his FirstClass email (one of the 3 that each DSV student gets). That may seem reasonable if we were all in the same situation, but FirstClass is the easiest to send messages with (has an automatic drop-down once you start typing a name in the recipient field), it is the easiest to forward to your regular email inbox and, AND: since students have a duty to stay informed, course leaders and DSV personnel should have it too! If as a student I need to log on to 3 email inboxes, check God-knows-how-many conferences (discussion threads) and pages, and so on.. then they should too! If they don’t like it, then they should be the first to argue for a better solution! Instead of complaining like students do, because they think they have no power about it..

  2. One of the assignments’ requirement is posted under a FirstClass sub-(sub-sub-sub-)conference.  And with this system, the parent conference doesn’t get a red flag for unread children, and thus you do not get notified.. Why click if it doesn’t show as unread?! Ok. So the course leader says that FirstClass is more of a SecondClass.. Ok, joking never hurts :) But at the same time, we are being reminded that we should check each conference for the course (I counted 17 sub-conferences!) And the idea of posting announcement in the parent conference was rejected..

And this is a course of Project Management.. you know.. the field where you need to have the overall picture and you need to know how to motive your team, and to listen to your team..

I rest my case. Disregarding that we all agree that the systems may not be a perfect good solution, there seems to be little space for finding a common ground for give&take, for speaking&listening..


Andrei