The University of Minnesota’s recent decision to switch the schoolwide learning management from Moodle to Canvas has created one of the oddest shifts in campus opinion this year. This controversial decision pits the two hallmarks of the Minnesota campus personality against one another: hatred of Moodle and fear of the unknown.
“Moodle is possibly the worst website on the Internet,” senior Molly Carter tells The Black Sheep. “I’ve never once found Moodle to be useful and helpful for anything in my classes. But having to learn a whole new system? Dealing with professors having no fucking clue how to use it? Moodle may suck, but it’s the devil we know.”
“Any kind of change in my life causes a constant barrage of low-level anxiety,” adds junior Tamara O’Hara. “Half of the reason I’m dreading spring semester is Canvas. Hardly anyone’s going to have a clue what they’re doing for the first month, and it’s not like I’m gonna waste my time reading boring articles about the differences between all these goddamn hell sites.”
No one on campus, it seems, is excited for this change, possibly because no one on campus has any clue what the switch will entail because of such a lack of information provided about what the differences between the platforms will actually be. Or at least any that students are willing to read about.
“Why, exactly, do we need so many platforms for this shit?” Carter asks (whether she’s asking The Black Sheep or God Himself is unclear). “Moodle, Canvas, Blackboard… it never ends. Someday, I’m going to come up with some stupid one-word name title and make a stupid website that tortures students for generations to come.”
It’s clear from discussions with students that the fear of change is a far more impressive motivator than hatred for the black hole that is Moodle. However, students are not the only ones will be affected by this change. The professors of the University of Minnesota will, in fact, have to deal with Canvas even more.
Or at least they will in theory.
“I never used Moodle for any of my classes because I fucking hated it and so should everyone else, so why should I have to deal with Canvas? It’s my class. I’ll do what I want,” Timothy Nelson, Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies professor, says with a scowl. “I hate every decision the IT Department has ever made and I won’t stop now. Technology will be humanity’s downfall. Thomas Edison was a witch.”
The beginning of the spring semester will tell us just exactly how far-reaching this distrust of Canvas–and technology in general–will go, though polls show that Canvas’s popularity reached an all-time low at the start of the spring semester.
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