Blackboard down for the dissertation deadline? Perfect!

Dissertation submissions are completely different across departments it seems

Dissertation submissions are completely different across departments it seems

DISSERTATIONS are one of the most stressful periods in most students’ university careers. If the support networks are not up to scratch then this can become far more stressful than necessary.

Third year International Politics students handed in their dissertations earlier this month (the 8th May) and several students have complained regarding inadequacies in the services available.

Chief amongst these complaints was the fact that Information Services quoted students a three day wait for binding services. Due to the placement of bank holidays, this meant that dissertations had to be handed in almost a full week earlier than the stated deadline.

This completely flies in the face of the newly instigated institute system. International Politics is supposed to be in the same institute as Geography and History. The institute system was supposed to bring about consistency across the University. This was the justification behind the introduction last academic year, of the zero tolerance policy for lateness and technical issues.

Despite this, the hand in policies for dissertations were completely different across the institute. Geography students, who handed in their dissertations in March, were able to get their dissertations bound at 11:55 and hand in a receipt for binding. This avoided all the unnecessary hassle of binding in the days and weeks before the deadline.

To make matters worse, on the day of submission, Blackboard appeared to go down for an hour between 11am and midday, leading to ten students having to submit shortly after the deadline. Normally, with the institutes zero tolerance policy this would have meant the students in question receive a mark of zero, however given the monumental failure, this punishment will be lifted.

To top things off, the department has made an effort to bring about consistency, introducing a barcode system, only to later state that next year they would be moving to paperless submission having trialled the Turnitin system this year.

Many students were understandably annoyed at the situation, with many taking to social networks to voice their concerns, with Adam Curtis, an Interpol student stating that he would be writing a letter to the department complaining about the lack of draft submissions, inopportune dissertation supervisor changes, poor library opening hours and availability of binding services listed above.