Final disaster: Illuminate crashes at critical moment

Finals week is stressful enough, but when the website you have to take finals on crashes, it gets a lot more frustrating. To some teachers, it made their lives miserable, having to go down to the copy room in the middle of their class to copy the test onto paper. This also makes it stressful on the students because it takes away almost 45 minutes out of their two hours to test.

Teachers like Mr. Tofte weren’t very happy at all, “It was frustrating for me but even more for the kids who were trying to finish the final without the website working. The kids had to adjust and change to a paper final in the middle of the test. Overall, it was a problem, but having a plan B makes it a little easier to manage when there is a problem like that.” Mr. Tofte is a Geometry teacher here at Taft Union High School.

Believe or not, even the students were frustrated about the problem. Senior Emily Woods said that once the problem occurred, students were upset, “It affected me because I was being crunched for time now; people were upset and wouldn’t stop complaining.”  Even though Mr. Tofte had a plan B, Mr. Morris did not and was not expecting something like this: “It was a pretty epic disaster. I hadn’t made any paper copies of my exams because I was trying to save resources and environment. When it stopped working, it took nearly 45 minutes until I could get all my students logged in and going. I had about a dozen students that didn’t have time to finish their final and had to come in at a later date and time to finish.”

Mrs. White’s class faced a similar situation to Mr. Morris. She had to make paper copies in the middle of first period’s test. “Students were upset and I had to rush to make copies of a 23-page final for first period and then find scantrons. Luckily Mr. Fields was able to stay with the class while I took care of it. It was a mess. I was hoping to have the assessment data needed to focus my instruction next semester and now it will be difficult to input that data…It also made it harder to get grades done in time because it took a lot longer to hand grade the exams,” said White. “The next day, I used regular scantrons and then Mr. Morris showed me how to use the Illuminate scantrons; that saved time for the final day of classes.” It still took a lot of extra resources to copy tests.

Stacey Stansberry, Director of Technology and Curricular Innovation at the school, thinks that they have solved the problem, “The company believes they have corrected the problem and I have not heard any reports this morning of it not working.” Illuminate also sent out an apology email to all of the teachers that were using Illuminate this week: “As former educators we understand the importance of reliable testing periods. It is frustrating to have a disruption, and we apologize for our role in that problem.” With the apology letter from Illuminate, hopefully everything is back and working again so that we don’t have something like his happen again.