www.myitlab.com has. I feel stupid for even wanting to write a blog about it, but I feel that I need to vent some frustration and to warn people of taking online classes using this pathetic excuse of teaching people computer knowledge and skills. So, “let’s just jump right into it”…
Written For Nerds By Nerds
…So unless you’re a computer geek or a nerd (and yes, there is a difference), you WILL have problems using myITlab. It’s extremely obvious that everything from the website design to even the teaching style, this website was written by nerds for nerds who wrote the website and who also already know 95+% of the material (explained below). I’ve had to help several fellow classmates via e-mail on how to use and navigate through this website. And don’t even bother with their Help, either (also explained below).
Help?!?!?! You don’t need no stinking help!!!
The “help” on the website is also very lacking. It mostly contains very obvious, useless information. The best detailed, step-by-step information I could find on how to use and navigate through the website was written by a college that also uses myITlab by doing a Google search. I had to e-mail this link to the other classmates who were having problems. Is it me, or does this seem unacceptable?
The wording used for the different chapters and tasks is very confusing. Here are two examples using Microsoft Word Chapter One section:
- You watch a “Chapter 5 PowerPoint Presentation” for Word Chapter 1. Huh, what?! But it doesn’t actually indicate anywhere in the description that that the presentation is actually for Word Chapter 1. Since there’s nothing anywhere to indicate what I need to do first, I skipped over this presentation (thinking it was a part of Chapter 5 that was accidentally misplaced in the Chapter 1 section) and a couple of the other tasks and went straight into Steps #4 and #5 before completing Steps #1 – 3 first. But not until after I had completed the Word Chapter 1 section did I realize what steps I needed to complete first when I reached the Word Chapter 2 section.
- The first two projects we had to do for Word Chapter 1 was called Projects 5A and 5B. Where in the hell did the other four projects go?! Did I miss them somewhere?! I was very worried that I was going to fail these non-existent projects because I couldn’t find them anywhere on the website.
Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto
Instead of “teaching” you information that you “learn”, you feel more-or-less “programmed” from the amount of information they throw at you. Remember in The Matrix movie series how they could upload information from a computer directly to their brain on how to do stuff immediately? Try attempting the same feat without the benefit of the “data-jack” (the hardware they used to connect their brain to a computer), then you get the idea. So, unless your brain works like a sponge or you have photographic memory, you’ll probably need to re-read the material several times to absorb everything that they want you to remember, but also keep in mind that you are timed while doing some of the material. Also be aware to memorize a lot of useless definitions and terminologies that’s never actually ever used in a real work environment, but most educational institutions are like that, anyways.
Aaahhh!!! The Lag Monster Got Me!!!
Another common problem I've ran into is that the myITlabs server(s) will lag terribly sometimes, especially during the most important learning process of watching the Chapter Audio/Video Demonstrations. So, as you're listening to the audio, you may notice that the video will start to lag behind the audio, so that it doesn't match-up, and only continues to get worse during the Chapter Audio/Video Demonstration. When this happens, the Demonstration is pointless and useless, because the narrator starts talking about the steps in a new topic while the video is still showing the steps involved in the previous topic. And how I know it's the myITlab server(s) and not my computer is because I can immediately watch a YouTube or Google Video and don't have the same problem. When this happens, you might as well try again later when fewer people are using myItlab, such as really late at night or very early in the morning.
Are You Color Vision Deficient? We’re Sorry.
Just a little tidbit for those of you out there who was born with color vision deficiency (also known as color blindness, although they are different) who’s also looking into taking online classes on myITlab… DON’T!!! Take it from someone who is color vision deficient, the colors they use for what they want you to type are NOT color-vision-deficient-friendly! To be more specific, in the bottom area of where they give you directions of what to do, the background that is used is light-blue, in which most dark colors, such as navy or black, usually stand out fine. However, the words they want you to type are in gold, which doesn’t stand out very well against the light-blue, and I have to squint very hard to read what they want me to type. Very frustrating during a timed test, and if you accidentally type something wrong, they count off for it, regardless whether you could read it clearly or not
My Way Or The Highway
The Microsoft Office suite tries to make it easier to use by offering multiple ways of accomplishing the same task. Because of this, people learn how to accomplish the same task using one of these multiple ways the best way they can remember how do to so. To me, this makes sense. A very basic example that most people know how to do in Microsoft Word is bolding text. However, many people don’t know that there are about five different ways of bolding text, yet we all accomplish this same task using one of these different ways. Some people prefer to use Buttons, Menus, Shortcut Menus, or Keyboard Shortcuts to do this. However, all of these different ways still accomplishes the same task, which is simply bolding text. However, myITlab teaches you all of these different ways, but only wants you to use one of them during a Test, but only gives you up to three attempts without ANY hints or clues as to which technique they want you to use. Do the math and see the problem? Five different ways, only three attempts, so you have about a 60% chance of actually doing it the way the Test wants you to do it (about a 40% of getting it wrong), even if your way still accomplishes the exact same task. If you use-up all three attempts, then you get counted off for it, as if you didn’t know how to complete this specific task at all. This has probably been the most common complaint I’ve heard from several other students, both current and previous. What if you can’t remember all of the five different ways to accomplish the same task, nor why should you ever have to remember all five techniques, anyways?! ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS!!!
Move A Picture To The Correct Location?! I Think Not!!!
HAHA!!! This is a joke! When you are asked to insert or move a picture, wordart, or any object to an exact location, good luck! Even if you ask to "Show Me Hint", and you place the item exactly where it wants using the red arrows indicating where, it still says "Incorrect Action"! I even let my wife give it a try once for two reasons:
- To make sure that I wasn't just being "stupid" (in other words, that I understood exactly what it wanted me to do and to accurately attempted to replicate the directions).
- To prove my point to her of how ridiculous the website is to use.
If I were grading myITlab like a college instructor, then it would receive an EPIC FAIL of 0 / F- (adding the “minus” for theatrical effects, of course). I can only hope that I can avoid using this website like the Black Plague of Death for any future, online classes; and recommend any other students to do the same. This is a college course I've had to take in the past a couple of times, and always passed it easily with an "A" (without having to use myITlab, of course). However, because of myITlab, I may barely pass this course a "C", which will hurt my 3.5+ GPA. My wife and my kids always know when I'm doing my homework on myITlab by the cursing and swearing in the next room. myITlab is nothing but trouble.