If the challenge of coronavirus (COVID-19) wasn’t enough of a hindrance to their education, University of the West Indies (UWI) students were in for another unexpected surprise.
With the tertiary institution forced to administer all exams online due to social distancing requirements amid COVID-19, students were preparing for the true test of widespread distance education, final exams.
But, as is the running theme of the popular reality competition show Big Brother, expect the unexpected.
Thousands of students yesterday (and a in the early hours of this morning, because university students have the oddest sleep patterns), were made aware that all their course materials on OurVLE (Our Virtual Learning Environment), the school’s online resource center, were removed.
The reactions ranged from shock, to disbelief, to absolute dread, as many realised they were left without support materials for the ensuing examinations. But not to fear, like true university students, amid the taunts, jabs and hilarious responses, was a unified effort by those who were fortunate enough to have saved information, to share it with others in need.
A coordinated effort to share slides, notes, and all related information to courses across the institution’s faculties saw emails, Google drive links and DMs exchanging swiftly as students tried to make the best of the unforeseen turn of events.
UWI’s outgoing Guild president, Christina Williams, tried to offer some comfort to students, tweeting that her team is “awake and doing all we can and more to help resolve this issue on OURVLE as quickly and as equitably as possible.”
The writing may have been on the wall though, as one user, Prynceblade, tweeted a week ago ” UWI students you are being advised, to download all content and notes from your respective course containers on OurVLE, as some course material will be removed during the exam period. Prevention is better than cure.”
Check out some of the other reactions to the UWI’s moves below, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.