Behind the Scenes with GauchoSpace

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Linus Li

Gauchos, do you have a story similar to the following?

It is week eight in the quarter and you realize something has gone horribly wrong. As much as you promised your parents you would put school before everything else, you have turned into a partying expert and have unfortunately broke your promises. So here you are somewhere in the library well past midnight holding off your frustration and patiently scrolling down GauchoSpace, downloading just about every lecture and homework slide there is and learning everything from the quarter in a mere two weeks.

Just when you thought life could not be any worse, the website used by Gaucho staff and students have come to a sudden halt. That is, “GauchoSpace is backed up between 4:00-4:30 a.m. each morning and may not be accessible at the time”, as it says on the notification bar.

Remember how many times you have cried for the system to be working when you most needed it? Your wishes may just have been ignored because according to Bret Brinkman, director of Instructional Technology Services, “a typical week in GauchoSpace includes around 1.25 million site page views, 25,000 files downloaded, and access to over 10,000 external links.”

“The daily backup is mainly to save the content of GauchoSpace in the event of the system crashing or … professors accidentally deleting some of their content on their class pages so they can restore it,” Brinkman said. He also oversees the development and support for GauchoSpace.

The backup is done as a precaution for error. The GauchoSpace team chose 4 to 4:30 a.m. as statistics indicate that then is when the system is the most lightly loaded. It is the gap between “the students who stay up late studying and the other ones who wake up [early] to get their work done,” said Brinkman.

Now imagine it is 3:45 a.m. and you are about as ready as you could be to attempt one of the many quizzes your professor has created. The backup time has come just when you are about halfway through your problems, and you are about to go into an emotional crisis knowing that another portion of your grade has disappeared. You cannot help but to feel your tears rolling down your face and you start to calculate just how much your GPA is about to plummet.

“If this shall become the case, I encourage [the student] to talk to [their] professor to possibly work something out because some professors are lenient enough to let [their students] retake the quizzes,” Brinkman said, “otherwise, there is nothing we can do once the system has timed the student out.”

You are thinking about approaching your instructor regarding a possible retake on a physical quiz but then you realized your professor is just like many others. According to Brinkman, “about 80 percent of our campus are using GauchoSpace … and we have been seeing the number go up.”

“As for the 10 percent or so who are not using GauchoSpace, it is usually because some of the professors prefer the old-fashioned method of notetaking and assigning homework,” he said.

As of Winter 2017, a few changes have been recently implemented to GauchoSpace as part of the system wide upgrade performed during winter break.

“Professors may notice the grading is now easier after reorganizing the gradebooks especially for larger classes,” said Brinkman. He goes on that frequent users of the discussion forums may notice “they can now pin posts; instructors can also have more control to how they post on the forums, [as well as] more flexibility on the tools for the quizzes.”

Gauchos are expected to see these changes as soon as they log on to GauchoSpace although some of the changes may not have been noticeable if the user did not frequent the discussion forums and utilize other tools the system has been able to provide.

1 COMMENT

  1. I find it rather sad that TBL chose to focus on such a negative article topic aiming at an exposé rather than highlighting something like all the new features they integrated in their latest update. It’s down for 30 minutes (at the same time each day); come on Gauchos, plan ahead!

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