By Devin Orsini
Algonquin saw a smooth launch into the new fall semester as its students and staff eased into their new schedule with little to no trouble or delay.
Over the summer, Algonquin faculty worked hard to try and make sure the first week back in class was trouble free and without cause for frustration, which usually isn’t the case. Every fall there are typically lines out the door at the registrar’s office, Blackboard is down due to too much traffic on the network and internet connectivity is limited and spotty.
“Typically there are so many things that are interconnected,” said Michael Gawargy, director of ITS. “Things are always changing. No matter how much planning we do, something always goes wrong.”
But this year was different. Due to the work the college has put in over the past few months, the semester couldn’t have gone off on a better foot.
“Little things that don’t seem like much can really make a difference. Anything from tweeting helpful tools to students to reminding people of the importance of orientation,” said Jeff Macnab, registrar.
Starting this year, Algonquin has introduced student-operated information booths, strategically placed around the college. Their purpose is to help students navigate the college successfully and to provide general knowledge about the campus and network.
The most common problem among students the first week back is students having trouble signing onto Blackboard.
“I thought it was a very successful start up. Resetting passwords was a huge thing that we were able to get done at a higher volume,” said Macnab.
The Algonquin network is an essential part of our learning experience. Thanks to ITS staff, accessing the network has been simplified and connections have been steadier than in previous years. More resources have been made available to students with 12 new modern mobile learning classrooms being created across campus.
“What we put in place this year was having a small group of engineers on site the first week back, to monitor the network and resolve issues within minutes of it happening,” said Gawargy. “We have over 11,000 wireless connections on average which greatly surpasses last year.”