Bond(age) and Submission? No thanks.

While I have made some larger mistakes in life (allowing myself to be stranded on this planet is one of them), I also made one or two minor ones. Such as asking Bond University students to submit URLs to their assignments via email.

Trust me, this is a mistake you only make once:

  • From 90 students, only about 80% could actually send you an email. The rest was sending something to a wrong address, or were not mailing at all.
  • From those who managed, about 40% forgot to include the URL itself. 20% forgot to provide either a name or a student ID. And using email addresses like joe23453@hotmail.com does not dramatically help to track down a student. Especially, if the email address does not work.
  • From those who managed to provide a URL, 20% had one which led to a non-existing server (no DNS entry at all!).
  • From those who managed to point to an existing server, 30% of the requests gave you a 404 for the entry page.
  • And for those few who got all correct, one managed to point you to an assignment, albeit one for a different course.
  • Another one with a correct URL would direct you to a website which was evenly spread across three different web hosters. No way to decide where the web site started and where it ended.
  • One was password-protected.
  • And one started with file:///C:

This was the moment of heavy machinery and so the first task at Bond University was to build a small teaching site, including a submission facility. That would check as much as possible at submission time and would protect me from grief and harm.

Or so I thought. We could not really get it idiot-proof as the following email exchange between some lecturer and a student shows:

"Robert, we submitted yesterday our assignment but I think we used the wrong URL for our site. Our group is .... <wrong url here>"

Lecturer: So your correct URL must have been: <correct url>

"Yes, that must be it, so please consider our assignment, our URL again is <another wrong url here>"

Lecturer: I guess you mean <correct url>

"Oh, yes, thanks, so it is <yet another wrong url here>"

You have know when to stop.

Posted In

I love how its named James,

I love how its named James, and how it lives twice :-D

Anonymous | Sun, 11/11/2007 - 17:27

Well, yes, the naming is

Well, yes, the naming is funny.

But.

When I had finished the first version of james.bond.edu.au, I announced that I will give a presentation at the university. And I called that

Bond, James @ bond.edu.au

which is funny in itself. The next day I got a phone call whether this is about a new James Bond movie being shot at the site.

Well, I responded with "No", which - as I take it - makes it my fault that only 4 people turned up at the presentation.

You remember this movie 2001: A Space Odyssey where the apes were circling the black monolith? At least in this movie one of the apes touched it.

No touching at Bond University.

rho | Tue, 11/13/2007 - 13:50