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Cardiff University online learning portal experiences difficulties during first day of term

Students have been left feeling disappointed


Cardiff University students have been left feeling frustrated after Learning Central, the university’s online learning portal, experienced difficulties on the first day of the new term. Due to the ongoing pandemic, many lectures and seminars have been moved entirely online this term. Amongst other things, the portal features recorded lectures, module information, discussion boards, and live sessions, meaning access to it is vital.

However, as students tried to enter the page on Monday morning, they were faced with screens stating that the site could not be reached. Some were also redirected from the page to an error message reading “your connection is not private”.

One student, who was unable to join his live lecture because of the issue, told The Cardiff Tab: “I’m frustrated and feel quite robbed. Despite taking full tuition fees, and despite having known that we will be learning almost entirely online for months now, the university doesn’t seem to have been able to sort their systems to cope with the demand of online learning.”

He said that it was later working again whilst the lecture was still going on, but by that time felt it was too late to join as the students had specifically been asked to enter the session early.

The Cardiff Tab also spoke to a household of students who all experienced the technical difficulties surrounding the portal. They stated that they “feel extremely frustrated” that they “cannot access our university lectures and resources on the first day of university.”

They added, “It’s only added to an already stressful period. I hope this doesn’t continue otherwise it’s going to have a negative impact on our university degrees.”

A Cardiff University spokesperson said:

“We can confirm there is an ongoing European-wide outage of Panopto, the system used to record lectures.

“Panopto and Learning Central are tightly integrated and, as a result, Learning Central became temporarily unavailable earlier today (Monday). We apologise for any inconvience caused.

“Learning Central has since been restored and is available to students.”

Many students have been questioning whether the university prepared for the upheaval in traffic on the site. However, the Cardiff University spokesperson stated that: “The Panopto outage continues to impact all European universities and is not related to the University’s IT systems nor to the start of the academic year. ”

The response concluded by saying that Learning Central “remains available” but due to the issues “pre-recorded lectures and some live lectures will be temporarily unavailable until the problems are resolved by Panopto.”

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