Desire2Learn service outage leaves thousands of students stuck
Published Friday, February 1, 2013 4:56PM EST
Last Updated Friday, February 1, 2013 6:49PM EST
Thousands of post-secondary students across North America found themselves unable to complete homework and submit assignments this week.
Kitchener-based education software company Desire2Learn has been grappling with a service outage since Tuesday, leaving students unable to access the company’s web-based platforms.
Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo are among the schools hit by the outage.
Nearly all of the students at both schools use the Desire2Learn system to communicate with teachers and fellow students, take part in online classes and submit assignments.
At the University of Waterloo, student federation president Andrew Noble says the federation is working with the school to reschedule tests and postpone due dates.
“We just want to ensure that students can get those delays and those accommodations, those exemptions to those deadlines, because it’s not fair for students who had no access to their material,” Noble told CTV.
The company says the problem was caused by a disconnection between its file hardware and one of its cloud data centres.
Company officials say they’re too busy working on fixing the problem to comment on camera about the disruption.
“Please know that we’re going everything within our power to fix this problem,” Desire2Learn president John Baker wrote on Twitter.
“We understand the severe impact these service problems have. We have devoted every available resource to achieve a resolution.”
Laurier teacher support director Sandy Hughes says the school will be looking at backup plans to safeguard against a similar situation coming up again.
“We had been talking about it, and I’m sure now it’s going to be a discussion that we will need to have,” she said.
Desire2Learn has 700 customers with a total of 8 million users. The company has not said how many of its customers are affected by the outage.
Shortly before 6 p.m. Friday, Desire2Learn said it believed it had managed to fix its system for all customers.
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