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Message from the Provost regarding LEARN

Thursday, January 31, 2013

To: All University of Waterloo students
From: Geoff McBoyle, Vice-President, Academic & Provost
Date: January 31, 2013
Subject: Update on Waterloo LEARN
Dear Students,
As you are painfully aware, our Waterloo LEARN online learning management system has been unusable or unavailable since Tuesday at 3:25 p.m. You may also know that the system is hosted at a facility run by Desire2Learn (D2L).
An explanation of the Waterloo LEARN problem
Changes in the data storage infrastructure at that site have caused the problem. D2L has reported the problem was caused by incompatible technologies introduced in their planned data storage infrastructure upgrades. There have been numerous missed estimates on resolution times. We have talked to D2L and have a better understanding of the problem, but currently they cannot provide us with an anticipated uptime. They are to get back to us by end of day today to give us details on the planned resolution and expected timeline.
The impact on your courses
LEARN is a hub for communication between you and your professors. With it out of commission, instructors have been advised to use email to let you know if your assignments, midterms, and other course activities are impacted by the technical problems, and to communicate a contingency plan and/or materials, making reasonable accommodations where appropriate. These accommodations will vary from course to course, depending upon the impact the loss of the system has had on activities.
Next steps
Our staff members in Information Systems & Technology (IST) are working with D2L to better communicate the problems and resolutions. You can find updates about the situation at the IST LEARN service notice board, also linked from the Waterloo website pathways.
Please accept our sincerest apologies for the disruption with Waterloo LEARN. I know this outage has been extremely frustrating for you.
Once Waterloo LEARN is functioning properly, we will notify students through the official IST LEARN service notice board, and the university’s Twitter account.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Geoff McBoyle
Vice-President, Academic & Provost

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