PIMS - Puzzling inaccuracy mystifies students

Uni release, retract and re-release exam timetable

Students were further frustrated by exam woes after the University withdrew the initial exam timetable released last week. Confusion arose after the initial schedule was released last Monday, retracted on Tuesday, then released again on Thursday.

A notice, which was emailed to students and posted on Blackboard, stated “Please do not diary any of your examination dates, or book any travel, until a replacement timetable has been produced. A replacement timetable will be published to PIMS by 11 April 2014.”

Claire Beuvink, a University of Otago student, told Critic “I was about to [book my flights] but then thought I should probably wait until it comes out on PIMS. Lucky I did!” Other students did not treat it so lightly with some finding it “rude” and “annoying.” Steph Taylor equated the situation to that of a sandwich: “the Uni withdrawing the exam timetable is like me making a sandwich, leaving it on the kitchen bench for five minutes and coming back and it’s half eaten.” Critic is unsure of the meaning behind this comparison, but would like a sandwich, please.

Critic spoke to the Director of Academic Services, John Price, who said, “The timetable was retracted as a small number of examinations had been inadvertently omitted.” When asked if the retraction concerned a problem with PIMS, Price confirmed that this was not the case but the system is undergoing adjustments. “As the University is rolling out further eVision functionality over the mid-semester break, the current PIMS functionality will become part of eVision.”

PIMS will be decommissioned and no longer available from 9pm on Wednesday 16 April 2014. Neither PIMS nor eVision will be available between 16 and 23 April 2014, so the University advises to complete any urgent tasks beforehand. eVision is the new student management system aimed to simplify, streamline and automate student administration processes for staff and students. It has replaced existing paper-based and online application forms with a single online application process. The enhanced eVision system is expected to be available to students by 8am on Wednesday 23 April 2014.

Critic did not hear from any students who had already booked transport before the timetable was withdrawn, but Price noted, “Any students who are affected in this way should contact the Examinations Office.”
This article first appeared in Issue 8, 2014.
Posted 4:31pm Sunday 13th April 2014 by Josie Cochrane.