U of R system goes offline after 2,000 students log in to take exams

·2 min read

Final exams were interrupted for University of Regina students on Monday after the system became overburdened by the mass amount of people logged on.

"We had a large number of exams being administered roughly at the same time on Monday," said Art Exner, associate vice president of information services at the university. "So that resulted in about 33 exams running simultaneously with roughly 2,000 involved."

Exner says the system that runs the software was not able to handle that particular load and the system went offline.

"It resulted in some uneven experiences by the students, so many students were able to sign on and write their exams as scheduled. Other students were a bit delayed. A couple of courses had to be extended, and one or two instructors decided to move the exam time in the morning," Exner said.

Having U of R Courses offline was an unprecedented situation for the university, one brought on by the challenges of learning during a pandemic.

"This is the first time the university has run its fall semester all online. This is the first time this number of exams and number of students were attempting to write exams simultaneously," Exner said.

Just one class, of about 191 students, had to be rescheduled.

By Monday afternoon and into Tuesday, exams had resumed.

"We're still doing some investigation into the root cause of the issue, but we think we have the system configured as such it will be able to handle all of the exams this semester with no issue," Exner said.

Exner added that above else, it's been a series of opportunities to learn and overcome some challenges.

"Many of them related to isolation of individuals and having to put in place systems that we didn't have in March of this year, and many people learning how to use technology effectively and learning how to teach and use remote media," Exner said.

"So it's certainly been a learning experience and both challenging for both students and professors but I think overall we are managing quite well."