Adobe banned at Open University in UK

New Here ,
Jan 28, 2011 Jan 28, 2011

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The Open University in the UK now has some 160,000 students of whom some 45,000 are involved in daily tutorials & classes.


As a student on my 3rd MA I have always used Adobe Professional to submit essays electronically ( eTMAs = electronic tutor marked assignment(s)) as amongst other benefits it fixes the formatting of the work in .pdf. The content cannot be changed by the vagaries of the reader or operating system.


As of 2011 the Open University have banned the use of Adobe products to submit essays by their online eTMA system. To add insult to injury they have also banned Word 2007 and later in the .docx format. The Open University would like all students to submit, wait for it, in the Word 2003 .doc format. Anyone who's submitted academic work in the .doc format will know what different versions on Word on different OSes can do to the finished product.


Now I'm told that its because tutors are unable ( $$$ ) to comment and mark their students work online if its submitted as .pdf; they have not got the correct software tools. ( the .docx is probably a backwards compatibility issue) .  They like to annotate in lowest common denominator Word ( for that read cheapest).


I am sure that the Open University will continue to distribute information and course materials in the Adobe .pdf format to their tutors and students. Its a shame that there is a lack of investment by the OU in education, technology &  licensing. I wonder why they think their customers (students) are not worthy of the same facilities  they use internally ?


Are there no Adobe ASP or Higher Education tutor buy-in programs in the UK that address this issue ?

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LEGEND ,
Jan 28, 2011 Jan 28, 2011

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This is a user to user forum for discussing the forum themselves. Although sympathyzing with your feelings, I fail to see how any of us fellow users can be of any help in this.

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LEGEND ,
Jan 31, 2011 Jan 31, 2011

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Claudio González wrote:

I fail to see how any of us fellow users can be of any help in this.

Perhaps he was looking for advice on what his options are.  I have told him to complain to his government and gave him all the contact details.  You are excused because you are not British or that you are not used to complaining to your government.  We do all the time about almost anything..

hth

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Mentor ,
Feb 01, 2011 Feb 01, 2011

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The part about banning MSOffice after the 2003 version is going to bit them in their backside as well. MS has a Nasty habit on the PC side to tie in the ability to open and use into minimum system requirements and processors.  in a few more years they won't even be able to open 2003, support for 2003 died when Office2010. There will be no updates for bug fixes, or features.  What they don't know is that 2007, 2010 have the ability to save in Doc format, or Docx format, as well as txt(test) and RTF (Rich Text Format). The owner of that University ought to take course themselves and get into the modern age. They sound like these old geezers that want to ban html in email messages and keep us one rung above morse code.

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Enthusiast ,
Feb 01, 2011 Feb 01, 2011

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The part about banning MSOffice after the 2003 version is going to bit them in their backside

hahahahahaha! funny stuff phil! lulz!

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Mentor ,
Feb 03, 2011 Feb 03, 2011

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Think so, with the coming out of 2011 for Mac, 2004 is no longer supported. No bug fixes, no security updates. No nothing. It works On PPC machines but written PPC code so does not work without Roseta on Intel machines.

dave milbut wrote:

The part about banning MSOffice after the 2003 version is going to bit them in their backside

hahahahahaha! funny stuff phil! lulz!

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Enthusiast ,
Feb 03, 2011 Feb 03, 2011

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my point being, there are alternatives. you're not screwed just because some Big Company decides to discontinue support. The answer is to discontinue use of said Big Company's product.

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LEGEND ,
Feb 02, 2011 Feb 02, 2011

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PjonesCET wrote:

What they don't know is that 2007, 2010 have the ability to save in Doc format, or Docx format, ...

And perhaps they don't know either that there is an Office 2007/2010 compatibility pack for Office 2003 that can handle docx format.  Not very competent, in my opinion...

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LEGEND ,
Jan 31, 2011 Jan 31, 2011

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Please complain to your Education Secretary Michael Gove because Adobe can't force anybody to use its products.  This is not the place to discuss such matters.

Rt Hon Michael Gove MP
House of Commons
London
SW1A 0AA
tel: 020 7219 3000
email: govem@parliament.uk

or at the Constituency office
tel: 01276 472468
email: office@shca.org.uk

website: http://www.michaelgove.com

Hope this helps.

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New Here ,
Feb 01, 2011 Feb 01, 2011

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Well I wish the the OU would mandate Adobe rather than the plethora of software options OSes & applications that disadvantage the students becuse the OU are too mean to supply their tutors with the correct hardware & software platforms to correct students work.


If there was an Open Source solution that would be ideal - there never will be.

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Mentor ,
Feb 03, 2011 Feb 03, 2011

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It not so mean as ignorant.

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LEGEND ,
Feb 01, 2011 Feb 01, 2011

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As an Open University they should be using Open Source programs.

Use Open Office Writer, and it is FREE!

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Enthusiast ,
Feb 01, 2011 Feb 01, 2011

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or better yet, the non-oracle-owned open libre!

http://www.libreoffice.org

now with 10% less evil than open office!

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