Pearson Academic Software, How do I hate thee, let me count the ways….

On top of the appalling, dreadful, nasty, crap-tastic steaming pile of code that I refuse to call software, the access fee for it is outrageous.  It’s almost $150.00 just for the access code.  That’s assuming you don’t have to buy book, cases, or anything else.  So, please, give your students a break.  I’ve seen semesters where my books topped $1000.00.  No one’s scholarships or tuition reimbursement plans cover that.  Very few grants will allow it.  About all you can do is take out a student loan or live on peanut butter and crackers for months to make it up.

If you are a professor at any higher ed institution and you truly hate your students, you can use any of the Pearson products like MyFinanceLab, MyMathLab, or my latest rant, MyEconLab.  I know what all the marketing puffery says on the Pearson website.  My experience is that… well… let’s just say I’m surprised they still have pants that haven’t burned up yet.  Some of it might have been true once up on a time, but my experience with this stuff has been HORRIBLE. If, after reading this, you deliberately chose to inflict this overpriced crap on your students, well, I don’t really have a word bad enough for you, which is saying something.

This is my second class with this Pearson MyLab & Mastering software and I have to say that “horrible” would probably be an upgrade from my current experience. 

It is incredibly frustrating and cannot possibly be beneficial to the educational experience.  As point of reference for you, I broke my femur and didn’t cry.  This software has frustrated me to the point of tears. I can’t use it in public because it involves a large amount of very “blue” vocabulary and the destruction of small, easily replaced items. Its wrong a lot but it tells you, student, that you are wrong.

I’m going to post some of my most recent examples.  I was a hard science undergrad (biochemistry) so dealing with these business concepts is new ground for me – much like dealing with stereo-isomers would be for you.  However, if you think that constantly being told you are wrong when you’re not while you’re trying to learn a new subject doesn’t 1) make the process harder than it has to be, 2) drive the frustration level through the roof, and 3 ) just generally piss someone one off, you shouldn’t be teaching. I had this crap as “MyFinanceLab” for my finance class.  I complained about it so much that finance professor thought I was being a big baby.   Unfortunately, I have had nothing BUT problems with this stuff.   I thought I’d gotten away from this particular bit hideousness when I got out of that class.  Imagine my shock when I find that my economics professor is going to use this.

The worst part is that we’re only 3 weeks into the class and this is what I have so far.  3 chapters and 3 homework assigments generated all this and I have some I haven’t posted yet. 

This time, however, I’m prepared.  I’m snapping screenshots showing all the stoopid things that software does. I swear this stuff is coded up by deranged monkeys who don’t have the sense god gave a grapefruit. I’m going to post some screen shots and explain what’s wrong with each one of them…

One asks me to look up some data and then plug in it before doing some calculations….  You’ll notice that my answers and the ones its asking for match exactly but I’m still “wrong”.    ImpossibleQuestion

This question asks me to draw a graph….  Do you see any differences between the one on the left and the one on the right?  Neither do I, but I’m still “wrong”.

BadSampleQuestion This one asked me to do some calculations and plug in some numbers….  Once again, I’m “wrong”…. YetAnotherBadQuestion -3

Even their help function is wrong.  It changes the numbers given in the question, but fails to update the answers and other things.

HelpWrong

In this one the help that’s provided isn’t related to this particular question. Here’s the question:

QuestionForUnrelatedHelp

And here’s the so-called “help”.  Note that, other than i, there is absolutely no mention of the variables we are presented in the question.  Because this help isn’t actually pertinent to this question.

UnrelatedHelp

This one is a real prize winner since the “right” option isn’t even offered. Note all of the options that you’re given to pick from.  First up the question:

QuestionForAnswerNotOffered

Now look at the “correct” answer…. Do you see it listed above?  Neither do I, which is why this one made the list….

AnswerNotOffered

Now I have this one…. Once again I’m wrong even though it’s the only answer offered that even approximates the “correct” answer.

ProductionFunctionQuestion

Oh, joy!  Another “wrong” graph…..  They don’t give you any numbers to graph in the question.  Apparently, I’m not doing so well because I’m not psychic and can’t pick the right distance between ND and ND2.  Has anyone here ever tried to draw a perfectly straight line with a mouse?  I thought I did pretty good…. *sigh* Did I mention that I’ve come to truly hate this company and everything they make? 

AntotherBadGraph