Learning management systems updated


Harker recently released several updates to their online coursework, homework and gradebook management systems, Athena2 and PCR, on April 21 and April 30 respectively.

The administration will be moving from the Moodle software currently employed on athena2.harker.org to a Schoology learning management system (LMS) hosted on athena.harker.org for the upcoming school year.

The new Schoology powered system features a better interface, a news feed with a “like” ability, groups to help with organization and resources to connect with other study related apps.

Along with upgrading Athena2 for next year, PCR has also been updated with several additional homework viewing options for the current school year.

There are now four main viewing options: the first shows assignments on the days that they were created by teachers, the second is an option to view assignments based on the specific dates they are due and the third is an option to show assignments on both the dates of creation and the dates of completion.

The fourth and final option shows an assignment on each day from when it was assigned until it is due. On the last day in this range of days, the assignment has an alert icon, and it is shown at the top of the homework list.

Junior Dhanush Madabusi believes that both PCR and Athena2 can be improved, but that as a whole the two learning management systems are effective.

“I think PCR and Athena are in general good systems. Both definitely have flaws, and a lot can be improved upon,” he said. “[PCR] has an awkward system for daily announcements, and it’s not very user friendly. I have not had many problems with Athena2 and teachers seem to be happy with it. I would only say to improve the design.”


Mathematics teacher Mary Mortlock believes that although PCR could be improved for teachers, Athena fits her current needs.

“I find it [PCR] frustrating because sometimes […] it’s got a life of it’s own. I’d like it to be a little bit more reliable,” she said. “Athena I think is actually okay […] and there’s so many things you can do. I don’t use it much, but when I do use it, […] Athena is perfectly adequate.”

MyAthena is currently live and imported with second semester courses, so teachers may begin experimenting with creating assignments on the new system immediately.

This piece was originally published in the pages of The Winged Post on May 13, 2015.