How I Use It
Otus is suppose to be an all in one LMS, but falls far short of its touted capability. So far it has been a complete disaster. From starting Distance Learning day 1, two hours too late because their system was overloaded to making promises it can't fulfill, this LMS is a complete disaster. Every time I ask Otus for help they reply with one of the following standard phrases: 1. "We are working on that" 2. "That feature isn't available yet but will be coming soon" and 3. "We do not have that feature but you can email our research team and suggest they add the feature.
Here is why I dislike Otus:
1. If we want students to complete a lesson we must post it in "assessments" and not in "lessons" where it should go. This is confusing to parents and students as well as time consuming for teachers.
2. When sharing ANYTHING with other teachers within our district we must type their entire email (no autofill) and can only send to one teacher at a time! This means if we want to share it with our team we must send it to the entire team by entering one email address and sending it to that address then adding another and so on, you can't send as a group, This is ridiculous and causes a lot of wasted time. I am way less likely to share anything now because of this time consuming feature.
3. Otus doesn't let teachers share a page with common assignments and assessments like Google Classroom does. In Google Classroom my team was able to create a shared page and simply click on an assignment with all needed attachments and assign it to our classes. This is not an option with Otus. Sharing with other teachers is a long and ridiculous process.
4. Our district just adopted new Social Studies curriculum which works well with GC. Unfortunately our new curriculum can't be used directly with Otus, again it is a long and frustrating process.
5. We can't assign work directly from other sites like we could using GC. Again doing this requires so many work arounds it simply isn't worth it.
6.Every time I log in to Otus I have to re-sync my calendar.
7. Even though I set up my Google Calendar according to the resources I was sent. my students can't see it.
8. When I set my class tiles to class order, they go back to the way they were when I log back in.
9. When we post a YouTube video in Otus we must "Approve it" in order for our students to view it... even though we are the ones posting so obviously e approve.
10. Nothing on Otus is intuitive.
11. You can't use different colors to help students identify one class from another.
12. The "Otus Help Center" hasn't been able to help me with any of my questions.
13, There are far too many steps to attach a standard to an assessment.
14. You can't create an assignment and set it for a future date. Otus has a button you can click to assign at a future date, but it doesn't work. Once you assign the later date, it appears on the student page and some kids try to complete the assignment before the lesson has been taught.
15. If a student accidentally turns in an assignment and you didn't click "allow multiple attempts" the assignment can't be returned or edited.. If you did remember to click "allow multiple attempts" you must first grade the assignment and enter the grade then the student can finish his or her assignment. This causes parents and students to think they failed an assignment when in reality you are simply returning the assignment. This is very easy in Google Classroom.
Honestly, it's a nightmare, the worst program I have ever used. I have nothing positive to say about Otus.. It is not intuitive in any way shape or form. Otus is extremely time consuming, difficult, confusing and maddening to use .