Alright, homies. This is definitively a problem. I am not necessarily talking about the removal of paper and pencil and replacing it with a digital Whiteboard for a profession that has been thought to think by drawing (that's a full other conversation). The problem is that such a substitute does not respond and/or function correctly, days before being implemented. I cannot stress enough how important it is that you as a test-taker go on to your MyNCARB and test the Whiteboard yourself before testing. Testing for PcM on 12/18 myself. These are my observations using the demonstration:
- Eraser is really, really bad. It lags.
- Using the freehand pencil is not forgiving, it is very messy, and it does not act as an object, meaning that you cannot resize or move once drawn. Once you draw with the pencil tool, you can only erase it. No "right-click" erase option.
- In my opinion, it is better to use objects since you can select, move, rotate, and re-size them, and most importantly, you can right-click on them and delete them, rather than using the really bad eraser.
- Downside of objects is that you draw an object and the tool resets to the selection mode meaning that you have to again select the tool you want to use. Every. Time. This is a huge waste of time. Could tools remain active until a new tool is selected?
- Object properties such as the stroke and fill color do stay on.
- Linetypes & line-weights have not been working for me on the simulator.
- Page tabs can get messy with the interface and resizing the Whiteboard window.
- You have to double click to edit text boxes, but they are editable.
- Copy-paste works within the whiteboard text-boxes and it also works to copy-paste from the exam into the whiteboard, NCARB has said this will be the case during testing.
- Unfortunately, there is no undo option. This would help.
- Delete key on the keyboard does not work to delete objects. This would also help, rather than having to right-click and select erase.
- I did get "lost" somehow in the workspace while trying the simulator and got me freaked out. Kind of when you get "lost" in the drawing space in AutoCAD. With this in mind, I had to go into the zoom tool and re-adjust. I am not really sure what the problem was here but again, waste of time, anxiety, and frustration.
-Mouse wheel does a zoom on the page, rather than scrolling the page up or down. This can make you get lost in the sheet space. Again, time wasted.
- The text blinker is really annoying. It is really easy to lose track of it. The text blinker disappears when you are using the arrow keys to move its position. You cannot see it.
- By default, when you switch between sheets/pages, no matter what tool you have on, the tool automatically changes back to the awful pencil tool, no matter what tool had previously on. Again, you have to go and select the tool you want to use, over and over again. This makes it very time consuming and difficult when you have notes on more than one sheet. It really kills the flow.
- My question is, did NCARB tried this in a testing scenario with real people to study how this Whiteboard is actually working during a timed testing scenario? It sure does not seem like it. I cannot believe anyone in NCARB can be satisfied with the function, let alone its implementation for candidates testing. What kind of project delivery is this?
I think for me the greatest takeaway is that, as Nick Respect from NCARB mentions on YouTube, this is NOT a pencil and paper. You should NOT treat it as such. Your strategy needs to be re-adjusted. This is a digital Whiteboard, and a very primitive one for such a significant organization and test (no offense). I am sure a lot of hard work and effort is going into developing these tools for us, and I truly want to believe in NCARB, however, the project feels veery rushed. The burden on us test-takers is unfortunate. An all of this has unfortunately created a lot of additional stress and anxiety for all of us test-takers. I really think this whole idea needs to significantly be evaluated and reconsidered. There is a lot of really upset and disappointed people right now at NCARB. Is all of this stopping me from testing? No. Is this stopping me from passing my exams? No. Is this stopping me from becoming a licensed architect? Heck no. I'd like to be part of the solution, so here I am. I hope these observations can be addressed by NCARB as soon as possible. I hope these observations can help as constructive criticism and to really re-evaluate what NCARB is about to do, and the ramifications this will have. Best of luck everyone. Curious to know what everyone's Whiteboard observations are thus far are, so please keep sharing.
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