The government are slowly getting around to tackling education in this country. They’re proposing an introduction of fees for students, cutbacks for special needs students…. now they want to sack staff and compress multiple courses in to one or compress multiple colleges in to one.
That’s good in many ways… it’s efficiency. If the numbers add up, and it isn’t knee jerk tactics, then i welcome it. lecturers are overpaid and have it too easy in my view. 16 hours a week contact classes? 4 or 5 months in holidays per year, with pay? That doesn’t make it easy… it’s not. Lecturing is a tough job and i understand that – it requires a lot of preparation and knowledge in a certain area… years of study and experience.
That said, there are still too many weak links. I could learn more reading books than i could from some of my lectures. I’m pretty sure it’s the same in any school or college – you have good and bad teachers/lecturers. Of course they’ll defend themselves but it’s like bankers or politicians defending themselves – they’re detached from reality and used to comfort.
If i had things my way;
- All lecturers would be placed on temporary contracts. Every single one of them. That immediately puts everyone under pressure to perform as their jobs are at stake.
- Ban traditional lectures and record videos to put online – those videos are now our lecture classes. It gives me more control, it helps me learn ( i can pause and rewind stuff i don’t understand). It also reduces wage costs over time as lecturers can use the same video next year or for the next 2 years.
Basically, e-learning is the way forward. By all means sack lecturers, but replace them with technology. Make sure that technology is reliable and available 24/7.
The internet is better than any lecturer or teacher i’ve ever had. Why? Because it’s not human. It doesn’t make mistakes or misinform me. It can answer any question i have. I just need to know how to use it properly. All college courses should come with a ‘how to filter information on the internet module’ – it’s the most valuable skill you can have.
Shut down colleges completely if it makes financial sense – but get more online and create e-colleges. I don’t need to attend college 5 days a week doing an IT course – it’s a technology subject… it can be taught using IT and using the internet.
Have me scheduled to come in maybe one day a week just to tie things together. Apart from that, lecturers could easily record video tutorials or send me slides and questions. If i want to ask questions, get them on video conferencing or MSN for an hour. Allow anyone to ask them questions and allow me to look at the questions and answers. RECORD the questions and answers for future reference.
The technology is here. Right here, right now. We’re just not using it and it’s a combination of poor management, lack of vision and laziness. Cutbacks might just force people in to working harder though as they begin to sense fear.