Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Sun Sep 29 11:25:37 AEST 2013
At 10:42 AM +1000 29/9/13, Tom Worthington wrote:
>I would prefer if the certification was available with the
>on-line/flexible courses, avoiding old fashioned "Lecture 1.0". I never
>enjoyed attending lectures and gave up giving lectures, around the time
>I was appointed a "Lecturer" at ANU:
Lectures have their place in teaching-and-learning.
But I very much agree with the proposition that they should have long
ago ceased to be the centrepiece of university education.
Anecdote: in late 1994, I proposed to the ANU Dean of Commerce that
I would reduce lectures from 13 wks x 2 hrs to c. 6-10 x 1 hr, and
invest the time in a mix of workshops, and visual and interactive
teaching materials using this newgfangled web-thingie, to complement
the exising 12wks x 1 hr of tutorials.
He threatened me with the intellectual equivalent of castration.
Okay, he was a thorough twerp and a nasty piece of work; but his
shall-we-say caution reflects the views of the time. Is it all that
much better now?
Where I think lectures help is in assisting candidates to break into
a new topic-area, or a new school of thought. A lot of students also
appreciate a wrap-up lecture at the end of a unit, and sometimes even
at the end of a logical block within a unit.
Recorded lectures can work well for a particularly hard-to-grasp
topic. You can more easily 'get yourself up' to do a good lecture on
a particular topic once; whereas repeating a good performance year
after year, and even semester after semester, is near-impossible.
[Underlying philosophy: you can't hurt the top 10-20%; you can't
*help* the bottom 10-20%; you can make a difference for the middle
Declaration: Like Tom, and probably a lot of us on this list, and
indeed the average student in 1967 and 2017 alike, I attended a small
percentage of lectures in most subjects - but there were exceptions,
to some extent for individual lecturers, and where I really could not
work out what the heck the subject was supposed to be about. Corners
of math stats, the strange legal notion of equity, international
trade theory, ...
Qualification: My comments relate to the disciplines I've been
involved with - info sys, comp sci, accountancy, law, economics. It
may be different in divinity, history, etc.
Roger Clarke http://www.rogerclarke.com/
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd 78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
Tel: +61 2 6288 6916 http://about.me/roger.clarke
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au http://www.xamax.com.au/
Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Law University of N.S.W.
Visiting Professor in Computer Science Australian National University
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