MRE Symonds  (2014) Lecturing and other face-to-face teaching – too much or too little? An assessment based on student feedback and fail rates. Higher Education Research and Development 33: 1221-1231 PDF

What’s it about?

I compared the amount of lecturing involved in specific university courses with academic outcomes and student evaluation scores. Basically, units with less face-to-face teaching actually have slightly higher pass rates, but this comes at the expense of student satisfaction.

What’s the story behind it?

Not my usual kind of subject, I grant you, but there was a reason behind this. When I first joined Deakin University, as a new member of the academic staff I was obligated to do a one-year Graduate Certificate in Higher Education. To be honest, I found this somewhat irksome, but as part of the course I opted to do a small research project related to the ‘scholarship of teaching’. I was interested in the move that my university was making away from traditional lecturing and face-to-face teaching, and wondered if this were really a good thing. So I collated some data together using actual course feedback data and did the whole analysis. Given that I had done this I thought a tangible outcome of doing the GCHE (beside the qualification itself) would be to publish the results of my study. So I wrote my project up in the form of a paper, and got it published.

Interesting factoid: this paper was accepted for publication in mid 2013 and is not due to be published until early 2015(!!!). That would be insanely slow for a science journal, but maybe for the education field this is normal?



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