Contact time, contact time, contact time – v interesting from Kevin Fong.
Now we all know that contact hours aren’t everything. Even the Quality Assurance Agency folk point out that they are but one element in the assessment of the quality of a course. And they are very clear that “contact” can take many forms. Lectures obviously qualify, but field trips, seminars and tutorials – even dance classes are offered up as acceptable alternative forms of contact time. Contact can also be virtual and still count. You get credit for emailing, and I guess texting or possibly even tweeting students.
There is – at present – no universally agreed currency exchange rate for this metric. How many tweets are equivalent to an email? How many emails make a lecture? But increasingly it appears that contact time is the commodity that students most prize in their evaluation of a course.
Read full article… and love the way it finishes:
It offers the tantalising possibility of achieving that nirvana, sought universally by all of academia, since the dawn of academic time itself: contact with undergraduate students without the need for actual contact.