Online lectures are no substitute for face-to-face contact, argues UCU. Melanie Newman reports

Pre-recorded lectures: a means of providing “flexible learning” to students juggling other commitments or a way to phase out face-to-face contact time on the quiet?

Bournemouth University is encouraging staff to record lectures and upload the videos to the university website as part of a pilot project.

Managers say the system helps the university to avoid lectures being cancelled if academics are sick, attending conferences or away doing research, and that they are helpful to disabled, international and mature students with other commitments.

But the University and College Union has raised concerns that the online offerings will replace some face-to-face sessions.

One Response

  1. Letter, 4 March 2010, also in the Times Higher Education

    Podcast potential

    It was disappointing to see another story with a limited appreciation of the educational and pedagogic uses of podcasting (“Podcasts: enhancing or replacing normal lectures”, 25 February). The thinking that automatically links “podcasting” with “lectures” suggests a lack of understanding of the potential in this area.

    Podcasting, or digitally enhanced pedagogy, allows access to key voices at the heart of the learner experience, irrespective of time and place. There are myriad ways in which cheap, easy-to-design audio and video media interventions can be used to seed independent learning activity. We need to be more inventive than subjecting learners to hour-long monologues that often struggle to engage them at the best of times.

    Jethro Newton, University of Chester, Chair, Media Enhanced Learning Special Interest Group.

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