That’s the ideal, anyway. In her book Digital Dieting, Tara Brabazon highlights how precarious this model of learning has suddenly become in the aftermath of the post-1980s technological revolution. (Before that, all lecturers had to worry about was the introduction of the printing press, making dictation by candlelight unnecessary, and forcing them to raise their game a bit when actually interacting with students.) If you want to feel frustrated and anxious in equal measure, read this book’s introduction, which includes extracts of student emails sent to Brabazon in the course of her work and which she carefully analyses. It is clear in reading these spurious essay excuses, cheeky requests for editing services and frankly lazy demands for bullet-point summaries of complex subject matter that education has become as commoditised as it is possible to be, enabled all too often by university administrators keen to force lecturers to use clunky and frustrating multimedia delivery tools in the name of progress.
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