VC Brian Schmidt wants campus, “a far better place to learn”
“It would be easy to make the university into an on-line supermarket of inexpensively delivered courses and divert the savings into research or other funds,” ANU VC Brian Schmidt told staff in his state of the university address yesterday. But it isn’t going to happen on his watch.
However while the on-campus lecture lives, he says it should not be “a crutch for poor pedagogy.”
“We need our teachers to be more than just people who stand at the front of the lecture hall or before a video camera. We need them to connect with their students in richer ways. This might include fewer lectures, and those that we do deliver, will be memorable and sophisticated, utilising technology.”
Professor Schmidt did not specify a solution, urging academics to find ways to replicate their very best classroom experiences as students. But he is “certain we will better than we do now.”
Or did. Back in 2015 then ANU DVC Marnie Hughes-Warrington reported on the decline in students attending lectures as a course continued. “Our students appear to be fine; but our staff are not. Count the cost of a staff member lecturing every week to an ever-diminishing group. Count the cost in terms of that person’s sense of self-worth, pride in their work and their discipline,” she wrote .