U Tasmania lets go of the lecture

It plans to drop almost all lectures, continuing the switch to small-group teaching

U Tas staff say timetables for next year don’t include lecture theatres and the university confirms that, “like universities around the world, we are moving away from large format lectures.”

And that’s not just in-person lectures, it’s all-over on-line as well. “Consistent with the university’s approach to teaching delivery, face-to-face and on-line lectures have been removed as a timetabling option” staff are advised in new rules.

According to DVC Education Mitch Parsell, “the information that used to be delivered through lectures is being delivered on-line in a range of ways that provide greater flexibility for our students and are not subject to timetabling constraints.”

But not in all disciplines, following a lawyerly outcry earlier this year the university said last night, “that responding to feedback, lectures continue to be delivered face-to-face in law.”

Professor Parsell adds that lectures theatres on the Sandy Bay campus will “remain available to book when required.”

The replacement for the lecture is the  “lectorial,” whicb Professor Parsell made the case for in a personal opinion piece in CMM in April 2021 HERE

“Many people wanting to keep their lectures describe what I would think of as a workshop or lectorial, introductory comments and the presentation of catalyst material by the lecturer followed by active learning by students, very often in groups. Such activities are not only worth keeping, but worth expanding,” he wrote.

Critics of the management plan to move classes to the university’s new CBD sites warn that not using lecture theatres at Sandy Bay further devalues the site and reduces learning opportunities for students.

However Professor Parsell says “lecture and performance style spaces” already exist in the university’s Hobart CBD venues.