The shape of things to come – a UK university lecturer says he will no longer deliver lectures to students and instead will offer them as podcasts:
[…] Dr Bill Ashraf, a senior lecturer in microbiology at Bradford University, says the move will free up time for more small group teaching. He told The Times Higher Education Supplement that first year biochemistry students would watch or listen to virtual lectures in their own time. Students will access the podcasts via their MP3 player, phone or computer. Students will ask questions about lectures via text message, which will be answered in Dr Ashraf’s blog.
The lecturer has also been putting his appointment times online so students can check if he is available or book a meeting without coming into the university.
Dr Ashraf said the move would better suit the needs of distance learners, part-time students and those balancing studies with family and work.
I can see this approach as being extremely useful in providing university students with information in a way that meets the classic time-shifting appeal of podcasts – listen when you want and, with a digital audio player, where you want. It’s also understandable why Dr Ashraf wants to do this:
[…] Some lecture classes have 250 students, so I question the effectiveness of a didactic lecture for an hour.
Valid points. Yet isn’t there more to a university lecture than just listening to a lecturer? What about the interaction with and between fellow students and the lecturer? You can’t get that just by listening to a recording and sending text messages.
Still, it’s a terrific idea, especially the marriage of podcasts with the lecturer’s blog. I wonder what the students themselves think of it.