In August 2011 Paul Ramsden, a key associate at the education consultancy PhillipsKPA, visiting professor at the Institute of Education, University of London, and adjunct professor at Macquarie University, argued in the THES that
the idea of the contact hour as a measure of teaching and learning is archaic … it is a national disgrace in 2011 that the most common form of contact hour is still the lecture. It is not surprising that today’s students believe that the main thing that would improve the quality of their experience is more interactive experiences.
Our study of the OU over forty years suggests that learning can be supported by many methods, of which face-to-face contact is only one. Greater recognition of pedagogic developments away from the conventional campus might be beneficial to many universities.
If you have experiences of well-honed, supportive comments on a PT3 or have found the written teaching materials helpful or have been transported by a fascinating OU DVD or have been directed, via ROUTES, to an appropriate article in a timely manner or have ever rung a Tutor and received a response which enabled you to complete that TMA, then you can tell us about it here. As Paul Ramsden says:
Students in universities should be treated as partners, not as customers or schoolchildren … Let’s start treating them as if their views mattered … university teaching is not a delivery process. On the contrary, it’s a sort of conversation – and in a conversation, listening is as important as speaking.
And yes, we are also open to critical comments. We’d like to hear from all staff categories of staff, not only Associate Lecturers and of course we also want to hear from students.