Lecture Stories pt.4

Welcome to the final blog post of my lecture story series!

In response to my last question revolving around Twitter and online lecture recordings, I have discovered that this new digital paradigm comes new anxieties. As a result, lecturers are cautious about what they say as this very public place has now shifted into a permanent space within time.

But then I question about the source of time and how one chooses to utilise this. As the semester progresses, the student attendance decreases thus changing the demographic of students that attend lectures each week.

Within every lecture setting there are the Robert’s and the Susan’s. The Robert’s are students who are relatively new to the University landscape and are simply note taking using the class as a means to an end in securing better job prospects. However, the Susan’s are students who enter into the lecture with base knowledge, ready to build upon their critical thinking and so construct their own knowledge. I often notice that many lecturers disseminate insightful content only to receive looks of confusion from students who are considered ‘Robert’s’.

My question to you this week:

How does the decrease in student attendance impact you emotionally (being the reaction to the decrease in students) and intellectually (being the way your teaching style reflects the change in demographic of students to accommodate to different learners)? Do you notice a change in demographic where one ‘type’ of student is in higher attendance?

If you’re a lecturer or active within lectures and would like to take part of this online discussion about your experiences comment below and find a link here to my Project Information and the intentions of my research.

 

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One thought on “Lecture Stories pt.4”

  1. This series has been riveting for me, Monique. I so appreciate being given a chance to think with you about the experience of lecturing as I’m doing it.

    OK, students who don’t show and students who do. I don’t think I assume there are types in either case, I think there are as many individual reasons and practices as there are students.

    What’s reasonably tricky for me isn’t as the lecturer, but as a designer of the overall thing. If I plan to give out a certain amount of critical information in lectures, and I make sure lectures are recorded so there is no risk to students who can’t attend, and I also make sure students have access to the lecture slides, and I try to send as much of this critical information out through two other separate channels … and at the end of all that there are still quite a few who simply didn’t know what was in the lecture, I feel like I’m really not sure what else to do. Home delivery? Emotionally, there’s a kind of exhaustion that sets in.

    On the other hand, because I can fairly easily understand the pressures that cause people not to attend, I find attendance itself pretty interesting. It’s partly social (other people will be there), it’s partly convenience (I’ve got a park now, my tutorial is right afterwards), it’s partly content (for whatever reason, whether transactional or curiosity based). Whatever brought you there, you’re there, and there’s a strongly emotional component to being human all together in time, because that’s really the big thing we have in common.

    As the poet Audre Lorde said, “I won’t be here 300 years from now, but I hope this earth and others will be.”

    So I’m not really interested in lecturing, but I really like the idea of a coming-together that values everyone’s time, gives everyone who wants it a voice, and creates space for new ideas that might live after us all.

    And I respect presence. If you’re there, that means you’re not somewhere else, not sleeping, not earning, not doing other things that are important to you, and that hour will pass and you’ll never get it back. Time is really the only scarce resource that we have, ands so emotionally I probably am thinking a bit: yikes, all this human time (including mine), how do we honour it?

    Liked by 1 person

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