Changing Education DeliveryPosted: September 17, 2013
In today’s world, where the competition for top faculty is increasing, there is a felt need for being able to enable these faculty to reach out to teach more and more students. At the same time, there is more investment from the faculty in research. This means that there needs to be a way to deliver education differently which enables these faculty members to reach out to more students, while at the same time give them more time to work on non-teaching projects.
We see senior professors teaching the same courses year after year to different sets of students. If you look at the anatomy of a course, it is made up of concepts, applications of these concepts, reinforcing of these concepts through discussions, class assignments, homework etc. This could change if we leverage technology that is available today, to deliver education more effectively.
To begin with, concepts which dont change much year after year need not be taught year after year by senior faculty members. These senior faculty members could record lecture sessions in a moduler way, and these video recordings could be used to introduce concepts to students, for example, these videos teach the concepts of relativity. As you can see, these videos have been uploaded a few years back, but their relevance is still as much as it was when they were uploaded. Unless it is cutting-edge work, it would be, and cutting-edge work isnt taught in quite the same scale as regular courses are.
These videos help us understand that senior professors can help build content which can then be used to teach students year after year, freeing up much time for senior professors to guide and undertake research, and to do a number of further activities like referee papers, and drive innovation in their subjects. Of course, videos by themselves arent enough to teach, which means that in addition to these videos, lecturers could use these videos to teach the application of these concepts, to drive classroom discussions, and to manage the learning process through collaboration, classroom assignments, and that word we all love a lot … homework.
In this way, repeatable activities can be brought online, and the activities which require student interaction could be handled as a separate component from the teaching of theoretical concepts, something i have written about earlier. This could change the way college education is delivered, while at the same time addressing the need for access to top-quality content for a wider range of students, at a much lower cost, at the same time, enabling teachers to focus on teaching, at the same time, on non-teaching related work as well.