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Change University Education

Comment 15th July 2010

Change the early stages of University Education so that they are based on lectures provided from CD and Internet storage and the University itself should be taking the very best ideas from the Open University and its coursework based by mail and combining it with the traditional lecture based system to provide the best of both worlds rather than the current system which is more focussed on bums on seats attendance.

Some students need more contact with the lecturers to succeed, others less so. There is an efficiency dividend to be reaped if approached carefully.

Why does this matter?

Lectures are missed, coursework is lost and illness etc can ruin a persons degree course.

Why are we expecting students to sit in rooms of 150 all trying to catch evry word when really what is needed is a computer and a rewind, pause button?

I`m not proposing eliminating the University, in fact I believe that the University should be changed from having lecturers boosting their salary with those lectures when what they REALLY want to do is reasearch, and compulsory studant attendance to  all (sometimes with timetable clashes that are impossible to correct) is simply not the best practice possible.

I think that money, time and effort can be saved by having the lectures spent discussing the flaws and advantages of various approaches to a problem rather than lecturers speeding through and students copying the work.

For example when I did Engineering and the math was understood by so few that the passmark was as low as 30% in some cases, with a home learning approach boosted by attendance based on NEED, and INTEREST rather than on "bums on seats" that passmark could easily have risen.

The benefits are that the lecturer and the student gets to plan their time according to their respective needs and both are going to be higher motivated when they do meet. The benefits are also that costs can be kept far lower as applied mathematics for example does not change so much.

This concept is not intended to take a thing away from University but rather to allow greater EFFICIENCY of the whole experience, allowing more flexability in direct attendance to provide cost savings where applicable and more time for the lecturers to correct mistakes rather than repiticiously going through the same course year by year.

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