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Showing posts from 2012

Does Campus Education Have a Future?

Campus based education is under increasing pressure financially and structurally.  These pressures have been recently exacerbated in Australia by the release of a strategic report by Ernst and Young [1] which roughly speaking  predicts the demise of traditional model universities in Australia within the next decade or so. Reading between the lines is an underlying assumption that traditional classroom instruction offers few benefits over watching sophisticated online content. Internet universities are becoming more common, as the cost of higher education is increasingly criticized in the USA and abroad.  Burdened with the high cost of maintaining physical infrastructure, buildings, laboratories, sports grounds and the like, how can traditional campus universities compete with their online counterparts?
To meet this challenge it seems imperative  that traditional universities adapt, by changing their education to better utilise their costly physical assets. I think this means that Uni…

Tertiary Education Quality

What Responsibility Should Academics Take in Shaping the Tertiary Education Experience?
 As I have observed previously, Pears 2010, the view that education is a type of service, or product, and that students are customers, poses serious challenges for all stakeholders in the tertiary education sector. Not least for those charged with "delivering" this service (education).

 I was struck by a comment I heard recently, where the possibility that one might get lower course evaluation results was proffered  as a reason to avoid teaching and learning approaches that might be unfamiliar or challenging for students. The remark was made in relation to the suggestion that student teams should be allocated by teaching staff, rather than allowing students to choose with whom they wish to work,  in order to avoid reinforcing the tendency toward student project cliques.

 This raises a very interesting question for higher education. Should fear of a backlash in the form of poorer student …

Open Access Journals : limiting publication to the rich academic

As a member of the Board of Governors of the IEEE Computer Society I have been following the open access debate, both within the IEEE and in other contexts with some considerable interest. An aspect of the debate that is often overshadowed by the discussion of free and open access to published work is the shift in the funding model which underlies the proposals being made by major players like the IET In essence the open access publishing models being proposed shift publisher income from institutional subscriptions, where libraries pay a hefty fee to allow their members access to published content to page fees for publication, which will are to be payed by the author prior to the final publication of an accepted manuscript. Per article publication charges in the open access debate lie currently in the range of 1500 to 3000 US dollars. How many of us can afford these charges with our current model of research funding? Open access academic publication has serious implications for how…