Students demand a quality education: podcasts are not classes

Students demand a quality education: podcasts are not classes

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Declan Kerr started this petition to Queensland University of Technology and

Students have begun registering for their courses in 2021 only to find that their lectures have been replaced by weekly short videos, podcasts or pre-recorded “lectorials”. Classes being delivered by podcasts or pre-recorded lectorial have no opportunity for real-time interactive engagement with teachers. This reduces the time students spend with teaching staff each week, essentially reducing it to just tutorial contact.

The introduction of online lectorials, pre-recorded and recycled content deprives students of valuable teaching time where students should be able to interact with teaching staff.

By pushing pre-recorded content and weekly videos as the future of tertiary education, university administrations are also laying the basis to destroy staff working conditions in the future, and sack staff en masse. More than 17,300 people have already lost their jobs from Australian universities in the last year, at the same time as remaining staff have seen their workloads actually increase. As QUT judges that pre-recorded content is an adequate replacement for real time teaching, staff are exposed to the possibility of redundancies, loss of hours, loss of income and restructures. As our staff are overworked, under-resourced and cut back, our quality of education also decreases; staff working conditions are our learning conditions.

We fully support the public health orders that place restrictions on gatherings in order to stop the spread of covid-19. However, pre-recorded and recycled content is not adequate. QUT should provide real-time class options for all students who want them. Additionally, we call on QUT to reduce fees for students by 50%. We should not pay full fees when we are getting less time with teachers, watching recycled videos and receiving a lower quality of education.

Petition written by Declan Kerr, NUS QUT Campus Representative.

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