For some time, there has been discussion about having to schedule repeat lectures for very large units when the attendance reduces rather quickly.
The DVCA, Professor John Simons, has recently announced that “[b]ecause of pressure on lecture space which can currently only be resolved by what might be unacceptable extensions to the teaching timetable the policy of a guaranteed seat per student should be interpreted across all programmes as a guaranteed seat or virtual seat via iLecture [Echo Lecture Recordings ].
All lecture programmes that are likely to need multiple iterations of lectures should now offer students the opportunity to opt in to the iLecture [Echo Lecture Recordings ]only choice. This is unlikely to be a complete solution to the problem but it should relieve some pressure on time and space and will offer more widely an option that many students already use and appreciate. It is accepted that there may well be students who opt for iLecture [Echo Lecture Recordings ]and then turn up for the face to face lectures – there is no need to try to police this (even if it were possible)” .
In practice, this means that if students choose enrolment in face-to-face lectures, seats must be provided in accordance with existing policy. Repeat lectures are thus expected where the number of student registrations exceeds the lecture room size. For example, if 550 students have registered for face-to-face lectures and say, 100 have registered for iLecture, then 550 seats still need to be booked. If this means a repeat lecture will be needed, then a repeat lecture will have to be booked.
All that has changed is that we may now promote iLecture as an option. To ensure uptake, we need to make this an attractive option. You might, for example, offer iLecture/Echo students a weekly online synchronous chat session.
The implications of this alternative strategy is firstly, that any unit wishing to pursue the iLecture option immediately must add an iLecture [Echo Lecture Recordings ]only option if it is not already available and negotiate with Louise Goddard about what to offer. It is also strongly recommended that any unit opting for the one lecture strand + iLecture [Echo Lecture Recordings ]strategy should conduct an evaluation about the student response to this.
This new strategy is a welcome change that should go a long way to reduce the teaching load across large intake units.
A message from Mitch Parsell