By Felicity Caldwell and Cathy Morris
Technology is killing the two-hour uni lecture and one-hour tutorial.
Peter Coaldrake, co-author of Raising the Stakes: Gambling with the Future of Universities, said schoolleavers still wanted the rich campus experience, but universities had to adapt to changing technology. It follows the Federal Government announcing last month that it would take $2.3 billion out of university funding to pay for Gonski reforms in primary and secondary schools.
Coaldrake said there was pressure on public funding and universities on public funding and universities would have to adapt, with less emphasis on huge lecture halls and more investment in technology. ‘‘We have a strong sense that the two hour lecture, one-hour tute — that paradigm is now dated if not obsolete in many disciplines,’’ he said.
United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney research associate in higher education Sean Gallagher said instead of one person lecturing to a group, the academic would most likely become more of a facilitator to student discussions.
Leading US universities including Harvard, Berkeley, MIT and Stanford are using online platforms to teach thousands of people around the world. Gallagher said online learning was not meant to be about individuals plodding away in front of a screen, confronted by generic and boring material. Instead, he said learning would have to become more innovative, for example, ‘‘making it a game to get to the next level’’.