This is a response to Mike Bogle’s comment on my last post – https://jennymackness.wordpress.com/2010/04/22/networked-learning-conference-2010/#comment-727
Mike has commented on the difficulties that students have in finding time to keep up with online work and on the difficulties that tutors have in balancing the workload for students.
When students are taking several courses with online components this can become a huge problem, because if everyone is under-representing the amount of online work it can grow into a huge commitment for students – especially when they’re working. For that matter, it’s not unusual for work online to come in addition to face to face work, rather than instead of it.
This is absolutely my experience and having thought about it a lot and how to overcome it, I think it’s down to a lack of joined-up thinking and the fact that academics tend to work individually. This is my experience, but has also been commented on in research, e.g. by Katz and Martin who discuss the difficulties academics have in collaborating.
Katz, J.S. and Martin, B.R. (1997) ‘What is research Collaboration?’ Research Policy, Vol. 26, pp.1-18.
Why are some academics so reluctant to work holistically/collaboratively on a programme? Is it just a question of time? I don’t think so. It’s probably more to do with culture and a history of ways of working, academic priorities, lack of knowledge and understanding of the student experience of working online, and something to do with a ‘fear ‘of or reluctance to embrace openness. Academics might think – Will I, as an academic, maintain ownership of my materials and control over my work, if I enter into this collaborative way of working? Ultimately this is more important to me than the student experience?
I think there’s a long way to go in breaking down existing norms and cultural hierarchies in Higher Education.