Motivating Change from Lecture-Tutorial Modes to Less Traditional Forms of Teaching
Australian Universities' Review Volume 57, Number 1, ISSN 0818-8068
Teaching academics are under pressure to move away from traditional lecture-tutorial teaching modes to less traditional forms. Such pressures are in addition to changes to funding arrangements and other developments that increasingly oblige universities to operate as businesses. The flow-on effects for teachers are increased student:staff ratios, changes in student diversity and less face-to-face time, while also being required to meet expectations for increased research output. While it has become the norm to shift away from traditional teaching methods, individuals are not always equipped with educational theory nor the time, technology and motivations to change significantly what they do. We draw upon a workplace audit that explored the use of four non-traditional teaching and learning modes. These modes were chosen because of professional development workshops available centrally at our university and because they offered promise in terms of time-saving for teachers and educational effectiveness for students. The majority of respondents reported using one or more of these non-traditional teaching and learning modes. However, contradictory information in qualitative descriptions suggested that this majority had limited knowledge about the technicalities and the application of these modes; instead they attempted to fit descriptions of their traditional teaching into the non-traditional descriptors provided. While we seek to understand these responses, which may well be a form of resistance, we consider how diffusion of innovation theory may provide insight into why change has not been forthcoming.
McLaren, H.J. & Kenny, P.L. (2015). Motivating Change from Lecture-Tutorial Modes to Less Traditional Forms of Teaching. Australian Universities' Review, 57(1), 26-33.