08/10/2020 - 16:01

Murdoch to dump lectures next year

08/10/2020 - 16:01

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Murdoch University has confirmed it will discontinue face-to-face lectures in 2021.

Murdoch University has said it will pursue $25 million in cost savings next year with widespread redundancies under consideration. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

Murdoch University has confirmed it will discontinue face-to-face lectures in 2021.

That comes after the majority of classes moved online earlier this year in response to the then-worsening COVID-19 outbreak in Western Australia.

WA has now gone six months without a recorded instance of community transmission of the virus.

Framing the decision to move lectures online as a contemporary response to accommodate maximum flexibility for students, pro vice-chancellor Kylie Readman told staff in an internal communication that the move was aligned to the university’s technology enhanced learning strategy.

“There are many activities that can replace face-to-face lectures, so that students can participate synchronously and asynchronously to engage with the subject matter,” Professor Readman said.

“From 2021, there will be no face-to-face lectures for the remaining units.”

Alternatives to lectures proposed included a mini-lecture model, including videos and activities, a curated model, which would rely on the use of secondary content, and an integrated model, which would integrate lecture content without increasing contact time.

Today’s news follows confirmation in September that the university would pursue $25 million in cost savings next year with widespread redundancies under consideration.

A proposed pay freeze for staff was reportedly voted down last week; more than two-thirds of the university’s staff were reported to have voted against that deal.

In response to today’s reports, a spokesperson for the university told Business News that Murdoch University was delivering best practice learning and teaching models, and that changes to how the university delivered course components online was the next step in that program.

“These changes are aimed at enhancing the student learning experience offered at Murdoch by delivering education in a contemporary and flexible format that students want and support,” the spokesperson said.

“Murdoch has a proud history and track record in ensuring it meets best practice in education.”

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