Tertiary Education needs another kick up the bum!

Tertiary Education needs another kick up the bum!

I had a very disturbing discussion with an on-line teacher today. The course she "teaches"...and I use that term very loosely...does not in fact "teach".
The on-line students are given the assessments and supporting reference materials. The students then read the information to answer the questions and submit the assessments.
If they pass the assessments, they pass the subject and ultimately the course and gain their qualification. THAT'S NOT LEARNING!
Now I don't blame the teachers. They are employed to do the bidding of their Registered Training Organisation (RTO).
We all know that the assessment is only a small part of learning and you can't fit all the information into assessments. Assessments are there to check if the student can apply their learning, not to teach them the materials.
I know from my decades as a teacher/trainer that most students are lazy when it comes to learning and will often only learn enough to pass the assessments...which is never enough. Of course there are those who want to "learn" and assessments are secondary. These students are a pleasure to teach and do very well.
Unfortunately the teacher with whom I spoke said words to the effect of "Well, that's the way on-line learning is now-a-days".
Well it shouldn't be and it's sad that teachers are resigned to this sub-standard teaching method.
Look, I am an on-line teacher as well as face-to-face in the classroom and on-line is not my preferred method of teaching and is inferior to the traditional methods in my view. It does have its place but should not be the first option, where possible, or should be combined with tutoring or other blended learning (Fact-to-face + on-line) to achieve a holistic learning experience.
So what's the solution?
Many RTO's run as businesses first and learning colleges second. Sure they have to make a profit or everyone will go to TAFE and there will be no alternatives.
We need strict quality controls to ensure that students leave the course with the required knowledge and not just a qualification.
Students must be deemed COMPETENT, but the colleges often pass students who are, to use a cooking analogy, under-done...very under-done in fact!
So the requirements are there but the enforcement is not and that needs to be fixed up and pronto. Fortunately, many dodgy RTOs have been de-registered and rightly so.
Let's now turn to the rest to ensure that our tertiary education standards are not only raised, but maintained.
To do this the State and Federal Governments will need to work together as RTOs are managed at a State level.
Comments are closed