27 September 2013

Tutorials to survive at ANU Humanities

| johnboy
Join the conversation

The ANU has announced they never had a plan to cease offering tutorials as part of the College of Arts and Social Sciences.

A review of teaching forums in the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) has found there was no proposal to abolish tutorials across the College or compel schools or staff to adopt forum-style teaching, but has identified need for the College to improve internal communication and reduce red tape related to education.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Hughes-Warrington, who led the review panel, said she was pleased that staff and students had participated fully in the review.

“The panel witnessed a real passion for education amongst the staff and students in the College,” said Professor Hughes-Warrington.

“We found no evidence that the College intended to abolish tutorials or compel staff to adopt forum-style teaching. But we did find a case of grassroots innovation and an issue being ‘lost-in-translation’.

“The College offers some 2000 courses. Forum-style teaching, often combined with other styles of teaching including tutorials, has been introduced on educational grounds by academic staff in nine courses, and the College Education Committee has approved proposals to adopt forum-style teaching in 12 courses. The reality is that there are a very small number of courses that would even be candidates for forum-style teaching, with over 70% of courses having fewer than 15 students.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

Having followed this debate, it was quite clear to me that the university had simply flagged the possibility of running more forums (rather than abolishing tutorials) and the humanities students took it as an opportunity to hang about in protest, whinge in Woroni, pretend to be dead bodies and disrupt classes, etc. I remember vividly the ANU of years past when student activism might have related to drone strikes or local homelessness or foreign aid cuts, whereas now the gaze is far more inward.

How many tutorials do you need, to survive ANU Humanities?

Well I’m unimpressed but not surprised. You see the darlings of humanities take 4 hour lunches with matched wine while the mathematicians are working hard and actually getting to know their students, offering some encouragement here, an explanation there, holding a meeting for 3rd and 4th year students and teachers at the start of every semester to see what everyone wants to study, clarify prerequisites, make sure there are no clashes with other departments and make sure they are meeting students’ needs. If humanities professors can’t so much as draft a memo for lecturers to read out, then they don’t deserve to be humanities professors.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.