The University of Melbourne will have a new mandatory lecture recording policy in place by the end of the year.
By 31 December, all lectures will be recorded, with lecturers being able to opt out of this only for ‘non-trivial’ reasons. The UMSU Education Department is currently working with university administration to determine what these reasons would include.
“The university doesn’t want it to be a trivial thing where lecturers can just tick a box and opt out,” says UMSU Education (Academic) Officer Shanley Price. She says commonly cited arguments against lecture recordings, like students not turning up to class, will not be accepted.
“We don’t advocate mandatory lecture recording from the point of view of students who don’t want to go to class,” says Price.
“[However,] if I can’t come to a lecture because I’m working, sick, or have to look after my child or my sick mother, it is not my lecturer’s place to deny that flexibility in my lifestyle,” says Price.
“As students it’s our prerogative to turn up, or not turn up, to lectures.”
Dr Lauren Rosewarne, senior lecturer in the school of Social and Political Sciences, does not see a need to change the current lecture recording policy.
Dr Rosewarne does not currently record her lectures, arguing that meeting the needs of some students will come at the expense of others.
“If I upload my lectures, I am sacrificing an interactive, in-theatre teaching method that works very well, is well received by students and is a method I’ve been perfecting for over a decade.”
She stresses that she makes herself available to students after class, and uploads lecture slides and supplementary material onto the LMS.
“The University of Melbourne specialises in offering an on-campus learning experience. I don’t offer distance education and thus I can’t meet the needs of all students enrolled.”