Students use technology badly to criticise university lectures

In a [mixed video stream](http://chronicle.com/article/Lecture-Fail-/130085/?sid=wcutm_source=wcutm_medium=en), a number of student submissions railing on university lectures serves as an ironic critique of university lectures.The critical points are not new, we have heard them before many times: reading slides, self-indulgent lectures, spanning 90 minutes without a break. There should be no doubt that class structure should be shifting off of the lecture as principal vector to more engaging formats with fewer lectures, probably streamed as play anytime resources. But most lecturers are ill-prepared to make that sort of compelling performance, just as many are not able to write good text books. I suppose that means that more standard resources should be gathered, which means, for example, in the UK, fewer posts justifying their position with “unique gatherings of compiled materials suitable for my students”.

Still, one has to view this stream with humour at the irony displayed. One student reads an essay he has written, word for word. Almost all of them have terrible light and bad framing, ill use of the technology (video) and failing to transmit the message effectively. One student reaches up to turn the camera off at the end of his piece, rather than use the keyboard, so we are greeted with a close up of his hand crushing the mic. And of course we are only watching the rendered splices. If we could reduce the lectures to their most memorable bits, they would seem more relevant as well. But how much rambling was there that was left on the cutting room floor?

It’s important that we change lecturing to more effective ways to engage learners, and use the best lectures rather than have everyone duplicate, but people should also realise how good that good lecturer is. If it was easy, they all would be good.

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