Why have universities utilised the lecture as a teaching tool for so long, knowing that it is a poor way to learn?
In the inaugural RMIT Vietnam Centre of Digital Excellence (CODE) public lecture on 2 August, Professor Belinda Tynan said she believes technology is helping universities to find alternatives to the traditional lecture.
Her presentation, Innovation and disruption: Digital impact, inclusion and imagination, claims flipped classrooms and blended learning are challenging the lecture format.
“Higher education is changing,” said Professor Tynan, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) and Vice-President at RMIT University in Melbourne.
“Technology is disrupting how we learn and live, and increasing connectivity, the World Wide Web, social media, and computing power are challenging education in ways we are only just imagining.
“The digital landscape is vast. Trends point to ever-increasing computing power, enabling society to solve problems at a greater speed and to be more efficient.
“This movement is questioning the practice of the lecture and tutorial format which, as we have known for years, provides little benefit to learners.”
Based on more than thirty years’ experience in the education sector in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the UK, and her research interests in educational technologies and academic professional development, Professor Tynan believes universities can be more successful in understanding learner behaviours through utilising big data and learning analytics.
Photo: Professor Belinda Tynan speaks at the inaugural CODE lecture at RMIT Vietnam’s Saigon South campus.
“Free and Open Learning and the Open Education Resource movement are alive and thriving. MOOCS haven't disappeared as we thought they might and new business models are emerging,” she said.
“Most significantly, new partnerships between the commercial sector and government funded institutions are paving the way for new kinds of entrepreneurial activity, research and teaching.
“What might this mean for higher education, especially when the globe cannot keep up with the demand for university education?”
Professor Tynan’s previous roles have included Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Learning and Teaching Innovation at the Open University (UK), Pro-Vice-Chancellor Learning, Teaching and Quality at the University of Southern Queensland, and Director of the research centre DEHub at the University of New England. She is a frequent conference keynote speaker and a member of the Polytechnic Quality Assurance Framework External Review Panel for the Ministry of Education, Singapore.
The lecture, held at RMIT Vietnam’s Saigon South campus, was attended by 250 people including representatives from the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Education and Training, the Ministry of Education and Training, and high schools and universities across Vietnam.
Story: Howie Phung