Out of hours: online and blended learning workload in Australian universities

Ryan, Yoni and Tynan, Belinda and Lamont-Mills, Andrea (2014) Out of hours: online and blended learning workload in Australian universities. In: Blended learning: research perspectives, v. 2. Taylor & Francis (Routledge), Abingdon, Oxon. United Kingdom, pp. 268-283. ISBN 978-0-415-63251-5

Abstract

[Summary of Findings]:
Australian academic staff in this study overwhelmingly perceived that their workload allocation did not sufficiently account for the additional workload engendered by e-teaching, whether in fully online or web-supplemented modes. Consistent with other research (Coates et al., 2009), they believed they had excessive workloads. This study could not quantify work hours in e-teaching-one of 88 participants was prepared to estimate that blended learning added 20% to classroom instruction time; another posited it consumed double a face-to-face workload. However, the study provides a new insight into high reported work hours as a direct result of the new technology tasks and communication modalities in teaching. The study also points to the inadequacy of Australian university WAMs to account for academic roles that routinely include more students, more tasks, and constant reskilling. This study would indicate that, as Larkins (2011; 2012) argues, 'student person numbers (not EFTSL) more accurately reflect academic staff workload issues.' On that basis, Larkins has established that the Student to Staff Ratio averages 34:1 across the Australian sector. It demonstrates that notwithstanding the valorisation of research over teaching (Chalmers, 2011; Bexley et al., 2011), for the academics interviewed here, deliberately reducing their teaching time to lower load would negatively impact on student learning. They accepted, albeit reluctantly, they would continue to teach 'out of hours'.


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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - USQ Other
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2014 04:39
Last Modified: 08 May 2017 03:37
Uncontrolled Keywords: workload allocations; Australian universities; academics; online; blended
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170103 Educational Psychology
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130309 Learning Sciences
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930203 Teaching and Instruction Technologies
Identification Number or DOI: doi: 10.4324/9781315880310
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/22073

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