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Lecturing and other face-to-face teaching – too much or too little? An assessment based on student feedback and fail rates

Symonds, Matthew R. E. 2014, Lecturing and other face-to-face teaching – too much or too little? An assessment based on student feedback and fail rates, Higher education research and development, vol. 33, no. 6, pp. 1221-1231, doi: 10.1080/07294360.2014.911256.

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Title Lecturing and other face-to-face teaching – too much or too little? An assessment based on student feedback and fail rates
Author(s) Symonds, Matthew R. E.ORCID iD for Symonds, Matthew R. E. orcid.org/0000-0002-9785-6045
Journal name Higher education research and development
Volume number 33
Issue number 6
Start page 1221
End page 1231
Total pages 11
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2014
ISSN 0729-4360
1469-8366
Keyword(s) Akaike's information criterion
face-to-face teaching
failure rates
higher education
lectures
student evaluations
Summary Institutes of higher learning are tending to reduce the amount of face-to-face teaching that they offer, and particularly through the traditional pedagogical method of lecturing. There is ongoing debate about the educational value of lectures as a teaching approach, in terms of both whether they facilitate understanding of subject material and whether they augment the student educational experience. In this study, student evaluation of teaching scores plus academic outcome (percentage of students who fail) was assessed for 236 course units offered by a science faculty at an Australian university over the course of one year. These measures were related to the degree to which lectures and other face-to-face teaching were used in these units, controlling for factors such as class size, school and year level. An information-theoretic model selection approach was employed to identify the best models and predictors of student assessments and fail rates. All the top models of student feedback included a measure reflecting amount of face-to-face teaching, with the evaluation of quality of teaching being higher in units with higher proportions of lectures. However, these models explained only 12–20% of the variation in student evaluation scores, suggesting that many other factors come into play. By contrast, units with fewer lectures have lower failure rates. These results suggest that moving away from lectures and face-to-face teaching may not harm, and indeed may improve the number of students who pass the subject, but that this may be incurred at the expense of greater dissatisfaction in students' learning experience.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/07294360.2014.911256
Field of Research 130103 Higher Education
Socio Economic Objective 930201 Pedagogy
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2014, Taylor and Francis
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30072073

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