It seems we’ve made the decision to standardise our first year teaching mode to two hours of content delivery, with one hour weekly for class discussion. At the moment, more than half teach in this way, but some disciplines offer shorter lectures and longer discussion. It’s a classic bit of historical untidiness, like an uneven streetscape in an area destined for gentrification. Straightening this out will make our individual workloads easier to calibrate, and in turn this will make everything fairer.
Supporters of this plan have rallied to the flag of workload equity, which is a very reasonable standard. Critics have pointed out that the real incentive is to manage the casual teaching budget, which is also spot on. Bored bystanders are struck, as usual, by the fact that one of the least engaging conversations in any university is this tired showdown between resource management and fair treatment. Continue reading