Like all intricate debates, this one must start with the acknowledgement that there are more substantial and in this case deadlier forces at play. We should, and likely will, spend some time in later issues reflecting on whether we handled COVID the right way as an institution. Whether the perceived good of online lectures and public safety was too high a cost for academic integrity. We will likely dissect whether the University completely fucked its messaging around online lectures. Perhaps a simple act of contrition and the phrase we have listened to your concerns and altered things may have been better than suggesting ‘you didn’t understand the email.’ All of these discussions are valid, but that isn’t the dumpster fire that is burning today. However, today we want to talk about online lectures. While lecturers have undoubted subject matter expertise and in large part are either good or great at delivering that content to an audience, the transition to online learning may not have been as smooth as anyone had hoped. Some excellent lecturers seemingly lack the charisma of even the most basic Youtuber or Twitch personality.
So we decided to show you the five ways we would “FIX” online lectures.
Get Cinematic.The basic premise that exists here is that you have to change your game. No one wants to tune into a stand and deliver sermon at a podium. Take the content and make it fun. Change the scenery, change the costumes. Michael Bay some of that shit. We know that you know what you are talking about but have a bit of fun with it.Playlist, Playlist, Playlist.The two things that have managed to survive and thrive in this environment have been late-night talk shows and the Disney Plus musical Hamilton. Why? Because one has a backing band and the other takes educational history and mixes it with well-crafted rap. So the way we see it you either need to get a band behind you or get ready to spit straight fire about the constitutional implications of the 1990 Bill of Rights and its impact on jurisprudence.Incentivise Viewership.Like and Subscribe is this generations pyramid scheme, and its time we all played the game. This one is as much a message to the Vice-Chancellor as anyone. Create healthy competition. The University should set rewards based on viewer thresholds. It’s a ratings game. X amount of views gets you free coffee at Kahurangi, but if you get Y, then Quigley’s got your paid parking covered. Likewise, lecturers themselves can incentivise their content. “If this gets viewed by Z then I will devote five minutes of the next lecture to an AMA about the legalisation of Marijuana.” Ratings drive reality. Even the Uber drivers know that.Picture in PictureLet’s be real for a second. Even at your highpoint students were on phones, looking on their laptop for other things and potentially doing our puzzles page. So what if you programmed the bottom corner of your lecture with some distractions. Cute cat videos, parkour fails the internet is a vast rabbit hole of distraction. You could even have a ticker across the bottom with pertinent information, so people had to pay attention.Embrace your Inner KardashianDrama, cliffhangers, one of your family members announcing they are running for President. I don’t know what any of it has to do with engineering or biochemistry, but I also don’t know why the Kardashians are on television 22 hours a day.