Blended Learning was announced in late 2020, leading to concerns that the proposed changes to our education may be cost-cutting measures resulting in less contact hours, no more lectures, less flexibility and choice, and be imposed on students without consultation.
National Day of Action Against Staff Cuts Rally
Tuesday 23 March at 12pm
Curtin Student Guild (Building 106F)
FREE Sausage Sizzle
Link to Facebook Event
Staff cuts and course restructures from the end of 2020 are starting to affect Curtin students' quality of education, and it looks like more cuts could be on the horizon. The Curtin Student Guild is participating in the National Union of Students' National Day of Action against Staff Cuts and Course Cuts. Students across the country will be meeting to say loud and clear: we came here to learn and prepare for our careers - prioritise our education quality and stop cutting the staff who teach us.
Interested in speaking? We are looking for Curtin students who have been affected by staff cuts, course cuts, course restructures and forced online learning to share their story at the upcoming rally. Contact email@example.com for more information.
We will be hosting 2 student consultation workshops before the Blended Learning consultation period closes on April 30.
Stay tuned for more information, dates and times.
Blended Learning is a ‘learning model’ Curtin University is proposing and developing. Announced in late 2020, on the heels of staff cuts and restructures, the initial model raised many concerns amongst student and staff representatives.
Why are we concerned?
Cost-cutting: The Guild wants to prevent cost-cutting disguised as innovation. The initial model proposed replacing lectures with several 15 minute videos, podcasts or other online content. This raised concerns of content being recycled, rather than paying lecturers to develop new learning material each year.
Threat to practical learning: The initial model proposed scaling back face-to-face learning, with units becoming 30% online and 70% in person. Students have made it clear they value their contact hours and do not want them decreased. This also did not account for the difference in contact hour requirements between faculties, for example health sciences compared to commerce.
Decreasing flexibility and choice: The Guild recognises that we have to change with the times, and many students enjoy online learning. However, flexibility and choice must be maintained so that students are not forced to uptake online learning.
Poor consultation: The Guild felt that this change had come top down from the University executive. Changes to the learning model will affect students and staff foremost, and we believe any changes should value the perspectives of students. We want to ensure that these changes are not developed or signed off on without student input.
Ambiguity: Blended Learning is not a new ‘policy’, but rather a ‘road map’ which will inform future policy changes. This could make it seem like we have longer to provide feedback than we actually do, by portraying these changes as ‘a road map in development’. However, once it is noted by the University’s Academic Board, it will be too late to change the roadmap, and policy changes will follow that will be felt by students in their learning quality.
Let’s be clear: Blended Learning will transform the way we receive our education. The Guild wants to ensure this change will benefit us, not further decrease our quality of education.
The Guild is here to fight for students to have a quality education, and to ensure that students' voices are heard by the University Executive. We have launched the My Fees, My Future campaign to keep students informed on changes to our education, provide students with the opportunity to have their say, fight to ensure students are listened to and hold the University accountable.
This is what your Guild student representatives have done so far to make sure students are getting value for their fees:
Challenged the University’s inadequate student consultation. We DO NOT agree with these changes;
Launched a feedback portal for students and raised student concerns to the Academic Board and University Executive;
Co-hosted a student and staff protest outside Academic Board to show that this matters to students;
Demanded that students be a major voice in deciding the future of their education;
Requested that the University extend the Blended Learning consultation period to ensure students are on campus to provide feedback;
Advocated for consultation sessions to be organised by the Guild to provide all students the chance to provide feedback.
The University's response:
The Vice Chancellor has stated that lectures won’t be cancelled in 2021, contact hours won’t decrease, and University won’t become like a Netflix-subscription education;
The University will have 60 day consultation period that conveniently ends before students return to campus;
The University has extended the consultation period for Blended Learning to April 30th 2021;
The University is supporting the Guild in running consultation sessions for students to read the Blended Learning model and provide their feedback.
5 February 2021 - Blended Learning update
29 December 2020 - International Students
22 December 2020 - Holiday update
16 December 2020 - Blended Learning update
8 December 2020 - Change is here
27 November 2020 - Blended Learning explained