Lecture attendance has continued to decrease among students. Some lecture halls are having 60 percent attendance or less. Lecture free universities are, therefore, not a far-fetched idea for future university attendees.
Universities’ lecture halls are increasing becoming empty due to students’ failure to attend classes. This is according to a report stating that students are now spending two hours or less in lecture rooms per day.
The plummeting of students’ lectures attendance is happening across all courses, universities, and lectures. There have been extreme cases where only one student attends a lecture or sometimes a whole class fails to attend the lecture. This was the case with actress Tilda Swinton, who found herself sitting in a lecture room alone being lectured.
In most cases, lecturers are having to deal with classes that have only a 60 percent attendance. This is the reason higher education needs to rethink how it approaches classes and teachings. Sitting in a class for an hour-long lecture is no longer a motivation for students to attend classes and a lecture-free education system should seriously be considered.
The truth is, most lecturers are obsessed with details and miss out on how to best deliver quality lectures that students can understand. Social skills during lectures are non-existent, the ability to hold an audience, keep to the right level and avoid cognitive overload is pushing students away from the lecture halls. The surprising fact is that these universities emphasize on research yet, they are not able to research on the best way to deliver a quality lecture.
A good start would be the unrecorded lectures, which once delivered, cannot be referenced again in the future. Even with a 100 percent class attendance, most students understand that grasping an entire lecture and understanding it fully is not possible. The idea that such information will not be available again and with time, students will start forgetting some of these details demotivates students from attending classes. Why should they bother, and at the end of the day they will be on the same level as students who attended?
Lecture free solutions
Well, the only solution to this is to have lecture free universities. Students are not using technology to learn. Google and youtube have become the number one research resources for these students. Classwork is already available on the internet and students are increasingly becoming tired of attending lectures to learn skills they can easily acquire at the comfort of their home.
There is also an advancement of technology that will revolutionalize the education system. Take virtual reality as an example, Students will be able to acquire a personalized and gamified education through the use of virtual realities.
There is also artificial intelligence emerging in the education system. This is enabling students to learn in different ways depending on how their brains process information. This will be a good replacement for lecture halls and they may end up being more efficient than getting lectured for an hour.
The truth is, students will still need guidance on a face to face basis with lecturers. Erasing lecturers out of the picture in our education system is not what is being advocated. However, changes are inevitable in the education system and in the future, the need to attend lectures will continue declining to the point where it will not make any sense to attend one.
Listening to audios of lectures while doing something else can be as effective as sitting down in lecture classes. Lecture free universities fit the lifestyle of today’s youth who cannot be immobile for one hour equivalent of what they can spend multitasking. Participating in online discussions or social media forums is also productive for learning.