Yesterday lunch time the hastag meme #lesserbooks started flowing into my Twitter stream. The aim of this game was to think of a book title that was a lesser version of a famous original. For example ‘The Great Gatsby’ might be posted as ‘The Modest Gatsby’, you get the picture. Similar memes go around from time to time and I often like playing them but I really enjoyed this one, probably because it came along in my lunch break after a pretty hard week dealing with some of core and intractable problems of universities.
I was discussing the problem of creating a broader adoption of educational technologies across the university with colleagues when they told me that 50% of the people they have to deal with are employed casually. It was therefore difficult to provide adequate functional and pedagogical training to such staff who were, typically, only employed to do specific teaching activities. I countered with suggestion that course (subject or units at other universities) coordinators would not be employed casually at that they would be able to direct casual staff within the context of online delivery. My colleagues made the observation that quite often course coordinators were in fact themselves often employed on a casual basis.
I have a bit of a problem with MOPPs. I don’t think they work and, in fact, I think they are counterproductive. Here are my reasons:
1. Command and control
Let’s face it universities aren’t corporations and never have been despite what proponents of university corporatisation would have us believe. Universities are based on a collegiate model in which command and control does not work very well. Simply put, the academy don’t like being told what to do and many will passively resist in reaction. This includes being told that they must use the institution LMS as part of a MOPP. Read more