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Students voice concern over approaches to teaching

The University encourages concerned students to contact their Schools


By: Samira Rauner


Photograph courtesy of UoA.



Students from the departments of Sociology and History have voiced concern over the approach to teaching taken by some of their lecturers. Speaking to The Gaudie, students from the two departments have reported lecturers reusing old material and failing to upload recordings.



Gregor Armstrong, a second-year History and Sociology student, complained that a lecturer in the History Department was “reusing lecture recordings” from previous years.



He said: “I find it insulting that lecturers are not doing new work. We are still writing essays and they just use the exact same lecture. Not a similar lecture but the same lecture. Word for word the same.”



In response, the University said the preparation of blended learning resources had “prioritised new, novel and additional content, supported with the reuse of existing material, where that is still up to date and is relevant and appropriate.”


A first-year Zoology student also voiced concerns over the teaching approach of one of her lecturers.



She said that one of the lecturers of her Sociology elective failed to upload lecture recordings and instead “sent […] the PowerPoint for it and a script kind of document to read along with the PowerPoint.”



Elaborating, she said that having the PowerPoint and a script instead of a recorded lecture made it “much harder to understand the lecture.”



“It didn’t really make sense for one of the more complex parts of the course to not have a recorded lecture, and for us to have to try and understand the script ourselves.”



A University of Aberdeen spokesperson said they recognise that the switch to blended learning has required a lot of work from both students and staff but that “the community has adapted well to making teaching and learning activities available online” so that students could engage successfully with their courses.



“We sought feedback on blended learning in our first half session through the Aberdeen Student Experience Survey, which showed that the majority of our students were either satisfied or very satisfied with their overall learning experience during this period.


“In response to the survey, we took forward a number of actions as part of our approach to delivering the best possible experience in these unprecedented times. We are working closely together as a community to ensure that we identify ways in which we can continue to improve the learning experience and deliver a high quality experience including, for example, the development of virtual field trips and laboratories, and the creation of interactive online tutorials and seminars that allow students to engage flexibly with their learning.



“Any student with concerns about access to online material should contact their School. If students have other issues they can contact coronavirus@abdn.ac.uk.”

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