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11:01am on Thursday, 6th September, 2018:



We have to stick one of these on our doors now.

Students rated us low in Academic Support last year. This is our response.

I suspect that most students will immediately regard it as a token, patronising gesture. Maybe the ones who make use of it won't, but they're in the minority.

Note that we haven't got our timetables yet so don't know when we'll theoretically be free.

Note also that we have such high demands on our time that it's unlikely we will actually be available for academic support when the notice says we will.

It's easy to subvert, too. I could, for example, put Wednesday afternoons down for my Academic Support time, knowing that no teaching is timetabled during that period but also knowing that this is when all those tiresome meetings are scheduled that I have to attend. I could also look at the times my tutees are scheduled to have lectures and make my availability coincide with that.

The most likely beneficiaries of this exercise will, weirdly enough, be we lecturers. If I need to see a colleague and know that they're forced to be in their office for two names hours a week, well that's when I'll be knocking on their door.

Putting this notice on our doors won't improve our ratings next year, and could quite possibly make them worse. However, what they will do is show the rest of the university that we're "doing something" to address the issue.

As for what actually would help students, well perhaps having fewer of them would be a start.

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Copyright © 2018 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).