Wednesday, August 5, 2009

....but WHY?

Along with the University in Stavanger, NTNU is the first Norwegian university to put lectures on iTunes.

Why in the name of E. Harrison Leslie and his thousand (horrible) gimmicks would NTNU and UiS want to spearhead this? Really - I'd like to know.

According to the piece, NTNU has put out some 90 videos with lectureson a wide range of topics. The NTNU representative, Julie Feilberg, explains that phase one is to communicate science to the general public. This makes sense to me, and is kind of cool.

The long-term plan is to incorporate this iTunes channel into regular teaching at NTNU. Feilberg refers to the fact that universities like Stanford, MIT and Yale were among the first ones to jump on the iTunes U bandwagon.

Lemme' get this straight; when trying to improve, it's always a good idea to get inspiration from those who are massively successful, and there's no denying that Yale, Stanford and MIT absolutely rock academically. And putting lectures on iTunes U isn't within a million light years of being the reason why these institutions are excellent. I can probably come up with a short list of some 50 reasons why the good US universities kick butt, and I can also come up with a laundry list of reasons why I think this would undermine teaching at Norwegian universities.

Can anyone think of a slew of good reasons why NTNU and UiS incorporating video'd lectures would improve teaching and learning?


Anders said...

Improving learning is one think, but why on earth do they believe videos of regular lectures are a good way of communicating sciences to the public? A university level subject require or take for granted a minimum of knowledge within the diciplin that many in the "general public" do not posse.

Wilhelm said...

Exactly. Lecture - when done right - are interactive. Video presentations can introduce more animation and such than what is practical in a lecture setting. Videotaping lectures in their current form is a bastardization which sums up to less than either form.