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Time management woes: is digital technology the answer?  

With academics continually under pressure to manage the balance between research and teaching, is digital technology the answer?

A recent article by Kim Catcheside reopened the debate about the balance that academics must strike between maintaining standards of research and providing quality teaching. The article references a discussion we hosted about what good teaching in HE should look like.

Here's the dilemma: government wants lecturers to spend more time with students, with David Willets voicing concerns about the lack of contact hours for many students.

But as our live chat revealed, academics who dedicate themselves to teaching, find their careers stifled as promotion lies down a research path. Adrian Byrne a senior lecturer at Wolverhampton University, explains: "When I started here, people told me I should concentrate on teaching rather than research. I did and now I'm under the cosh when it comes to REF".

So how best to juggle both teaching and research? JISC, experts on information and digital technologies for education and research, suggest that learning technologies could lead to innovations in curricular design, which in turn will produce efficiencies.

A project funded by JISC at the University of Cardiff seems to confirm the view that technology can help academics save time. Janet Peters, director of university libraries at University of Cardiff says: "It does take a lot of time and effort to be research-excellent, and inevitably that can take its toll on teaching. So if we can use digital technology to save people's time so that they can focus both on their teaching and on their research, hopefully it will enable that tension to be managed a little bit more easily than has been in the past."

 

 

Source: The Guardian

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/higher-education-network/blog/poll/2012/apr/25/technology-academics

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