Photocopiers And Students In Higher

Reference-and-Education Before I begin this polemic, the subject of which will be study-packs etc, let me clarify what I mean by the term study-pack: a study-pack is a staple-bound booklet made up of photocopies of articles and extracts, for use by various kinds of student. It’s difficult to say how widespread the "study-pack" is as an educational tool, but it’s probably fair to say that it more .mon in institutes where the average student lacks the funds to start their own personal library. Many of us have dreamt of possessing those texts that we’re almost certain to need in the course of our studies; dreamt of them lying in wait for us atop mahogany shelves, warded by preternaturally insightful old librarians who wait to aid us at our convenience. They have names like Gladice and Irene. In part, the study-pack exists because, for most of us, this dream fails to materialise. I’d say it’s even more likely to be a necessity when the institution in question has failed to keep its own library stocked with the "core texts" in sufficient quantities. Incidentally, this also raises the probability of knife fighting in the stacks, as the eager young neophytes scramble for the opportunity to lay hands on the £25 tome that they were meant to have read by the day before, and would’ve done, had the need to buy food not been quite so pressing. The modern student remains hungry for knowledge, yes, but also just outright hungry… So, with library books a rare and much coveted .modity and student funds too stretched to support both the collection of literature and casual alcoholism, the study-pack would seem to be a necessity for any student who needs broad exposure to literature. Whilst the advantages inherent to this are obvious, there are a number of disadvantages that should also be mentioned. Speaking on a trivial level, we can point to the fact that study-packs are horrible. They’re just horrible. They’re ugly, often difficult to read and they go tatty and fall apart a lot quicker than a well bound book. A lot quicker than a badly bound book in-fact. Another downside is the cost. Students will usually have to front the cost of the photocopying themselves and, whilst this a still a lot cheaper than building our dream library, the cost does mount up over a three year course. For some of my modules at University, I had to buy study-packs costing £8 or more. Now, given that the university must surely already have copying rights of some description, I have to wonder if it would not be more cost effective to take advantage of the relative inexpensiveness of modern e-book readers and distribute the relevant extracts electronically. What harm could that do? This is already done to a limited extent with pdfs and the like, but surely the e-book reader should be a standard piece of academic kit by this point. There is, however, a more serious problem with the study-pack as an educational resource. It’s indicative of something that I’m going to call photocopier-education. At many of our educational institutions, we’re seeing lecturers trying to provide their students with a breadth of knowledge that cannot be taught to a satisfactory standard in the limited contact time they are granted with their students. Thus, they are .pelled to .pensate for this lack of time with these home-made, TV-dinner-like text books made of photocopied snatches of other books. It is all too easy to gain a degree without having read a single book in its entirety, and this is ultimately because lecturers do not have time to teach the material they would like to. Of course, given the criminal lack of contact hours our students have with their lecturers, we could say that, were contact hours spent going over a small amount of core material in depth, students would have more than enough time to discover the breadths of their subject in their own time. The problem with this idea is that a lecturer cannot in good conscience examine students on material that they may not have .e across of may well have misunderstood due to lack of guidance. It seems to me that without a greater investment of time and resources from universities, our education will only be able to produce graduates with patchwork, photocopied minds, shaped by half understood and disjointed academic experiences. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: