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September 13, 2010 | by  | in News |
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Home Alone 218: Politics Students Alone While Lecturers Roam

Students enrolled in POLS 218 Politics and the Media in New Zealand were informed last Monday that their lecturer and tutor will be absent for the last three weeks of the course.

Due to both staff having to attend conferences, the course will be taught by guest speakers and supervised by a tutor.

Head of School of History Philosophy Political Science and International Relations Dr Ken Perszyk says that the course and students will be affected minimally by the change.

“The course content remains identical for the affected period. Four of the six lectures will be covered by pre-planned guest speakers from media and political backgrounds.

“The only deviation from the scheduled course is that two of the lectures are pre-recorded.”

Students spoken to by Salient were concerned that these changes were taking place so close to the exam period. According to the Course Catalogue, the end of semester exam accounts for 40 per cent of assessment for the course.

Perszyk assured Salient that students would still be able to ask their lecturer questions despite the changes.

“The lecturer will be back before the study week commences and will be available to students via email while away.

“In addition, an experienced tutor will attend all lectures and be available during this period to assist students.”

It is unclear whether this had been communicated clearly to students, some of who expressed concern at the effect of the absence on their preparation for the exam.

“I am sure the guest lecturers will be great speakers… However, I do not think I am alone in being concerned that we have no lecturer or tutor in the lead up to exams.”

Other students spoken to by Salient were a lot less concerned about the development.

“It really does not change anything—we’re going to get guest speakers like we always were, someone’s going to fill in for her and she’s even going to pre-record lectures so she will digitally still be teaching us.”

Guest lecturers have been used in the past to teach aspects of the course, which has often proved popular with students, Perszyk says.

“Having these specialist expert speakers is a core part of the course and students from previous courses have rated these sessions as highly valuable.”

Despite the course content differing only slightly from previous years, Perszyk says it is unusual to have a lecturer absent for such a long period of time.

“I am not aware of any previous cases where a lecturer has been absent for three weeks from any POLS courses.”

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  1. Simon says:

    “It is unclear whether this had been communicated clearly to students”

    They would have been… most wouldn’t have listened.

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