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Saturday, December 30, 2017

Let’s Have More Engagement From Lecturers | The University Times - Comment & Analysis

"In Trinity, we have world-leading lecturers with so much to give. Wouldn't increased student-lecturer contact make College a better place?" according to Alanna MacNamee, Contributing Writer

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I recently met with one of my lecturers to discuss prospective essay titles for an upcoming assignment. Full disclosure: it was probably one of the most anxiety-inducing events of my month thus far (and I have the dubious pleasure of working in a bar during Twelve Pubs December).

I had to do pre-meeting deep breaths and I was horribly nervous about a potential handshake because my palms were so sweaty. I had to have a strong coffee afterwards.

I am an anxious person generally, and I would have to concede that my reaction was probably more extreme than that of the average student. But in light of the Irish Survey of Student Engagement’s findings about student dissatisfaction with student-staff interaction, I wonder whether my discomfort actually speaks to a university culture in which interactions between lecturers and students are all too rare, so much so that a face-to-face meeting becomes an occasion for worry and stress.

Seemingly, the major finding of the survey was that the interactions between students and staff were extremely dissatisfying as regards career plans and non-course specific activities and ideas. When I read this, my initial reaction was to wonder whether this was fair: can students really expect overworked lecturers to act as career guidance counsellors or to be involved in university life? 

If students feel as though lecturers are involved in university life surely they will feel more comfortable approaching their lecturers for advice and assistance?

On reflection, I think that maybe they can. If students feel as though lecturers are involved in university life, if they can establish a rapport, if not a relationship, surely they will feel more comfortable approaching their lecturers for advice and assistance? Furthermore, we are extremely fortunate in Trinity to have genuinely world-leading lecturers who would probably be better placed, with their experiential knowledge and contacts, than a generic guidance counsellor to provide students with subject-specific, real-world career advice.
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Source: The University Times 


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