What constitutes academic workload?

Botes, V. L. (2010) What constitutes academic workload? In: Tertiary Education Research in New Zealand (TERNZ) Conference 2010, 24-26 November, 2010, Dunedin, New Zealand.

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Abstract or Summary

The global financial crises have resulted in huge increases in the number of tertiary students demanding higher education. This masification of Higher education (Musselin, 2007) have seen increased pressure on the budgets of tertiary education providers. Smith (2009) commented that university budgets are at breaking point as young people unable to find work flock to further their education. Euben (2003) argues that as” institutions adjust to serving an increasing number of students with wide varieties of learning styles, traditional methods of workload measurement fall short in determining if faculty are making efficient use of their time. In other words, traditional measurement methods are not applicable to the changes that are occurring in higher education. ” Diamond and Adam (2000) support this by saying that although the traditional measurement of work load is a starting point it is insufficient as unique requirements placed on lecturers in each discipline results in differing workloads. This workshop endeavors to contribute to the body of knowledge by focusing on the discussion of the workload of tertiary educators in New Zealand in a changed economic environment. Traditionally the hours taught by academics have formed the basis for any discussion regarding workload. The question is, is this the best measure of faculty members productivity? Latour (2001) and Crozier (2005) have both indicated that through all the ages academics have always been involved in more than just teaching and research. Over the years the relevant importance of the activities of teaching and research has changed and other activities have become critical for an academic career to be deemed successful. According to Musselin (2007) these activities are no longer considered as peripheral but as an essential aspect of academic workload. The difference is that the numerous activities that academics were previously involved in, were never previously specifically required as part of academic workload. A brief overview of the literature indicates that limited information is available on the workload of academics in New Zealand. Where any information is available it focuses more on the hours spent teaching. Meyer (1998) indicates that there are four compelling reasons for studying academic workload. The first reason is that it assists academics to better understand their role in tertiary institutions; secondly the taxpayer requires greater accountability of how academic dollars are spent. Thirdly academics themselves are seeking information on their own workload to measure their own performance and academic administrator of tertiary institutions will need this information for decision making purposes. These research endeavourers to determine across the various institutes want makes up academic workload. This session will be run by firstly playing a short clip of life as an academic. This session will then be run by posing some thought provoking questions regarding academic work load.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords that describe the item:Budget presure, hours taught, teaching, research
Subjects:L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions:Schools > Centre for Business, Information Technology and Enterprise > School of Business and Adminstration
ID Code:879
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Deposited On:24 Mar 2011 04:29
Last Modified:24 Mar 2011 04:29

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