Once I was asked to think of a subject, idea, question, issue or simply a thought, that interested me, and sparked my curiosity, I had no clue, because honestly many things spark my curiosity and I find myself questioning a lot of things in society, sometimes things that shouldn’t even be questioned…
Then a week later I was sitting at home one day, about to watch my lectures for the week since I had missed out on a couple of them due to several reasons, such as not being at University that day for only one lecture, work, clashes with tutorials. And instead of focusing on the lecture, I began to focus rather on my actions.
Me, sitting at home, watching a lecture, spread out on my couch, comfortable, relaxed, food by my side, the option to pause, speed the video, and a flexible time limit to retaliate and gather my notes for that particular subject.
My curiosity then began to stir, and suddenly I was curious if any other University student was in my position, sitting at home, consuming a lecture, either because they had a solid reason to not be able to physically attend their lecture, or found them boring and instead would rather watch them at home online, or simply didn’t have the time to attend.
That’s when I could finally formulate a research topic to go ahead with, and it’s definitely a topic I have dealt with since the start of my student experience at the university of Wollongong, and after tweeting my idea, discussing this question with fellow peers, I found it to be a topic that is quite relatable and timely in the overall experience of other University students.
Personally, I always struggle being able to attend my lectures, usually it depends on my timetable, and living more than an hour away from Wollongong myself, as well as many other students in my position, we all hardly ever travel all the way to campus just to attend a one hour lecture early in the morning, or in the middle of the day.
To put it simply,
- It wastes my whole entire day catching long trains, where I could study, do readings and assessments at home, as well as watch that lecture online.
2. It disrupts my availability to pick up an extra shift at work, allowing me to earn more savings, or simply have a day off.
With that being said, I wanted to know if other students had the same thought process as me in terms of attending lectures, and maybe even different ones, overall I want to research the types of reasons why students may not find it important to physically attend lectures and why, but also investigate if this certain decision may limit us to pass and succeed in our subjects, or, instead, have no harm or difference.
After researching and finding some sources that have also added to my investigation, I found this topic as an on-going issue, having been a prominent problem for academics, teachers and institutions in general, as lecture attendance has dropped over the years.
Having to balance life as a student itself is quite a skill to form, and with thousands of students having to attend several tutorials per week, whilst working part-time or casually, dealing with social life factors, and overall a lifestyle in general, lectures seem to become an inconvenient matter.
And if there’s anything students love, it is convinience, the ‘easy- way out’, the quicker way of getting things done on time, without having a total mental breakdown.
Students you feel me?
So if most lectures these days are recorded and can be accessed online, wouldn’t a certain population of students use this to their advantage to balance their overall lifestyles and reduce stress, instead of having to commute for a 1-2 hour lecture, which either makes them bored by the minute, fall asleep and disengaged, then why not support the facilities the University offers and watch them online?
Of course, this may also become subjective, which adds value to the issue, as there are traditional learning methods and styles which encourage physically attending lectures. But as a student myself, who has already spent a whole year of University of watching her lectures online and successfully passing her subjects, can this vary and differ for other students, or does it have no harm, result and impact?
What are the impacts of missing out on lectures? Is there an impact? Would students rather watch them online? Will this allow us to balance our overall lifestyle as full-time University students?
All these questions are acknowledged in secondary sources already, allowing me to uncover even more aspects, as several of these sources share specific factors that incline this activity. With examples of quantitative results, already exisiting within the topic of lecture attendance, this allows me to expand my curiosity, and personal experience with lecture attendance, looking at it from a reflexively point of view. As I belong within the community of University students who actively deal with balancing their life, studies and work commitments at once, and this will become an interesting topic to research during this subject!