Non-traditional modes of delivery in TAFE
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 127 5, 8 July 2022, page no.15
Non-traditional delivery modes are a live topic in both Central Queensland University and in TAFE Queensland.
This is because the award states that educators who are engaged in modes other than traditional are programmed for 32 hours of overall duties, with no division between contact and non-contact duties. This creates significant workload issues, particularly in the online or remote delivery space, where teachers do not have fixed class sizes.
Innovation and technological change can potentially increase the quality of program delivery, with new technologies and future work models increasing the modes of program delivery, thereby providing increased student choice and access.
However, alternative modes of delivery can also bring larger class sizes, additional duties not previously encountered, and overall increases to workload. The industrial instruments’ current workload measures do not properly consider the impact of non-traditional modes of delivery.
The QTU maintains that, to begin the conversation regarding appropriate workloads and expectations, a clear understanding of what the traditional mode of delivery is and how non-traditional modes depart from that norm must be developed.
Generally, in a traditional mode of delivery, a teacher:
- co-occupies the same physical space as students
- delivers face-to-face teaching
- controls progression of content according to students’ needs and feedback
- continuously checks for students’ understanding
- makes pedagogical choices to best meet the needs of students
- incorporates students’ prior knowledge and experience, where relevant, into learning content
- determines the timing of assessment within the schedule of delivery
- provides direct tuition support
- conducts some or all assessment in class – formative or summative.
In a traditional mode of program delivery, a student:
- co-occupies the same physical space as their classmates and teacher
- must attend
- can ask direct questions of the teacher and interact with other students in real time
- conforms to timings and expectations re deadlines.
If any of these factors are altered, we enter a hybridised space which is likely to escalate workload. Indeed, there are models of delivery which turn most, if not all, of these expectations on their heads.
The impact of these questions is wide-reaching, with COVID having driven expectations regarding alternative delivery models into situations that were once “safely” delivered in the face-to-face traditional mode. Indeed, such is the evolution of teaching that even in a contemporary traditional mode classroom, aspects of other modes may be adopted from time to time or maintained as a consistent feature.
This topic is being considered in negotiations at Central Queensland University and will certainly be central in the current review of the TAFE Queensland Online business model. The TQOL review arises from commitments in the 2019 TAFE Queensland Certified Agreement.
It is timely to examine what traditional delivery has been and is becoming and what it means for workload to be running a hybridised classroom, let alone finding resolutions for the excess in uncapped workload of teachers in non-traditional delivery modes.