The myth of workload analysis

Earlier this month I was sitting at a round table evening meal with assorted academics from five different universities. Collectively they were bemoaning the different forms of workload analysis taking place at their institutions, namely:

  • What mythical process is used to define the value of some of their activities
  • That the process of analysing workload should itself become a workload recorded process
At my University we look at days and 1/2 days - distance learning makes life easier in this respect. The tradition of face to face means that each contact hour and the relevant preparation time becomes a measurable experience.

Education is not a widget - it lacks the subtlety of a sausage machine mind set. Some subjects are more involved than others - within a module as well as within a curriculum. Worse is that some years some students require less input and others are more demanding. This is normal - sadly workload bean counting cannot easily account for this.

In the obsession to count everything, we are beginning to count that which is near impossible to count. If you can tell me that the same measure of education translates from group to group and year to year - then me thinks that you have little real teaching experience.


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