Organisation - April 18, 2019

‘New timetable is affecting education’

Albert Sikkema,Luuk Zegers

The Extended Daytime Schedule is affecting the content and possibly also the quality of teaching, according to a survey carried out among WUR teachers. Half of the teachers have adjusted the content of their lectures and one in three say that the quality of education has declined.

The university wants to know whether the Extended Daytime Schedule (EDS), introduced last September, is affecting the quality of education. The Student-Staff Council set up an EDS committee to carry out two surveys among teachers this academic year. The first survey was done after course period 2, and was completed by 35 per cent of the lecturers who taught during that period.

Half of the teachers have altered the content of their lectures

The survey doesn’t provide hard information on the nature of the adjustments teachers have made to course content, or why the teachers think that educational quality has declined. But the questionnaire will now be adjusted so that the second survey reveals how lecturers are adjusting their lectures, what content they are leaving out and why some of the teachers feel quality has declined. The second survey will be held in May, after period 5.

The new timetable was designed to absorb the growing student numbers. Teaching periods were made five minutes shorter in September, and lectures start earlier and finish later, which has resulted in a capacity increase of 12 hours per week per lecture room.

Two members of the EDS evaluation committee and a WUR policy officer comment on the Extended Daytime Schedule teachers’ survey, see link below.