Work pressure unbundled

Many teachers at our university are eager to deliver high-quality education. And they do, with great passion. And for many lecturers, teaching is a creative challenge. However, in reality, it is often also an organizational challenge. There are different ways to approach this challenge, and one of them might be unbundling. The CLI, known for educational innovation, wants its community to know it can support teachers with that organizational challenge. 

Swiss knife teaching

Teaching has become a very demanding job because of the increasing number of students, the recurring deadlines and the challenge to combine teaching with other tasks, such as research. The lecturer has transformed into a solitary working professional, executing all teaching related tasks on her or his own: designing the course, delivering it, setting up the online elements, handling the AV equipment, dealing with students’ demands before and after class and assessing the students’ performance. For some lecturers, this ‘Swiss knife teaching’ comes naturally, without extra stress. But for many, this increases the already considerable work pressure.

Jeroen Jansz, academic director of the Community for Learning and Innovation – and a teacher himself – reflects on this: “Teachers get swamped by all the different tasks they combine. And because they feel responsible to deliver high quality teaching, they stick to every single task themselves. But there are smart ways to unbundle these teaching tasks, and in fact also to unbundle this work pressure many of us experience on a daily basis.”

Unbundling

Unbundling is a neologism from the mobile devices and internet industry, meaning "the differentiation of tasks and services that were once offered by a single provider or individual (i.e., bundled) and their subsequent distribution among multiple providers and individuals” (Sandeen, 2014). Parallels with teaching can be drawn, as in both worlds the end game is to provide the best quality against the lowest costs. As a teacher, it’s wise to strive for the highest quality of education, and at the same time discover how and where your work pressure – eg the costs – could be lowered. “Some tasks cán be taken care of by others, for example professional supporters or even the students themselves when they peer-review their products. The CLI can help teachers with that kind of unbundling, and we would like to spread word about this,” Jansz explains.

CLI Support

There are many ways the CLI can support a teacher with different teaching tasks. In fact, the CLI is a bit of a Swiss knife itself! A critical joint evaluation of a teacher's current tasks can help identify areas of expertise our team or partners can assist: for example to help visualize parts of a course, to arrange communication with the studio, or to redesign a course according to new insights or learning and teaching methods. Should you have an idea for an innovation, the CLI is more than happy to facilitate you both with funds, as well as with organizational and educational expertise.

Want to know more? Get in touch with the CLI via cli@eur.nl or visit the website to get inspired.

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