Does lecturers do students a service? Of course we may respond. But I think it is worthwhile to consider the notion of services and why people would see something as a service.
Lets draw an analogy to buying say an Internet service. When will you be happy? There is two aspects to it. Firstly it must allow us to do something new or better. Connecting to the Internet, maybe faster than before… Fine. Secondly it must be doing so in a way that you are happy. For the Internet service we may be looking at is it available enough, fast enough, and secure enough…
So now consider what we offer students. The first criteria is easily met (I hope): we will provide them with new knowledge and skills. The second criteria, however, provides a challenge. Why, well we need to provide it in a way they (the student, the customer) wants… Granted, we live in world of constraints (I would have liked a 100G Internet connection at my house, but it maybe for now a bit unreasonable). So we need to think about what the students can reasonable want. This brings about some questions for self-reflection:
- Are we consistent in our delivery to students, do all of them get the same treatment?
- Do we make the information accessible enough? Are we available enough?
- Do we provide enough avenues to the information? Do we make our expectations clear enough?
- Do we provide the material in formats they want? Or do we talk and chalk and let them read. (news flash: that is not how young people operate anymore)
What do you think? Do lecturers in general serve the customer?