‘If a camera is running, you might as well livestream the lecture’
With the restrictions on the number of people in a room gone, the lecture halls are packed again. One of the consequences of that is that not every in-person lecture still has a livestream counterpart. That needs to change, says a group of students. Their petition has been signed over 250 times already.
Since the 25th of September, there are no restrictions on the maximum number of people in a room anymore. The result: old-fashioned packed lecture halls at Radboud University. At the same time, not all lectures offer an online alternative, according to an announcement on Radboudnet. Environment and Society Studies premaster student Charlotte Hullmann (24) and some fellow students aren’t happy about that last part. They want that all in-person lectures continue to be livestreamed.
That is why Hullmann started a petition that meanwhile has already been signed by over 250 people. She wants to let the executive board in Nijmegen know that livestreams also have advantages. ‘I think we need to learn from the corona pandemic. Thanks to livestreams, students who aren’s living in Nijmegen can attend a lecture from home. That saves travel time, but also benefits the environment by reducing CO2 emissions from transport.’
Additionally, there are sick or handicapped students who prefer to attend lectures from home. ‘Livestreams offer them a solution that wasn’t there before the pandemic.’
‘The lectures are recorded, but they are uploaded only a day later’
Hullmanns personal reason for keeping livestreams is the housing crisis. ‘I searched for a place to live in Nijmegen for two months. Internationals are often declined.’ She now lives in Kleve, just across the German border near Nijmegen.
In the Quantitative Methods course in Hullmann’s study, the policy is that livestreams will no longer be offered, but lectures will continue to be recorded. Later, these recordings are uploaded to Brightspace. Hullmann finds this illogical. ‘If a camera is running, you might as well livestream the lecture. We, for example, have a lecture in the morning that we pick up during the work groups in the afternoon. The lectures are recorded, but they are uploaded only a day later. That’s inconvenient because if you can’t attend the lecture, you immediately lose track of what’s going on.’
Hullmans would like to see the recordings transformed into livestreams and thus being broadcasted while they are ongoing. That way, students can manage their time more efficiently.
The new normal
‘I understand that in-person lectures are encouraged, but online education also offers a lot of opportunities’, says Hullmann. ‘With our petition, we hope to show the board that we do not have to return to the ‘old normal’. The ‘new normal’ that was established during the corona pandemic offers many opportunities. We are in support of offering hybrid education wherever possible so all students have equal opportunities.’