If it Ain't Broken, Do Not Fix it: The Complex Dynamic of Introducing New Teaching Methods in Ancient Third Level Education Institutions


  • Miguel DeArce Smurfit Institute Department of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin


e-Learning, third level education, Virtual Learning Environments, Collaboration


Ancient scholarly institutions can boast of a successful history of academic excellence going back centuries. It is not surprising, therefore, that the lecturing staff that have best assimilated such spirit show a certain reluctance to change their ways, particularly when teaching features as second fiddle to research and is very much the exclusive domain of the lecturer. The purpose of this letter is twofold: First, to offer our academic and administrative colleagues an instrument for reflection on the suitability or otherwise of e-Learning as applied to third-level education, since e-Learning features in the strategic plans of many third-level institutions today, in spite of the fact that many among the teaching staff might not have grasped the concept of e-Learning. Second, the letter also aims at pointing out some genuine objective difficulties posed by trying to implement instances of rapidly changing technology in what could well be considered a bastion of conservatism, that is to say, the teaching methods of academics that have succeeded in their research field and have long experience in teaching largely as they themselves were taught three or more decades ago, as suggested by the wise adage; if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.






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