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Production and use of videotapes for post-graduate teaching : some questions
Academics have traditionally guarded their right to control the teaching situation and to 'profess' their area of subject expertise in whatever way they deemed to be appropriate to the topic and the level of student. While this solo responsibility has been somewhat moderated over the years by the addition of tutors, lab assistants or markers and, more recently, by the demands of external teaching modes which require graphic artists and print technology, most academics would probably prefer to retain complete control, not only of the content of what they teach, but how they teach -- the method, timing and style of presentation. On the other hand, the use of broadcast media demands attention to the values of that system. Strict time schedules, production values, good technical quality and polished presentations are important to the production of "good" television which will compete for the viewer's attention. We all have 'learned' what to expect of certain media -- reference books have indexes; newspapers are organised in sections; concerts have programs and intermissions -- and television in Australia is normally in colour, professionally presented and in relatively short segments. How does this expectation fit with PAGE productions? In this paper the authors draw on their recent experience in producing seven half-hour videos which form part of the subject, "Education in Non-Formal Settings" to be offered in later this year by the PAGE (Professional and Graduate Education) Consortium. This has necessitated the conversion of a post-graduate subject, already offered in a distance delivery format (primarily print-based), to one which will also take advantage of the opportunities offered through SBS (Special Broadcasting Services). The problem of 'conversion' of existing educational materials to another format is not unique to our situation (Aiton, 1994), but seems to have been given little attention by educational planners. From this point the paper progresses as a dialogue with the two presenters designated by initials and differing type faces.