Rationale for the expansion of the call centre

One point of disagreement that continually arises between tutors and Athabasca University administration is the rationale for further implementation of a call centre or student success centre model at AU. We thought it would be helpful to provide information which in good part led us to the conclusion that the call centre or student success centre model implementation was primarily budget driven, not student services driven. The 2012 AU Board of Governors Budget Committee report was the first Read more [...]

Response to Call Centre Article in the CAUT Bulletin

The Canadian Association of University Teachers published a front page article in its October 2014 issue titled, “After Faculty Vote, Athabasca University Call Centre on Hold.” Interestingly, after we sent a message to CAUT explaining the actual situation (see below), the CAUT changed the online title of the article to, “After Faculty Vote, Hope for a Rethink of Call Centre Model at Athabasca University.” While we much appreciated the national attention given to our fight, we found the article somewhat misleading, as did some of our members, in light of the fact that while the article stated the call centre is “on hold”, in reality, AU continues to switch courses to the call centre model. Read more [...]

After faculty vote, hope for a rethink of call centre model at Athabasca

CAUT Bulletin, Vol. 61, No. 8, October 20, 2014 Six months after the university first approved setting up call centres, faculty members voted on Sept. 17 to halt the rollout plans, until an ad hoc committee convened last year to study the implications of introducing the centres reports back on its conclusions. [Wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com] A vote to temporarily halt ongoing implementation of a controversial “call centre” model for tutoring at Alberta’s Athabasca University is a Read more [...]

Statement by Members of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Athabasca University, 2014

We, the undersigned members of the FHSS, regard the tutoring system as crucial to both student success and to the maintenance of high academic standards for our programs. Our ability to attract and retain students depends on our ensuring that students receive as much encouragement and assistance as possible in improving their critical thinking, writing, and reading skills as well as their knowledge of the materials in particular courses. In turn, our methods and standards of assessment need to be Read more [...]

Motion passed by General Faculties Council of Athabasca University – Sept 17, 2014

Whereas the Post- Secondary Learning Act establishes a bicameral structure of governance; Whereas the General Faculty Council has primary jurisdiction for Academic Affairs; Whereas the method of teaching and course delivery is an Academic Affair; Whereas matters of pedagogy are protected under Academic Freedom; Whereas the General Faculty Council standing subcommittee of the Academic Learning Environment Committee has been tasked with studying the Athabasca University course delivery Read more [...]

New President at Athabasca U an opportunity to revisit call centre: CUPE

For immediate release June 26, 2014 New President at Athabasca U an opportunity to revisit call centre: CUPE CALGARY – The union representing part time instructors at Athabasca University is calling on incoming AU President Peter MacKinnon to review the move toward a ‘call centre’ model of distance learning. CUPE Local 3911 spokesperson Ronnie Leah said she hopes MacKinnon, taking office July 1, will take time to consult widely and ‘find better solutions.’ The union has been Read more [...]