Monday, February 12, 2018

University Advertising Failing to Make the Grade

Australian universities are currently using TV advertisements to attract on-line students.

In 2016 Swinburne University's "We're here for you" campaign,  had a tutor appear in person, seemingly out of nowhere, to help an on-line student in a cafe. This year their "Let's Do This" is less silly, apart from having a cat in it. One annoying point was when the narrator says "... lets make the grade ..." the screen shows the word "Distinction" and a tick. Universities should, I suggest, avoid giving students unrealistic expectations of how easy study is and in particular distance eduction. Students should not be given the idea that making the grade means getting a distinction. This may contribute to the high levels of stress and mental illness experienced by students.

In contrast, Open Universities Australia's 'Stop asking "What if?" and find out "What now?"' campaign focuses on ease of enrollment. This is much more low key (perhaps too low key) and doesn't set too many unrealistic expectations. While I found being an on-line student very stressful, enrolling proved relatively simple. One difficulty OUA have is explaining exactly what it is: not a university, but a consortia of universalities, offering on-line courses.

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