Tom Bedford on the convenience of outdoor lectures
“In the middle of winter a nice warm classroom can be great for lectures and seminars, but that stops being the case when it reaches 28 degrees outside. In the punishing sun we’ve been having recently, the already-heated rooms of the Arts building or the underground insulated Congregation Hall rooms quickly become tropical. If it’s going to be this hot, let us enjoy it. Let us take our classes by the lake with a four-pack of Strongbow or, particularly for second and final year students, out of university completely, and nearer to where we live.
Expecting students to go to class in this heat is laughable as it is, but expecting them to spend the day in some of the Brutalist rooms of UEA is insane. Outdoors lectures are the best way to make people attend.”
Evlyn Forsyth-Muris argues for the tradition of indoors
“Having lectures outside when the weather is nice sounds nice but don’t buy it- it’s really not.
Firstly, the point of a lecture is to learn something (dull, I know) but if we’re outside in the sun, even less people will be paying attention. The temptation just to enjoy the weather and tune your lecturer out will be even harder to resist than when we’re indoors.
I don’t know about your lectures, but mine are a sea of laptops so for all those with crappy battery lives, a nearby plug quickly becomes essential to keep your notes going – good luck plugging your mac into a nearby oak tree. Finally, what about all those quiet lecturers who really need those microphones? I don’t fancy getting whispered at by my lecturer while someone belts some awful tunes out of their portable speaker.”