The Automation Game: technological retention activities and perceptions on changes to tutors’ roles and identity

Myers, Fran; Collins, Hilary; Glover, Hayley and Watson, Mor (2019). The Automation Game: technological retention activities and perceptions on changes to tutors’ roles and identity. Teaching in Higher Education, 24(4) pp. 545–562.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2018.1498074

Abstract

This paper demonstrates the importance of considering lived experiences of adjunct teaching staff during the introduction of automated student messaging services in a UK Business School. With cost-orientated moves to expanding online provision through emergent technologies and the growth of alternative HE strategies, traditional group-orientated student and tutor interactions are developing into a continuum. Automated messages aim to increase retention, and standardise the student experience in terms of academic qualification communications. These messages, however, have necessarily required tutors unlearning previous pedagogical support routines, thus changing academic roles and in consequence impacting academic identity processes. The investigation adds to emerging literature by examining the impact on a group of adjunct faculty staff during change introduction. Study into these changes to academic routines has value, as much existing retention literature privileges the institutional or student experience, and much of learning/unlearning literature is in a non-educational setting.

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