specurtin-committee Petroleum Engineering 3rd Year Timetable Semester1, 2011

  • From: Christopher Coman <c.coman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "J.Hacket@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <J.Hacket@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "M.O.Tade@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <M.O.Tade@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "B.Evans@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <B.Evans@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2010 19:48:37 +0000

Dear Vice Chancellor, Dean Tade, Professor Evans, Guild President and Science 
Representative and Ms Lisa Smith

I am contacting you all directly with my complaint about the timetabling for my 
course as a 3rd year Bachelor of Petroleum Engineering student for Semester 1, 
2011. My background is I have been a high school mathematics teacher for 4 
years before coming back to study engineering, and I currently work as a high 
school tutor, which means my hours of opportunity for creating income are 4pm 
to 9pm weeknights. I am also a lead singer in a band, and thus my weekends are 
taken up with rehearsals, so it is not feasible for me to do all of my tutoring 
on the weekends. I'm also on both the CEC and SPECSC committees and have 
various time commitments there along with many other projects. My ability to 
fulfill on all the commitments that I have as well as earn a living is being 
severely impacted by poor the timetabling of my course.

So let me outline the timetable for you first, and then I will detail the 
problems I have with it both in the impact on the workability of my life, as 
well as what I see as flaws in the academic and educational design of the 

Monday:   3-6pm Formation Evaluation Lecture
  6-8pm Formation Evaluation Tutorial (only one available)

Tuesday:   3-5pm Engineering Mathematics 233 Lecture (Tutorial still not 
registered for)

Wednesday:3-5pm Hydrocarbon Phase Behaviour 314 Lecture
  5-6pm Break
  6-7pm Hydrocarbon Phase Behaviour 314 Tutorial (only one available)

Thursday:   3-5pm Petroleum Geology and Geophysics 311 Lecture
  5-6pm Break
  6-7pm Petroleum Geology and Geophysics 311 Tutorial (only one available)

Friday:   12-3pm PEng 411 Petroleum Engineering Laboratory (apparently this has 
been moved? to another day)

The first major problems that I have with this timetable is the late night 
finishes. With this timetable I am unable to work on three nights of the week, 
and on one night I am limited to 3 timeslots, rather than the usual 5 I have 
each night. To let you know the impact of that finacially for me, is I go from 
having 25 possible timeslots (of which I had 20 filled last semester) to 8. And 
5 of those on a friday, when most students do not want tutoring as it is the 
end of the week, and it's the least productive time to tutor. As I charge $70 
per hour, that brings my weekly available income from $1750 to $560, and that's 
assuming I tutor until 9pm on tuesday and friday (Which will not happen).

The second problem that I have is that educationally, to do only a single 
subject in a day, and to do all of that subject in that day, and no other time 
in the week, is a poor way to gain, retain and develop knowledge. Despite it 
being up to students to develop revision and study patterns that will do this 
for themselves, it is the responsibility of the university to provide a 
structure that facilitates and empowers students in doing this, and this one 
size fits all, lump approach to timetabling I believe goes against the 
fundamental principles of the university.

What I have already done about this complaint so far is been in contact with 
Lisa Smith at the Petroeleum Engineering department level, and she has advised 
us that as timetabling is done centrally, there is little that she can do for 
next semester other than move the petroleum engineering lab to another day to 
give us Friday off. While I appreciate her efforts, you can clearly see this 
does not resolve my dilemma.

I request that our timetable be amended to within these guidelines, and to 
continue to follow these in the future.
1) Non-optional classes to run no later than 4pm on any day.
2) For units where there are only two classes (Lecutre & Tute) that these not 
be on the same day
3) Common free time is maintained (12-2 Wed)
4) "Petroleum Seminar Time" created, that being; non-optional classes finish by 
1pm Friday to allow for Petroleum Engineering Students to attend Industry 
Seminaries to be run by the SPE Student Chapter (for all Petroleum Eng bachelor 
students 2/3/4th year - and masters if that is possible)

If you accept my request, please let me know by when these changes will be 
made. If these requests are unacceptable, please let me know your counter-offer 
or proposal for how I can make this all work. I'm certain that somebody in this 
chain of people will be able to enact positive, pragmatic and sensible change 
so that equity of access to education can be maintained for all students, so I 
look forward to your positive response soon.

Yours standing for workability,
Chris Coman, B.Comp Sci, Grad Dip Ed,

Other related posts:

  • » specurtin-committee Petroleum Engineering 3rd Year Timetable Semester1, 2011 - Christopher Coman