Workload Calculator: Estimating Student Hours of Effort

As instructors adapt or design courses for remote teaching and learning many are asking questions about student workload, such as:

  • “What is reasonable to expect from students?” and
  • “How can I avoid overwhelming students?”

The following blog post by Beth Hundey, educator, geographer and eLearning and Curriculum Specialist at Western University in Ontario, provides advice and practical tools that can help you estimate student hours of effort and prepare students for course work. For the average successful student in any course, Hundey recommends an average of eight to ten hours per week (or less). Given that teaching and learning interactions in the virtual classroom during times of disruption may take a little more time and effort, aim for an average at the low end of that range.

Hundey also explains:

  • how to estimate student workload using the Rice University CTE Course Workload Estimator;
  • how to analyze a course’s work effort distribution during a semester using M. Lockett’s Curriculum Cartography approach; and
  • how to communicate the work estimates to students.

This post “Estimating Student Hours of Effort” is redistributed under an Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY SA 4.0).

Enhanced Workload Estimator 2.0

This tool is being shared under a Creative Commons License and is a derivative of the work from Rice University highlighted in Dr. Hundley’s blog post.

Resource created by Ruth H.