Student Workload Estimator

Calculating Student Workload can be tricky. This is true whether we’re teaching online or in person. It gets more difficult though as we try to balance synchronous and asynchronous work and take into consideration the challenges of learning remotely during the pandemic.

The following tool developed by Elizabeth Barre, Allen Brown, and Justin Esarey (Wake Forest University) may prove helpful. While not originally developed for calculating remote or hybrid courses, the workload estimator can give you a rough estimate of the time it takes your students to do their course work each week. If you’re interested, Barre and Esarey offer an excellent overview of the approach as well as the research behind the tool here.

As a general rule, Georgetown expects students to study approximately 6 hours per 3 credit course (or a total of 8.5 hours of course time per week per 3 credit course). That said, it’s important to take into account the added cost of working remotely, isolated from peers and faculty, away from the resources of the campus (i.e., the library, quiet study spaces, consistent internet, etc.) all while managing the psychological effects of the pandemic.

In this regard, 8.5 hours may be more than can be expected in the current climate. We offer suggestions throughout the instructional continuity site for rethinking contact hours and designing alternative activities. Additional templates and tools are available here.