Monday, February 8, 2016

Set Aside Times BEFORE You Start Your Course

I was conversing with a fellow educator recently about online education and the topic of student study time came up. I mentioned that we cover the traditional measure of required student study time for college courses in our book "on page 30 something" (actually it was page 38, as I later checked). My friend asked, "What was the formula?" I told her and she said, "Precisely." She then added that students should have already determined their exact schedules BEFORE they get started. Which days of the week are they willing to give up going to soccer games and helping the kids with homework? What times of each day will they NOT be communicating with their spouse or attending to household matters? And most of all, how many hours each day and week will they be spending on course work and precisely which times? All this should be worked out in advance, she said, or students will not do well. Needless to say, the institution will also suffer because student retention will drop. We completely agree. Be sure you have a time management plan before you get started -- and be sure you allocate enough time. We give you our recommendations, but here is another tool you might use: whatever amount of time first occurs to you as "probably sufficient," just double it!

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