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Title The Perceptions of Students' Workload in Science at a New Zealand Polytechnic
Short Description This presentation summarises both students' and instructors' perceptions of student workload in a selection of science papers at a New Zealand polytechnic. Attempts at quantifying student workload are also shared.
Longer Description Students generally view papers in science as hard work, often requiring a greater time commitment than students who study non-science papers of equal credit value. On the other hand, the perceptions of instructors in science may not necessarily agree with those of their students.This pilot study will report on both students' and instructors' perceptions of workload in a selection of science papers at a New Zealand polytechnic.

The science papers included in the study all have a face-to-face component which is easy to quantify. However, each of these papers also has a 'self-directed' component with a recommended total time. In reality, we do not know at this stage exactly how much time students actually devote to 'self-directed' study. This component includes student activity like reading, writing laboratory reports and studying for class tests and final examinations. Attempts to quantify this self-directed' component from student log sheets will be described.

The results of this study will inform science instructors in their future planning of the content, delivery and assessment of science papers, e.g. instructors may need to review their assessments if it is shown that students are spending a disproportionately huge amount of time preparing for assessments.
Stream Teacher Training and Professional Development
Knowledge Focus Practice Focus
Keywords Student workload, perceptions of workload, quantifying workload
Presentation 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Equipment none
Mr Victor Fester (
This is the 1st named author. This is you.
Affiliation Academic Developer, Capability Development, The Waikato Institute of Technology
Location Hamilton, NEW ZEALAND
Attending yes
Biography As an Academic Developer, I advise mostly new instructors on teaching-related matters, e.g. lesson planning, student-centred learning design, assessment practices. The use of the learning management system, Moodle, is also encouraged through my unit. Engagement with these instructors is mostly through one-to-one contact in a conversational style, though a great deal of my work also involves workshop presentations with instructors on a variety of topics. I am also a 'retired' chemist, having taught chemistry in a tertiary setting for 22 years!
Phone 0964 7 8348800 ext 7547