Self-directed study activities in science: Easing the student workload

Fester, Victor (2010) Self-directed study activities in science: Easing the student workload. In: Learning: 17th International Conference on Learning, 6-9 July, 2010, Hong Kong, China.

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Many students view science papers at tertiary level as hard work, often requiring huge time commitments outside the traditional classroom. A 2009 pilot study amongst science students at a New Zealand institute of technology revealed some interesting insights as to how students spend their time in self-directed study activities. The study also revealed a mismatch between the perceptions and expectations of instructors and students with regard to the time devoted to self-directed study activities, as well as a significant variation in total time devoted to self-directed study activities by students both within a single paper as well as across papers. This presentation will first share some of the findings of the 2009 pilot study, including the perceptions and expectations of both students and instructors regarding their workload. Secondly, I will outline how, as an academic developer, I have interacted with the science instructors involved to share with them the perceptions, expectations and actual experiences of their students regarding their workload in self-directed study activities outside the classroom. Finally, I will illustrate how, together with the science instructors, ways of making students’ workloads more equitable will have been explored through more informed planning of the content, delivery and assessment of science papers.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Additional Information:An adaptation of this paper was presented at the Wintec Corporate Services Research Seminar, The Waikato Institute of Technology, Hamilton, New Zealand, 20 October, 2010
Keywords that describe the item:Student Workload, Perceptions of Workload, Quantifying Workload, Academic Development
Subjects:L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions:Corporate > Assett Centre
ID Code:772
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Deposited On:08 Sep 2010 04:09
Last Modified:08 Feb 2012 03:10

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