The Perceptions of Students' Workload in Science at a New Zealand Polytechnic
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.
Keywords: Student Workload, Perceptions of Workload, Quantifying Workload
Mr Victor Fester
Academic Developer, Capability Development, The Waikato Institute of Technology
Manager, Capability Development, The Waikato Institute of Technology