Student workload: a case study of its significance, evaluation and management at the Open University

Whitelock, Denise; Thorpe, Mary and Galley, Rebecca (2015). Student workload: a case study of its significance, evaluation and management at the Open University. Distance Education, 36(2) pp. 161–176.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/01587919.2015.1055059

Abstract

Distance students are time poor and some drop out of their studies because they fall behind with coursework. This raises the issue of how course teams decide upon how many study hours should be included in a course. This article presents a number of Open University projects that have addressed student workload management and relates how learning design has incorporated these findings into advice for new module development. Moreover, the article also discusses how recent automatic feedback systems can motivate and support time-poor students when writing their assignments. This is an important finding as drop-out can occur when students are unable to devote the necessary time to their summative assessments and drop out of the learning process.

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