College work takes time and as an online student at Welch College you can expect to spend between 15 and 20 hours a week working on each class you take. In some classes the time may be a little longer and some a little less, some weeks in the same class may be a little longer and others a little less. But on average you should expect to spend 15-20 hours involved in your class each week.
The first class you take, and maybe even in the first few classes, will take you a little longer as you are getting used to how online classes work and developing good habits that reduce the amount of time it takes to accomplish certain tasks. If you are a fast reader and typist, the time involvement will be a little less. So, it might be to your advantage early in your online program to work to improve your reading speed and your typing speed and accuracy.
How did you figure the time?
You may be wondering how we arrived at the 15-20 hour average.
- In our traditional campus classes, students will spend 825 minutes of actual class time for every hour of credit. That is 825 minutes sitting in the classroom chair involved in class activities.
- It is also a generally accepted expectation that students will spend two hours outside of class in reading, study, and class preparation for every hour of classroom time. So, for every hour of credit there are 825 minutes in class and 1650 minutes of outside class work.
- For a three credit hour class, that amounts to a total of 7425 minutes (2475 times 3) of classroom time and out-of-class study time.
- The 7425 minutes is 124 hours.
- Since our online 3-credit hour classes are six weeks long, we need to complete 124 hours of work in the six weeks. The average is 20 hours.
- Because some people are faster at reading and typing, we figure that students will spend 15-20 hours on their class work each week or 90-120 hours over the six weeks.
Suggestions for managing your time
There are several things that a student can do to lower the amount of time they spend on the class work:
- Schedule the school work time and make sure that it is an uninterrupted time. Find a quiet place and one that is free from distractions. Students will often think they have spent several hours working on their online class when in reality a good amount of that time was spend answering the phone, putting the kids to bed, getting something to eat, or watching a TV program.
- Organize your assignments at the beginning of the week and faithfully work through them.
- In scheduling your work, set aside a couple of major blocks of time 4-5 hours each week as it takes extra time whenever you start and stop to regroup and get back in the swing of your work.
- Spend at least 30-45 minutes on your class work every day. Take time to read through the notes in the class and respond with a couple of substantive participation notes. This does three things:
- It gives you perfect attendance.
- It ensures excellent class participation.
- It keeps you fully engaged in the class, which reduces the amount of time it takes you to get your mind back into the course content.