In the past two weeks, I’ve talked with 5/18 of my full-time students about them reducing their workload from full-time to part-time.

Why is this? The course shouldn’t be more intensive that what we’ve run previously. There are a few reasons I can think of that could be factors.

  1. Self management – The new context of the course puts more of the responsibility of learning onto the students. We’re expecting them to be able to work from home, establish boundaries, and motivate themselves. For some students the direct supervision of being in the classroom might be easier.
  2. The computer context may be stretching students more than expected. I know for at least a couple of students, this has been a major contributing factor to workload.
  3. Bioscience is being taught & assessed in a completely different way than it has been previously
  4. Expectations Рeven though I stressed to almost every student that they should expect the course to be full-time, many students seem to have heard what they wanted to hear, and have come into the course expecting to be able to put 15-20 hours into it a week.  This expectation seems to be related to the flexible nature of the course, or previous experience with tertiary study.
  5. Something else to do with blended delivery???

But at the moment, I’m a bit in the dark. I’ve just talked with the most recent student who’s talked about reducing workload, and he says he’s been putting in 20-25 hrs per week, so this sounds like a lack of self-management.

More investigation is obviously required.

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