Hi, Katy...

I've been teaching a web-enhanced course (3 credit hour women's studies) for 5
semesters. It is competency-based and only requires that students meet the
deadlines specified on my course timeline, rather than focusing on contact time.
As it is a behavioral science course, I design a great deal of interaction in the
course by using both asynchronous discussion boards (weekly postings) and
synchronous chat (although this one is optional and used for instructor/student
conferencing, topic wrap-up, etc.).
In advising students of the time that they should be prepared to spend on this
course, I use the standard college formula of:  1 credit hour =  2 study hours
outside of class. So, I tell students that they should be prepared to study (view
assigned videos, read assigned text, respond to discussion board, etc.) the 3
hours that they would have attended class, in addition to using the above
formula. This equates to 9 hours of study per week.
I also give them a hypothetical online study plan to give them an idea of what a
typical student might plan each day....and I do tell them to do something each
day towards completing the coursework. This is one of the first things that
online students will learn - you stay ahead of the game when you do a bit of the
work each day. Online learning can become an albatross around your neck if you do
not use frequency as your guide.
I hope that this helps, Katy. Feel free to contact me if you have any other

Sonja Milbourn


> Hi group,
> As I design my web-based course, I am wondering about traditional contact
> hour requirements. I know we can't really compare the  traditional course
> requirements to a web-based course, but how does one figure contact time?
> Also, I seem to be loading students down with a lot of work per week. I am
> wondering how many activities are reasonable for a typical three-hour course?
> Thanks for any help along these lines.
> Katy

Sonja Milbourn
Instructor, Center for Independent Study
Butler County Community College
Office Ph.: 316.322.3395
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