Less than 10 hours a week

Dec 2, 2008 by

Community College Survey of Student
Engagement (CCSSE). (2008). High Expectations and High Support.
Austin, Texas: The University of Texas at Austin, Community
College Leadership Program.

According to the most recent CCSSE survey, 67% of full-time community college students spend 10 hours or less a week preparing for class (that’s class in general, not one specific class). At my college, 12 credits is full time and that is 3-4 courses. So, according to the CCSSE results, if we’re lucky, we get 3 hours per week out of each student on each course. However, in my book, twelve credits should result in 12-24 hours of study time outside of class.

This leads me to several possible conclusions. First, this could explain why we have such dismal success rates with developmental courses (there is almost no work being done outside of class). Second, this could explain why my calculus students always complain about the “hours and hours” of homework they do every week for my class. Third, if the majority of students are passing the majority of their classes, while doing this little work outside of class, maybe we should not be passing as many students as we do?

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  1. Daettil

    I don’t know if the chart repersents exactly how the question was posed to students, but as a current student if someone asked me how much time I spent preparing for class I would probably just report the amount of time I spent reading the materials prior to the lecture rather than all the studying I did plus the time I spent on any homework that was assigned. So this quarter I am taking 15 credit hours and probably would only answer 5-6 hours a week spent preparing for class even though I have had weeks were I wouldn’t even want to guess how much studying/homework I did that week.

  2. maria

    Thanks – that actually makes me feel a little less depressed!

  3. SplineGuy

    I taught a Freshman Orientation class for the first time this semester and was surprised students, early in their first semester, estimated the number of hours they would spend studying and doing homework each week, outside of class. Out of my 16 students, the highest approximation given was 10 hours per week. I had one-on-one sessions with each student and conveyed to them the reality of college level coursework and its demands.

  4. jedward

    I teach “time-management” as an introductory section of every course. One relevant point here — most people are very poor estimators of time…to get a better estimate of actual time spent studying or socializing or web browsing or … one must keep an accurate log over a typical week or two. Usually — folks are surprised at how their time is “really” spent.

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