I found this ‘course workload estimator’ at Rice University Center for Teaching Excellence. I plugged some very rough guesses in and it spit out the information captured in the image below.
I am planning on filling this out in class on our first day as a way to help incoming first-years come to terms with the time requirements for our course. I think many of my students suffer a failure of the imagination as they try to figure out what it means to “take” a college course. I figure that I can give them concrete information that will help them ‘imagine forth’ what is required of them. This a group discussion well worth having on the first day. I will ask them first how much time they think they might spend in a composition class. After that I will show them the tool and the data I will be plugging in. (A good place to point to the syllabus as a valuable tool.) Lastly, I will ask them to think about the workload requirements of their other classes. Fiendish, yes. Eye-opening, I trust so.