Principle #5: Emphasize Time on Task

Principle #5: Emphasize Time on Task


Principle #5: Emphasize Time on Task


Time plus energy equals learning. There is no substitute for time on task. Learning to use one’s time well is critical for students and professionals alike. Students need help in learning effective time management. Allocating realistic amounts of time means effective learning for students and effective teaching for faculty. How an institution defines time expectations for students, faculty, administrators, and other professional staff can establish the basis for high performance for all.


  Pedagogy Implementation
1 For major assignments, note the expected time required in the Syllabus.*

For example, “This paper and research should take you at least 20 hours, 15 being used for the first draft, and 5 for revisions.  It may take you longer, but should not take you less. Take this as a guideline, not an excuse to stop working.”

2 For smaller assignments, add the expected time required to the prompt or assignment description.*

The Description field of a Moodle Activity is a good place for this, e.g., “The weekly discussion forum posts, minimum 250 words, should take at least 20 minutes to complete.”

3 With Interactive Video Quizzes, you must watch the quiz to the end for it to count in the gradebook.

See the Interactive Video Quiz Knowledge Base article.

4 Instructors must emphasize the high demands of taking an online or hybrid class.  Just because time is flexible doesn’t mean it takes less time!

For example, “These are the same assignments completed by traditional classroom students, and should take you the same amount of time as in a traditional class.  If you skimp on time, I will probably skimp on your grade.”


Emphasize deadlines in the syllabus, and remind students when they’re coming up, for example in your weekly emails.

Use Moodle’s Calendar feature to show due dates prominently on the course home page.  Use the Quickmail feature to send weekly emails.  This helps ADHD and dyslexic students keep track of what’s due when -- sometimes text dates are confusing to them, adding a visual calendar can help.

6 Break projects into smaller, more manageable pieces and require students to hit benchmarks during the duration of the project.  

For example, drafts of papers and presentations.