Students’ experience and perception of increased workload

With the shift to remote learning during the pandemic, many students voiced concerns about increased workload – often to the surprise of instructors who felt they had not changed their curricula or had in fact decreased requirements. There are many reasons that students may experience courses as being more difficult during times of disruption. In some cases, instructors have indeed increased workload, though often unknowingly. In other cases, the external factors imposed on us all by the pandemic help explain students’ struggles. Another perspective is that in simply moving courses to a remote or online format, the course becomes more time consuming or difficult, a phenomenon referred to as “course-and-a-half syndrome.”

We’ve put together a resource that looks at some of the variables that impact a student’s perceived workload. While pandemic circumstances have brought this conversation to the forefront, it highlights an important pedagogical consideration in all modalities and circumstances, and can be a useful lens to use when considering how design choices might impact different student groups. Explore the FAQ here.