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Post-Secondary Survey/Discussion about Homework

  1. Feb 15, 2010 #1
    I'm really curious how much time everyone spends on homework.

    What do post-secondary students think of the accuracy of the data in Table#1 , particularly the amount of hours spent on homework? Is that around the average time most people spend? If not, less? More? Comments? Suggestions?

    I'm curious how the hours in the Table#1 (ie. the first one on the two pages) compare to others' personal experience.

    If you post, please indicate the following (if you are comfortable):
    1) Are you are in collage or university?
    2) In what country?
    3) What is your field of study?
    4) What year are you in?
    5) At your post-secondary institution, what is considered a full course-load per Fall or Winter semster?
    6) What is the normal course load you personally undertake in either the Fall or Winter semester? (eg. 5 subjects/semster?, 3 subjects/semester? etc.)
    7) How closely do then number of hours spent on homework in Table#1 match your personal experience? (Please indicate whther you are comparing to UofD or UofO or the average of the two.)
    8) Any other thoughts/observations that are relevant.

    Keep in mind that these hours have been averaged out over the week.

    LEGEND:
    ---------------
    UofD: University of Dalhousie
    UofO: University of Ottawa*

    *Note: Figures for UofO are from a modeled schedule while those of UofD are based on a real schedule.


    Below: An explanation of where the data in my tables come from:

    > It's a tally of the number of hours spent in class or doing homework, by subject.
    > The hours of class are pulled directly from a printout of a real schedule (which I have but haven't posted here) of the fall term in 1st year Electrical Engineering at the University of Dalhousie. Classes consist of either lectures, labs, and tutorials.
    > Hours spent on homework are based a recollection of how long it took to the complete the assignments.
    > You will notice some hours in the table are marked with the superscript #1. As explained at the bottom of the table, certain labs or tutorials occur every two weeks. It was thought that the best way to do a time analysis of the schedule was to average out the time spent on those by-monthly items by treating them as if they occured weekly. This was accomplished by dividing the appropriate figures of time by two. So, where you see numbers with superscript #1, it means that the theoretical average time per week is half of the base value. In reality, in the acutal week that the event occurs, the time spent on it would be the original base number. (eg. 3 superscript #1 means 1.5 hours weekly but in reality, it would be 3 hours every two weeks.).
    > The abbreviation HW (and the accidentle HM which is supposed to be HW), shows the breakdown of time spent on various assignments in each subject area. Homework includes, studying, essays, math assighments, labs, all of that stuff.

    When you add up the tallies you'll see that the result correlates exactly with the values used for UofD in the table of my 1st post.

    As for the values for UofO, here's how they were derived:
    > It was decided to construct a model schedule of a BSc. Biology program.
    > The class requirements for 1st semster in the program were located in the UofO university calendar.
    > The university has an online database of all offered courses and the days and times in which they were offered--including subcomponents such as labs, lectures, and tutorials.
    > All timetable lists for required courses were found and printed.
    > A weekly schedule was constructed by selecting courses for each subject in the appropriate weekly time-slot.
    > Unlike with the schedule from Dalhousie, no real-world corresponding homework data was avaliable for the model UofO scheudle. However it was possible to estimate how many hours would be spent on homework. This was done by averaging the class hours of all 5 subjects at UofD, averaging the hours spent on homework for those classes at UofD, and then combinding those two numbers in a ratio of class-time to homework-time. Since the hours of class for UofO were known, this ratio was used to calculate an approximation of how much time homework might take at UofO.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 15, 2010 #2
    If you post, please indicate the following (if you are comfortable):
    1) Are you are in collage or university?
    Yes

    2) In what country?
    USA

    3) What is your field of study?
    Physics major, math minor

    4) What year are you in?
    Senior

    5) At your post-secondary institution, what is considered a full course-load per Fall or Winter semster?
    12-18 credits (big range, in time class is a bad measure of course load anyway)

    6) What is the normal course load you personally undertake in either the Fall or Winter semester? (eg. 5 subjects/semster?, 3 subjects/semester? etc.)

    4 technical subjects, 5 is a little hectic

    7) How closely do then number of hours spent on homework in Table#1 match your personal experience? (Please indicate whther you are comparing to UofD or UofO or the average of the two.)

    UofD is pretty normal for me. Usually 1 week per month with significantly more work.

    8) Any other thoughts/observations that are relevant.

    Depends on many many factors. I previously went to a school where I spent time more like the UofO table, or sometimes a lot more. Depends on how much you collaborate with your classmates. Depends how much you get help from your professors, and how helpful they are. Depends on how much you tend to toil endlessly over very difficult problems, vs. asking classmates, profs, or cutting your losses when appropriate.
     
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