Human Beings are great at many things! Estimating time is not one of them. Studies have shown that employees overestimate how many hours they work each week. People who have said that they work 60-64 hours per week actually worked an average of 44.2 hours per week.
We don’t just overestimate time worked with our employment. How many hours do you spend on washing dishes each week? On average, women report 5.5 hours/week and men report 2.6 hours/week. The real numbers are actually 1.1 hours and .7 hours respectively.
Surprised? Is there a possibility that we may be overestimating our time spent in our courses? How can we be sure that we are working a full 3-4 hours for each credit hour?
Measure/Record our time!
There are several time recording tools and apps: The Pomodoro Technique, My Work Clock, RescueTime, and old fashioned pen and paper. Other tools were mentioned in these Community posts: Why does BYU-I ask me to report my hours? and Automatic Time Tracking.
When choosing a time recording tool, keep two things in mind: 1. Find out what works for you. 2. Be careful that your recording tool doesn’t require so much time that it become ineffective.
Finally, remember why measuring can be useful. Measuring how much time we spend on what tasks (grading, giving feedback, participating in discussion boards, posting notes from instructor and announcements, etc.) can give us valuable real time feedback and insight about our performance which will result in a better student experience.