Innovatice student-centred workload-design: Letting students show the way

Publikation: Beitrag in Buch/Bericht/TagungsbandKonferenzbeitragBegutachtung


As online and distance learning increases in universities (Breitenbach, 2021; Hodges, 2020; Mishra et al., 2020; Florence et al., 2021), it seems prudent to measure and illustrate the actual student workload from a new angle. The subject of measuring student workload, calculated in ECTS points, according to the guidelines of the Bologna Process is essential for the feasibility of the degree programme and the quality management in higher education institutions (Müller, 2013; Müller, 2020) in Europe. This paper presents the evaluation of actual student workload and describes a practical approach how to comprehensibly record student workload using qualitative methods and focus groups. This conference contribution presents the following four established tools which can be used to increase the feasibility of degree programmes and to make student workload more transparent to all involved parties. Initially, a detailed semester planning chart, containing scheduling and planned student workload as for example preparation for exams, is used to prepare in the initial Preview and Predictability phase in order to avoid simultaneous phases of high stress and workload for the students. Secondly, ongoing support via an overview of work packages is provided in an excel-tool that can be filled out by lecturers as well as by students. Thirdly, student evaluation of the courses can be used for feedback as to how the students perceived the overall workload. Finally, and probably the most important, a so-called Learning Journey can be used for an open and constructive exchange about the degree programme in general, its feasibility and the student development process. The classical evaluation of lectures is broadened with a qualitative and discursive aspect. With the concept of a “learning journey” – developed at the university described – students are accompanied and supported in their individual learning process. This process is performed annually via focus groups with alternating participants. In this way, a large number of students are given the opportunity to actively participate in the design of the degree programme and the resulting workload. This potentially increases the quality of the further development of the study programme and achieves a constructive dialog with the students (Freudenthaler-Mayrhofer & Wagner, 2020). Additionally, in order to be able to check the actual workload of the students at least selectively and to compare it with the planning, a pilot phase is currently underway in which students of a Master's degree programme use a smartphone app to record the time spent on selected courses on a daily basis. In cooperation with the app provider, an evaluation is carried out at the end of the semester.
TitelINTED2022 Proceedings
Untertitel16th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
ISBN (elektronisch) 978-84-09-37758-9
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2022
VeranstaltungINTED 2022 : 16th annual Technology, Education and Development Conference - Valencia, Valencia, Spanien
Dauer: 7 März 20229 März 2022


KonferenzINTED 2022 : 16th annual Technology, Education and Development Conference


  • student-centered learning
  • Workload
  • didactics