Indicate what day of the week new information will be posted, what days students are expected to participate in online discussions, and due dates of recurring weekly activities. Articulating the expectations for each week helps ensure student success because it makes explicit expectations for participation and helps the student develop a regular pattern of engagement in the course.
How to budget time for this course
Your syllabus language should describe your expectations for student participation, e.g., include a statement such as, “Students are expected to log in to the course site at least 3 times a week to check announcements, access course content and participate in assigned activities.” Stating your expectations clearly helps students be successful in your course.
To help students manage their workload and expectations, provide them with guidance on how much time they should expect to allot per week toward your course.
The University’s Instructional Time per Course Credit policy outlines the amount of instructional time required for a specified number of course credits. Instructional time is the amount of time/effort instructors spend engaging directly with students in courses. Determining instructional time in an online course may be challenging because, unlike in onground classes, there is typically not a synchronous class session that everyone must attend at the same time; instructional time must be determined in other ways.
In your syllabus or course introduction, you may communicate expectations for online student and faculty participation:
For this 3-credit course, you will spend approximately 9 hours per week on class content and activities. I will spend at least 3 hours per week engaging you with [overview videos, assignment and discussion facilitation and feedback]. [This course will also involve two scheduled, synchronous class sessions, which will be part of your contact with me for those weeks].
Note: Per the Expected Student Academic Work per Credit policy (section B), requirements for graduate school courses exceed the three-hours-per-credit-per-week rule, so the example above would need to be revised for graduate courses.