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A Study Of Student Reported Out Of Class Time Devoted To Engineering Technology Courses

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Factors Affecting Student Performance

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.128.1 - 12.128.10



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Paper Authors


Carmine Balascio University of Delaware

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Carmine C. Balascio, Ph.D, P.E. is an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Bioresources Eng. at the Univ. of DE. He earned bachelor’s degrees in Agricultural Engineering Technology and Mathematics from U.D. He received a Ph.D. double major in Agricultural Engineering and Engineering Mechanics from Iowa State University. He teaches courses in surveying, soil mechanics, and storm-water management and has research interests in urban hydrology and water resources engineering.

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Eric Benson University of Delaware

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Eric Benson, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Bioresources Eng. at the Univ. of DE. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering Technology from U.D. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He teaches courses in computer programming, instrumentation and applied controls and has research interests in applied poultry engineering, machine vision, and controls.

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Lawrence Hotchkiss University of Delaware

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Lawrence Hotchkiss, Ph.D, is a statistical consultant working in IT User Services at the University of Delaware. He earned a Ph.D. in Sociology with a concentration in methods and statistics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is an active member of the Delaware Chapter of the American Statistical Association (currently Treasurer, Membership Chair and webmaster). He maintains a lively interest in statistical methodology with particular interest in analysis of dynamic data.

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William Balascio University of Delaware

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William Balasio, P.E., is an electrical engineer with Carew Associates in Wilmington, Delaware. He earned an M.S. in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. His professional career spans over 25 years. He has taught an engineering technology PLC course at the University of Delaware for over 15 years.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Study of Student-Reported Out-of-Class Time Devoted to Engineering Technology Courses

Abstract Students report a wide variety of perceptions of workload in their courses. To provide data for better understanding of student perceptions of workload in engineering technology (ET) courses at the authors’ institution, students were required to complete time sheets documenting the out- of-class time they spent on activities related to several specific engineering technology classes. Data were obtained for students in six different ET classes taught by three instructors, over a total of 17 course-semesters. Out-of-class activities were broken down in categories related to review of reading assignments and lecture notes, completion of graded assignments, and individual and group study time. The relationship between reported out-of-class time and grades was examined as was correlation between reported out-of-class time and aggregate ratings of course difficulty on end-of-semester course evaluations. Analysis of the data showed that reported out-of-class time devoted to course work was not significantly correlated with course grade for typical students. Of the parameters investigated, a student’s overall cumulative grade point average (GPA) was the best predictor of a student’s final course grade. There was no significant relationship between reported out-of-class time and workload ratings from student course evaluations. Introduction It is well recognized that college-level course work requires a significant commitment of out-of- class time devoted to reading, study, and homework. Often-quoted rules of thumb generally recommend two to three hours out-of-class time per week for every credit hour of college courses1, 2, 3. Thus, a student taking a 15-credit hour load should expect to spend up to 45 hours outside of class per week on activities related to his or her courses. Generally, the study-time recommendations make no distinctions among the different disciplines of which a student’s selection of classes might be composed. Given the highly technical content of typical engineering technology (ET) courses, it might be expected that required out-of-class study time would exceed that of the average college course. Reading assignments frequently require scrutiny of detailed example problems. To encourage deeper levels of understanding as outlined in Bloom’s taxonomy4, considerable emphasis is usually placed on active learning in the form of problem sets, laboratories, and design projects. On end-of-semester course evaluations, ET students at the authors’ institution frequently rate the time commitment to their ET courses as considerably above average. Students direct comments to instructors indicating that they perceive their course work loads to be heavy. At the same time, instructor observations suggest that some students make inefficient use of their out-of-class time. This study was initiated to accomplish two primary objectives: 1. To provide a learning experience for students to encourage them to observe and to think critically about their time management practices,

Balascio, C., & Benson, E., & Hotchkiss, L., & Balascio, W. (2007, June), A Study Of Student Reported Out Of Class Time Devoted To Engineering Technology Courses Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1540

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