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A Time Management Assessment Technique That Improves Student Performance

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Factors Affecting Student Performance

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.136.1 - 11.136.15



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Paper Authors


Rick Covington California State University-Northridge

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RICHARD G. COVINGTON is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at California State University Northridge. His research interests include Computer Architecture and Simulation, Graphical User Interfaces, and Non-Western Language Information Processing. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Rice University in 1989.

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G. Michael Barnes California State University-Northridge

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G. MICHAEL BARNES is a Professor of Computer Science at California State University Northridge. His areas of interest are Computer Graphics, Human-Computer Interaction, and Computer Science Education. He earned a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Kansas in 1980.

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

A Time Management Assessment Technique That Improves Student Performance Abstract

We describe two studies that examine the relationship between student performance and student assessments of their attention to time management using a short periodically administered survey. The first study examined a class of senior Computer Science students. It demonstrated a positive correlation between progress on class related activities that the student reported in the survey and the project grade that the student ultimately received. There was no correlation between the survey and exam grades. The second study was an experiment using two sections of one class of lower division Computer Science students. The experimental group reported time spent on projects and lecture preparation in periodically administered surveys and the control group did not. The study showed that the experimental group achieved significantly higher performance on all project grades and on the exam grade during one time period compared to the control group. We discuss the use of our results in Computer Science and Engineering and the need for replication and generalization of these results.


There is little quantitative research on time management and student performance that we were able to find. As an example, Loomis1 reports a significant correlation between time management and student performance in a Journalism on-line research course. Trueman and Hartley2 found a modest relationship between age, time management skill, and performance for first year Psychology majors. The work we found that has been done in Engineering has focused more on student personality or learning styles, and time management3,4. As educators, we intuitively and anecdotally identify time management skill as an important determiner of student classroom performance5 and of workplace productivity and professional success6. Yet most educators would admit that planning and time management are often not an explicitly addressed element of the Computer Science and Engineering curriculum. Rather than teach students how to manage time, most instructors do the work themselves, incorporate the results into the time frames and deadlines documented in the course syllabus, and assume that students will allocate their time accordingly. In reality, many students, especially those with weaker performance, do not know how to do this, or do not realize the consequences of not taking deadlines seriously. We show that a brief periodically administered self-assessment survey that requires students to state how much time they have allocated on class tasks helps students better manage their time and effort for extended project assignments and results in better performance as measured by their grades, especially for project grades.

We examined the effect of time management skills on performance in two studies of courses from different parts of the Computer Science curriculum. The first study looked at Object Oriented Programming (Spring 2004, lecture only), a senior level elective. This study examined the correlation between student self assessment of course activities and their grades. The second study looked at Introduction to Algorithms and Programming (Fall 2005, lecture and lab). This is a freshman-level introductory course on algorithms and Java programming. This study used two parallel sections of the same course and tested the hypothesis that periodic self assessment of

Covington, R., & Barnes, G. M. (2006, June), A Time Management Assessment Technique That Improves Student Performance Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--652

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