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Managing Time in Online Courses: Student Perceptions

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Online Learning

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.911.1 - 25.911.14



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Paper Authors


Susan L. Miertschin University of Houston (CoT)

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Susan L. Miertschin is an Associate Professor teaching in the Computer Information Systems program at the University of Houston. Her teaching interests are in the development of information systems applications and the complementary nature of back-end developer and front-end developer skill sets. Her research interests are program and student assessment, the impact of instructional technology on student learning, and the improvement of e-learning environments and experiences.

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Carole E. Goodson University of Houston

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Carole Goodson is a professor of technology at the University of Houston. As an active member of ASEE, she is a member of the Academy of Fellows, a past Editor of the Journal of Engineering Technology, a past Chair of PIC IV and the ERM Division, and a past Chair of the Gulf Southwest Section of ASEE.

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Barbara L. Stewart University of Houston

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Barbara L. Stewart earned a B.A. from Brigham Young University, a M.S. from Utah State University, and an Ed.D. from Brigham Young University. Her research and curriculum development interests focus on online course development and delivery, along with cognitive, multiple talent, and learning styles theories and their application to educational settings. Stewart’s career has included service as a faculty member, Department Chair, and Associate Dean. She is currently a professor of human development and consumer science at the University of Houston. Email:

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Managing Time in On-line Course DeliveryWorking adults with demanding schedules, parents juggling children’s activities, and eventraditional students who must meet the demands of multiple courses are enrolling in on-linecourses in increasing numbers. In fact, research at the University of indicates that althoughstudents enroll in on-line courses for a myriad of reasons, time/convenience/access was thenumber one reported strength of on-line offerings. They comment: As a fulltime student who also has a fulltime job, it is essential for me to be able to access course material, lectures, assignments, and get in contact with my classmates on my schedule - which frequently means in the late evenings. This is made possible in online course delivery. If we didn’t have this option I don’t think I would be able to ever graduate and I think this applies to many students who live far from campus, who work full time, have a family and/or children who need care .Effective time management is important to the academic success of these students, and it isinteresting to note that some of these students, while generally benefiting from the convenienceof on-line offerings, reported that through on-line enrollment, they have developed betterpersonal and time management skills.In general, time management is seen as important to student success. Britton and Tesser (1991)report that time management practices play a role in educational achievement and found arelationship between time management skills and grade point average. Traditional classes offertemporal structure through regular class meetings. In addition, face-to-face interactions are usedfor verifying participation (checking attendance), verbal instruction accompanied by indirectbody language cues, and both implicit and explicit feedback. In the report “Specification for ageneralized model of lifelong education,” it was stated that the use of technology in educationleads to independence in self education. Do on-line courses, with their use of technology andtheir flexible scheduling, offer benefits that foster the development of time management?In order to better understand the role of time management in online courses, faculty used asurvey instrument to measure student perceptions of the impact of on-line courses on their timemanagement skills. The survey was administered to 149 students enrolled in four undergraduatecourses and one graduate course, including courses in research, supervision, and informationtechnology. The survey was administered on-line using Blackboard and results were analyzed.Using the results of this survey and related literature, this paper will address the following issues. 1. What are the time management factors that influence student performance? 2. What are student perceptions of the impact of distance delivery on their time management skills? 3. How do student perceptions of time vary among factions of the student population?Results will be analyzed and implications for on-line delivery of courses will be presented.

Miertschin, S. L., & Goodson, C. E., & Stewart, B. L. (2012, June), Managing Time in Online Courses: Student Perceptions Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21668

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