ERIC Number: ED460328
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Aug
Students' Expectations of Workload and Grade Distribution by Class Difficulty.
Ansburg, Pamela I.
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether students expected course difficulty to be reflected in grade distributions and in the amount of out-of-class effort required for success. Students from both upper and lower division classes described the amount of time they expected to spend preparing for an easy class, a difficult class, and a class taught at just the right level. They also indicated their expectations regarding the grade distribution in classes of varying difficulty. There was no difference between upper and lower division students on any measure. Students believed that both an easy course and a course taught at just the right level would have a negatively skewed grade distribution, whereas a difficult course would have a normal distribution. On average, students believed that the appropriate number of out-of-class hours per week was 4.9. Further, students in this sample judged that the 6-9 hours of out-of-class work that is typically recommended, to be characteristic of a difficult class. It is recommended that too avoid disappointment that may come from unmet expectations of both faculty and students, faculty members should assess their students' expectations and take time to address inconsistencies with their own. (Contains 1 figure, 2 tables, and 14 references.) (Author/JDM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (109th, San Francisco, CA, August 24-28, 2001).