5.2 Assignment Timing

The number and release of assignments is appropriate for the estimated time of module completion and student workload.

Points: 2 (Very Important)

QM Alignment: 3.5


Consider how much time students need to complete a specific assignment or the sequence of assignments.


  • Use a consistent day of the week and time for assignment due dates so that they are more predictable for students.
  • Set the due date, availability date, and (optionally) until date for each of your graded activities.
  • Break multi-week assignments or projects into stages with their own deadlines to track student progress and encourage students not to wait until the last minute to begin work on them.
  • In general, students are expected to work on average 2 hours out of class for every 1 hour of class time per week. In an asynchronous online course, there is no “class time,” and so that would be 3 hours of work per credit hour per week.
    • A 3 credit course would thus entail around 9 hours of work for the student per week.
    • A full course load of five 3-credit courses would entail around 45 hours of work per week (5 courses x 3 credit hours x 3 hours of student work). Thus, being a full-time student is somewhat equivalent to working a full time job.

Common Issues

  • Too light or too heavy of a course workload in a particular module or week.
  • Course workload varies greatly during certain weeks or modules.
  • Larger or more difficult assignments or projects are not broken into stages.


Example: Student Profile Project

The Student Profile Project leads you through a process where you come to an understanding of the developmental, psychological, and learning needs of a specific student grade level or group.   Worth 25% of your course grade, the Student Profile Project documents your growing understanding of student developmental and learning needs and the base knowledge needed to understand the psychology of a specific student group.

Project Timeline

  • Lesson 1 & 2: Grade Level Research—Select a Grade Level at a specific K-12 School. Research and obtain key information about your students such as Student Demographics, Culture, Gender, Grade Level Information, School Information, State Standards for this Grade Level, Developmental Stages: Physical, Cognitive, Intellectual, Social.
  • Lesson 3 & 4: Student Motivation Reflection—Identify Their Educational Experience by considering student Cognitive Development Level, Thinking Process and Learning Style, and Motivational Theory and Strategies.
  • Lesson 5: Information Processing Infographic—Create an infographic that captures how your students process information using Developmental Psychology, Cognitive Theory, or Information Processing Theory.
  • Lesson 6: Final Product: Student Profile—Complete a student profile that captures the entire educational experience by adding in Social and Emotional Needs, Teaching Methods and Strategies, and Learning Activities and Assessments.



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HCC Online Course High Quality Standards by Hillsborough Community College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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