higher education policy; time-shortened courses; student workload, university teaching, learning and curriculum design


This study compared student workload and perceived value of coursework assigned for a matching set of semester and term general education courses at Brigham Young University. Statistically significant differences in workloads were found between most semester and term courses. While term workloads were slightly lighter in general, both could be called “university lite,” in that students did not spend the expected two hours outside of class per hour in class. Math and physics courses came closest to meeting the expected workloads, which tended to remain constant between semesters and terms. Differences in the value students reported for homework varied significantly by the autonomy of the instructor to adapt his own course section. Some of the curricular differences between sessions might be attributed to efficiencies instructors incorporated for shorter sessions without affecting overall course quality. Typically, reading- and writing-intensive courses showed the most negative impact when offered in a term format. The findings from this study suggest that, while some subjects lend themselves

Original Publication Citation

Lutes, L., & Davies, R. (2018). Comparison of Workload for University Core Courses Taught in Regular Semester and Time-Compressed Term Formats. Education Sciences, 8(34) 1-12.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.




David O. McKay School of Education


Instructional Psychology and Technology

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor

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Education Commons