Faculty Self-Study Research Project: Examining the Online Workload


Concerns about faculty workload in the online environment are a reported deterrent to participation in online teaching. To date, such concerns have been based primarily on anecdotal evidence rather than empirical research. This paper describes a project in which six faculty members teaching courses through the Penn State World Campus conducted studies of the comparative workload in the online environment. Results of the studies indicated that faculty workload for teaching these online courses, as measured by time on task, was comparable to or somewhat less than that for face-to-face courses. However, a differential "chunking" of productive time contributed in some cases to a perception of increased workload. The success of the project suggests it is a replicable model for investigating various elements of the faculty experience in the online environment.

Download Resources