How to End the 60-Hour Academic Work Week

It’s no secret: teaching is a meaningful job—and a tough one at that. And when I say tough, I mean time-consuming. The academic work week can be brutal.

But how much time does a higher education job actually take?

According to a 2014 study, faculty members work an average of 61 hours per week to keep up with the rigors of academic life. On average, professors work 10-hour days Monday through Friday and another 10 hours over the weekend.

The Chronicle of Higher Education says that professors work an average of 61 hours per week. Click To Tweet

These findings sparked intense debate amongst college professors who were doubtful that academia really requires that kind of workload. The researcher of the original study, John P. Ziker, has conducted ongoing research on this topic. Just this year, Ziker interviewed with The Chronicle of Higher Education and confirmed that his 60-hour academic work week projection from 2014 still holds true in 2018. The higher ed world is just that competitive.

Looking to spend less time in the classroom? Check out 13 Time-Saving Grading Strategies for Teachers.

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So what exactly requires 60 hours of work?

Ziker broke down the typical work tasks of professors into percentages. What he found wasn’t even close to what he expected.

Ziker discovered that a whopping 30 percent of professors’ workload is taken up by meetings and email, including meeting and corresponding with students. Another 11 percent is dedicated to administrative tasks like grading. That’s 41 percent of their work that happens completely outside the classroom and doesn’t even involve their personal research.

41% of professors' work happens completely outside the classroom and doesn’t even involve their personal research. Click To Tweet

And that work can’t be replaced. Those precious hours when professors meet with students, answer their emails, and grade their assignments is the only way for students to find out if they’re grasping the material or not. How do they know if they’re improving or completely missing the mark? The only way is by getting feedback.

Unfortunately, delivering that information takes up to 25 hours of work every week. How do you get that time back?

A new way to give feedback

There has to be a way to save some of those hours and lower that steep professor workload. Some academics have turned to time management tools or hired teaching assistants to help. Others favor peer review in class so their students can critique each other.

But what if technology could bear the burden?

No edtech solution works for every single professor’s needs, but there’s one tool in particular that’s designed to help instructors and coaches teach demonstrable skills. And it’s all done through video and time-coded feedback.

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Video + feedback = time saved

GoReact software is what’s known as a video feedback tool. It allows students to record themselves performing any kind of skill: public speaking, interpreting ASL, demonstrating CPR, delivering a sales pitch, or even performing choreography. This footage is stored in the cloud and delivered directly to the instructor.

Over 500 universities are using GoReact to improve feedback quality and cut back on academic work hours. Click To Tweet

Once the video is online, professors can review it any time and leave time-stamped comments, video clips, or audio sound bites to show students exactly where they need to improve. Students can even review their own work first to promote self-reflection. Or peer critique each other for a more collaborative learning experience.

Here are just some of the ways GoReact is saving professors scads of time and work in over 500 universities worldwide:

Easy Video Management

Far too many professors use complicated video cameras and flash drives to give video feedback. GoReact is not only easy but simple. It takes less than five minutes to set up and works with any webcam or mobile device.     

Feedback That Sticks

It’s one thing to tell a student what they’re doing wrong. It’s completely different for them to see for themselves. GoReact allows students to watch their own performance, reflect, make changes, and get better fast.

LMS Integration

GoReact connects seamlessly to all the major learning management systems. This allows professors to use the software and post grades without ever leaving their familiar environment.

Customized Rubrics

Speaking of easy grading, GoReact hosts a custom rubric builder that allows instructors to create a rubric, score student videos in real time, and post a final grade all within minutes. No more messy paperwork or missing scores.

academic work

These benefits all factor into GoReact’s time-saving powers. By making feedback targeted and effective, video feedback cuts down on the hours it takes to help students learn. GoReact is simple and elegant enough to eliminate clerical work, streamline grading, and do it all in one place.

Looking for more teacher ed content? Check out How Peer Feedback Makes a Difference in Your Classroom.

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Sources
Ziker. “The Long, Lonely Job of Homo Academicus.” The Blue Review.
Wyllie. “How Much Do Professors Work? One Researcher Is Trying to Find Out.” The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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