Class meeting frequency and learning outcomes


If there is anyone here who knows where I can look, or even better, can just tell me, whether there is some established link between the number of times a class meets per week and the learning outcomes in that class, I’d be indebted to you.

I think it’s a no-brainer–if I’m teaching a logic class for three hours a week, then it’s more likely that more students will learn more effectively if we meet twice for 1.5 hours rather than once for 3 hours. This allows for a more steady stream of feedback and prevents, to some extent, the problem of students not actually looking at the material for six days and so forgetting it all.

But apparent no-brainers often turn out to be anything but.

And I’ve just now placed myself in a position in which I’m going to need to defend my view about this.

So if I can cite some research, that’d be nice.

Specifically, I suspect this to be true at least of basic math, critical thinking and logic classes. It may apply to other subjects as well.

(In the classes I’m teaching, I’ve tried setting intra-week due dates for online practice quizzes and exams, but it has been really hard getting students to actually do them, and when I took the measure of actually having the quiz disappear after the due date and time, I encountered a lot of hostility from the students. It’s not like it was (or should have been) a surprise for them :(. )

Course Scheduling and Academic Performance, Dills and Hernández-Julián, Economics of Education Review, Volume 27, Issue 6, December 2008, Pages 646-654

I can access the whole PDF via ScienceDirect but I don’t know if that will work for you.


Just what you wanted to know! :slight_smile: