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Intended Learning Outcome:

To identify how we spend our time and how much time we have for studying


This calculator, devised by The Open University, calculates the number of hours we spend each day on different activities and shows us how much time we have left for studying.


1. Students discuss in groups what they mostly spend their time doing and how much they estimate their studies require.

2. Put these figures into the calculator and discuss the results. How much time is available for study? Is this adequate? What can be done to remedy this? What help is needed?


As access to the Excel spreadsheet is required for this exercise you may want students to discuss and complete the list

of hours spent in pairs/small groups and then use a few students data to generate results as examples. You can make

the .xls file available on the VLE for students to use at home.

It may help to run this activity at the start of a module to help students prioritise study.


Large Group Teaching:

This could be done as a whole group, discussing a general amount of time the ‘average’ student spends on each task

on a typical day and the results can be generated together.

Online Teaching:

Students can download and use the calculator themselves or you could screen share it and create a group one based on averages.


Students will be clear about how they spend their time and be able to make informed decisions for studying.

Next Steps:

It is important to follow this up with some support on how students can more effectively plan their time and also some tips for more effective studying.

Links to other activities:

Further reading:


This TLA uses the Open University’s Study Time Calculator (see below for the link to their site)


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