Terry Anderson described a research study about time factors in online learning. The study he describes is done with 80 full time online teachers, teaching 4 online courses during the same semester:
Teaching in any context varies a great deal based on personal teaching style, use of synchronous tools, discipline, level and motivation of learners, support and funding for teachers and a host of other contextual factors. Nonetheless aggregate data is very interesting and helps paint the reality as well as vanquish some myths about online teaching. As expected the data confirmed that teachers did spend slightly more time online than literature reports for oncampus. (Averaging 44 hours/week for the 4 courses). But perhaps of greatest interest is the tasks that made up these 44 hours.
What surprised me is the limited time that is spend on Content Development. It seams to me that this research only focuses on running of the courses and not taking into account the development. We notice that this takes large amount of time. Also there is not a lot of information about the context (kind of students, motivation, teaching style, didactical model, etc).
Another issue is the number of students. Especially with the student communication it would be interesting to know how many students were in a 'class'.
Mandernach, B., Hudson, S., & Wise, S. (2013). Where has the time gone? Faculty activities and time commitments in the online classroom. Journal of Educators Online, 10(2).
Via: Wilfred Rubens (in Dutch)