I share a link to this type of tool with my students who are designing online courses – largely so that they can figure out a ballpark for the amount of work they assigning. It is usually helpful to get students to pair down what they are assigning, as they tend to assign way more than they should – underestimating the amount of time it takes to participate in online discussions. In some ways, I see these tools as more of a “cognitive load calculator” to help highlight when you are overloading students … but students are never a homogenous group and so no calculator can really define what goes into all learning – it is really when we assume too much based upon the results of the tool that things become a problem.

I think it is a good discussion point – and useful for those new to teaching in a different medium but should not be overly relied upon.

Cheers,
Rebecca