Teaching with Moodle

ECTS : how to sum up activities estimated time?

Fra Par
ECTS : how to sum up activities estimated time?


As stated by european commission for higher education:

1 credit = 25 to 30 hours of workload for a student

How can we implement into moodle a way for teachers to add an estimated workload time for each activity... and a total for a course?

For example

Discover databases3h 15min
  • Before class [5 minutes]
    • Read article 3 minutes
    • Test yourself quiz 2 minutes
  • In class [3 hours]
    • Warm up 15 minutes
    • Activity 2h
    • Conclusion 45 minutes
  • Follow up [10 minutes]
    • Watch video 3 minutes
    • Read article 4 minutes
    • Check forum 3 minutes

I have seen a plugin but it counts the user time, it is not for teacher to add the time.

Any idea? Has someone already created a simple plugin for this kind of custom field in the activities?


(It might also improve engagement... )

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Picture of Gavin Henrick
Re: ECTS : how to sum up activities estimated time?
Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersMoodle HQPlugin developersTesters

I don't know of any plugin that is publicly available that does this, however I recall something similar being built before - not exactly this.

What they did was have a report which was configured list of all the different activities in a course and then produced a report of total time based on this logic. 

So its doable, you would either need to write a plugin, or if you are not a developer, you get in contact with a Moodle Partner to develop it for you.

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Fra Par
Re: ECTS : how to sum up activities estimated time?


Thank you very much for your answer, Gavin. I appreciate the check.

I hadn't seen something like this either.

Unfortunately, my knowledge of the moodle architecture and my competencies on php wouldn't qualify me as plugin developer.

Maybe an idea for a partner or a new project.

Thank you again for taking interest in the question.

Best regards


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Picture of Peter W. Schlatter
Re: ECTS : how to sum up activities estimated time?

Hi François

This is not easy to answer, because it is based on several factors, e.g.:

  • do you distribute information only or will it be necessary to establish a problem-solving-attitude?
  • is reading-time equal the time necessary to understand a content?

I was searching for a solution and found the following 2 forum-discussions:

Knowing that the following list is not complete it is a try
(based on the above discussions and a research together with a University of Applied Science):

  • reading-time for 20 pages A4
 1 hour
  •  reading- time is very personal
    (due to the background of the
 Factor 3 to 5
  • learning-time for a specialiezed text
    of 1,5 to 2 pages A4
    (without any interaction)
 1 hour
(reading, learning, understanding)
  • prolongation due reading on a screen
 10 to 25%
  • learning-time for 1 screen-page
    without scrolling, but a good structure
    and visualizations supporting content

 45 to 180 seconds
  • evtl. prolongation due to cross-
    references, links, glossars or
    external research
 not specified
  • Video/presentation/animation
 real time, plus time for
introduction and reflection
  • Tests
    (10-15 Multiple-Choice-Questions)
  10 minutes
  • Reports / Reflection
  •  normal
    (1'500 characters) = 1 hour
  • scientific report
    (1'500 characters) = 2 hours
  •  Activities
    (e.g. lesson, addignements, tests)
 measure the time you need to work through
and multiply the time by factor 2 to 3
  • Preperation of a short presentation
    or resumee
 5 hours
  • Preparation of Standard-Presentation
 7,5 hours

There are much more influences, e.g. the grade of commitment and quantity of posts in a forum or chat, which needs to take into consideration about calculating.

Hoping this might help you a little bit.
If there is somebody out in this community with additional experience, I would love to learn about it.

Regards, Peter

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Fra Par
Re: ECTS : how to sum up activities estimated time?

Hi Peter,

Automatic reading time evaluation

Thank you for sharing your detailed research on automatic reading times.

Indeed, most reading platforms display an approximate reading time on top of the article to improve engagement (linkedin, medium...).

It can also be used as gamification tool:

  • This article was read in 5 minutes by the people who scored best at the understanding quiz. Can you do faster and still answer all the questions right?

Manual Time evaluation

For Moodle application, I was far from creating such an automatic evaluation of times.

I am looking for two things:

  1. add a "time" field in the activity parameters, to allow a teacher to manually indicate what the average time spent on this activity should be.
  • The student should see the approximate homework time immediately
Have the sum of all the times spent by activities for a complete course displayed somewhere. (it is just an addition of each time field)
  • I could then tell how many ECTS are covered by the class

Maybe we can manage to create something like that if I am not the only one to find it useful.

Best regards


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Fra Par
Re: ECTS : how to sum up activities estimated time?
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Yes, that's me
Re: ECTS : how to sum up activities estimated time?
Particularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

Hi Francois,

Thanks for "The perfect plugin" but what do you mean "If only it was accessible..."?

I am not sure if the plugin is the solution to your problem but please contact me if you have any issues getting it. Btw: the functionality has been moved the enrol plugin "Waitlist enrolment" which is available from the moodle.org plugin repository.


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