Under the European Higher Education Area, it is necessary to establish an effective method to store and measure the workload carried out both at the university and at home of students and faculty members for each subject.

Previous designs of this task in the University Jaume I, have shown a low participation of students (29%) updating the weekly workload. In addition, students raised complaints regarding the extra effort to perform this weekly task all of which derived in obtaining very low number of students participating, and therefore non-statistically significant data. Our plan to increase the percentage of student’s involvement and get more robust data was to use an effective tool the student was familiar with, so we introduce a weekly questionnaire in the “Aula virtual” (virtual classroom?) the on-line platform used at the University of Jaume I, (UJI). The student has to weekly fill his/her home workload in the different subjects. This tool was implanted in the second semester of the academic year 2012/2013 for first and second year student of Medicine.

Using this new method we got a higher involvement (75%) of the students participating in the poll . The results were very similar for both courses and they show that the weekly autonomous working hours are placed in the proper range, except exam weeks, and that the total does not exceed 90 hours per subject and semester.
We also tried to incentive the faculty members’ participation, in order to correlate the workload planned by the lecturer and performed by the student, but the new European model of teaching and learning and the current economic crisis have led lecturers to undergo some administrative tasks far beyond their teaching duties, lowering their participation in this study. In any case, since the results prove that the amount of work performed autonomously by the students stands within the expected range, we consider that faculty members have adapted to the new regulations satisfactorily.

During this academic year we expect to complete the poll evaluating the home work hours that students dedicate to autonomous learning for both semesters and to be completed by students in their first, second and third year.. We expect that at the end of the academic year (2013/2014) we will have a complete picture of the autonomous workload implantation in the Grade of Medicine in the University of Jaume I of Castellon.
Our conclusion with the data obtained so far is that the students’amount of work carried out at home lies within the expected range. Importantly, we have developed a new, effective, and easy-to-use strategy to accomplish surveys amongst the students, with a very high participation, using an existing tool, the “aula virtual” (virtual classroom).

Currently, we have used it to evaluate the student time dedicated to autonomous learning, but this strategy can be easily adapted for a number of applications.