To be successful in a distance education course, it is estimated that readings, hands-on assignments, and online work will take an average of 10-12 hours per week to complete. Keep in mind this is just an estimate which can vary with each course.
If you are taking an online course, you will likely be required to participate in online discussions. Online courses often require much more student involvement than traditional lecture-driven courses where you might come to class, take notes, write a paper, and then take a test. Many online courses require interaction with faculty and peers on a weekly or even daily basis. Therefore, you will need to schedule time for working on required activities just as you would schedule time each week to attend classes. The major benefit to students in an online course is the flexibility it affords you to participate in discussions and complete most learning activities around your own schedule.