Credit Hour Policy
For Iliff courses, one (1.0) quarter credit hour requires the following minimum work:
· one hour of instructor mediated learning and
· three hours of outside of class study weekly
for an average ten (10) week quarter.
Thus, one four credit hour (4.0) course would require a minimum of 16 hours of work per week (4 instructor mediated hours plus 12 outside study hours) for 10 weeks.
Time per Credit
For each graduate credit awarded by a course at the Iliff School of Theology, students should be spending approximately one hour (50 minutes) in contact with the instructor and three hours (150 minutes) on course work outside of class per week over the equivalent of a 10-week quarter. This applies to residential, intensive, online and hybrid classes alike.
· 1.0 credit course = 10 hours of direct contact plus 30 hours outside of class
· 2.0 credit course = 20 hours of direct contact plus 60 hours outside of class
· 4.0 credit course = 40 hours of direct contact plus 120 hours outside of class
These figures are targets, not absolutes. Courses may exceed the expectations, or the ratio of direct contact to outside work may vary somewhat.
Learning outcomes for classes that have multiple formats are to be identical across format. Format should have no effect on quality or quantity of learning outcomes.
Hours Outside of Class
“Hours outside of class” include advance and daily readings, writing, participation in online discussions, studying, reflection, projects, final papers, contextual or community engagements etc.
Intensive classes typically meet for 1.5 or 3.5 hours per day, five days a week. Because we cannot expect students in a five day course to spend 10+ hours per day studying outside of class, substantial student work ahead of and/or following the actual course dates is to be expected.
Online classes warrant further clarification, as definitions of “contact with the instructor” and “hours outside of class” are less obvious. As stated in fsapartners credit hours GEN1106.pdf:
The credit hour definition does not emphasize the concept of “seat time” (time in class) as the primary metric for determining the amount of student work for Federal purposes. Institutions may assign credit hours to courses for an amount of work represented by verifiable student achievement of institutionally established learning outcomes. Credits may be awarded on the basis of documentation of the amount of work a typical student is expected to complete within a specified amount of academically engaged time, or on the basis of documented student learning calibrated to that amount of academically engaged time for a typical student.
We see a similar line of reasoning in the Department of Education’s Program Integrity Q&A Document:
CH - Q4: How would an institution apply the definition of a credit hour if the institution offers asynchronous online courses that are not also offered in a classroom setting?
CH - A4: There is no “seat time” requirement implicit in the definition of a credit hour. An institution that is offering asynchronous online courses would need to determine the amount of student work expected in each online course in order to achieve the course objectives, and to assign a credit hour based on at least an equivalent amount of work as represented in the definition of credit hour. [Guidance issued 3/18/2011]