Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What does a Credit Hour Represent If Not Time?

A new report out by the New America Foundation questions the logic and effects of the traditional definition of the credit hour. The report highlights several problems with the current model, one that uses time as a marker of progress. One convincing chart shows that students who have gained additional credit hours (from freshman to senior) do not necessarily perform better on standardized tests. Another issue addressed in the report is the influence of grade inflation on the interpretation of credit hours. For example, in 1961, only 15% of students received a letter grade of A in a college course. In recent years, the number has increased to 43%.
Recommendations to address the issue include changing the definition of the credit hour or going to a credential system, which would allow students to demonstrate learning despite the amount of time they spent accumulating that learning.
To read a summary of the report, read the report by the New America Foundation on their website.
For the full report, visit the report website.

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