Definition of Credit Hour

Anderson University awards credit for academic achievement in a variety of instructional settings including traditional classrooms, skill-development classes, off-campus work practice settings, hybrid classes that use both seated and online sessions, and online classes. All classes have defined student learning outcomes, and a description of the time requirements and delivery modes is published on the class syllabus template. The Definition of Credit Hour is published on the University’s website.

Traditional Classes

The University has an established system for credit hours based upon 2100 instructional minutes for a standard 3-credit hour course.  For seated courses this equates to 14 weeks of instruction plus the exam period where 3-day per week courses meet for 50 minutes per class, and two-day per week courses meet for 75 minutes per class.

Linked to this standard is the normative and historical expectation that students devote two hours working on class-related activities out of class for every hour they spend in the classroom. This model is used as the basis for determining the credit awarded for all courses regardless of the format for delivery. 

Skill Development Classes

In courses with significant skill development outcomes, e.g. studio courses, laboratory courses, or physical activity courses, the credit hour definition is altered to reflect the standard disciplinary practice of two hours of supervised activity being equal to one hour of credit.

Some classes include a mixture of didactic and skill practice sessions.  For a class with this mixed structure, the credit awarded reflects the time devoted to each component of the course.

Internships and Clinical Practice Classes

Work-setting classes require a minimum of 40 hours of placement activity for each hour of credit awarded. Variations above this minimum are dictated by professional standards required by specialized accreditors and are clarified in the course syllabus.

Online Classes

As with any course, online classes begin with the defining student learning outcomes and development of course content. The course is then formatted so the entire learning experience is available by digital means. Time expectations for students in an online class are consistent with traditional classes when time committed to readings and videos, participation in shared discussions or group work, and time working independently on course-related activities and assignments are considered. Enrolled students participate in class activities and complete online assignments per a schedule provided by the instructor.

Hybrid Classes

Hybrid classes are designed so that a significant portion of the course is delivered by digital means employing reading, instructional videos and/or lectures, journals, discussion boards, or assignments that students complete outside of class.  The in-class time is then devoted to active student learning activities in a face-to-face classroom.  In most cases, the courses meet one day a week, and enrolled students participate in class activities and complete online assignments and activities per a schedule provided by the instructor.

In some graduate hybrid courses, the schedule for the seated portion of the class may require fewer actual meetings, but the class meeting time on those days is extended. These days are generally termed “intensive” because the time in face-to-face instruction lasts the full day.