Definition of the Credit Hour
The University of Michigan-Dearborn has adopted a credit hour standard for all classes based on the Federal credit hour which reads: “A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally-established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:
- one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit,
- or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or (2) at least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other activities as established by an institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading toward to the award of credit hours.”
The following sections establish – based on the Federal definition of a credit hour – the minimum amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is required of all University of Michigan-Dearborn undergraduate and graduate courses:
For face-to-face classes: One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction [defined as a 50 minute class period] in the form of discussion, lecture, recitation, or seminar and a minimum of two additional hours of student work each week [100 minutes] for approximately 15 weeks for one semester.
For a one-credit class, the minimum weekly instruction time would be 150 minutes. Over a 15-week semester the one-credit class would have a minimum of 2,250 minutes of instruction [750 minutes of classroom or direct faculty instruction and 1,500 minutes of out of class student work].
For a three-credit class, the minimum weekly instruction time would be 450 minutes. Over a 15-week semester the three-credit class equals to a minimum of 6,750 minutes of instruction [2,250 of classroom or direct faculty instruction and 4,500 minutes of additional student work].
For directed readings, independent study, internships/co-ops, field, and practica classes: At least an equivalent amount of work as required in the preceding section for academic activities as established by the institution, including:
- Directed readings and independent studies: a minimum of one class hours of direct instruction and/or individual work each week for a three-credit class
- Internships/co-ops, field and practica: at least 45 hours of supervised work each semester for a one-hour class
- Laboratory classes: a minimum of three hours of instruction and/or individual work each week for a one-credit class
- For self-contained laboratory classes (all classwork occurs in a laboratory), a minimum of three hours of laboratory work each week for a one-credit class
- For non-self-contained laboratory classes (which require outside preparation by students), a minimum of three hours of laboratory work each week for a one credit class
For hybrid/online classes: The class requires an equivalent amount of instruction and student work as required in face-to-face classes. Faculty should refer to their college policies for quality online instruction.
For classes that are offered during a condensed semester, faculty are required to provide an equivalent amount of direct instruction delivered over an abbreviated period of time. In these short sessions, the student continues to receive credits for the course type using the standard definitions provided above. The adjustment occurs since students meet more often or for longer periods of time.
Approved by UCDC on December 15, 2016 Last amended by UCDC on November 15, 2018
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