As it so often does, the Chronicle had a very interesting story that got me thinking about changes in Higher Education. The Credit Hour is so ubiquitous for most of us that we can’t really imagine using any other kind of measurement for tracking college credit. Personally, I don’t think the Carnegie Unit and the Credit Hour are as flawed as some do, but I do think it may be time for a serious examination of how we truly measure and assess student learning and faculty interaction.
Western Governors University is used as an example. Competency-bases learning is an idea that many institutions reject; but do we need to be giving this more consideration? After all, are three credit hours given to every student at the end of a term really indicative of true learning? Perhaps the student population really makes a difference — I work mainly with working adults, a group who can vary greatly in the backgrounds and experience that they bring to the classroom.
At any rate, any change to the Credit Hour would be a massive undertaking and require changes in all area of higher education. But higher education is changing rapidly, so this is not an issue we should ignore.
Here it the Chronicle article: