Give credit for learning, not time

Give credit for learning, not seat time, argues a new report. As more students learn online at their own pace, the credit hour’s day is ending.

About Joanne

Comments

  1. Besides, it’s not like seat time is actually measuring time spent in a seat with some students. Skipping classes for whatever reason is pretty common in college.

  2. (Joanne): “Give credit for learning, not seat time, argues a new report. As more students learn online at their own pace, the credit hour’s day is ending.

    One can hope, anyway. College faculty are organized, articulate, well-paid, and have a lot of free time. This gives them both the power and incentive to defend their interests in legislative committee hearings and in electoral politics. Legislators fear professors more than they fear unorganized taxpayers.Of the possible routes to reform of the K-PhD education industry, it looks more likely that students and parents will simply abandon high-cost, low-yield schools in favor of on-the-job training and self-directed learning.

    : It’s time to measure learning, not “seat time,” concludes a new report, Cracking the Credit Hour by the New America Foundation. The credit hour is outdated, argues Amy Laitinen.

    I made this argument many times over the last two decades. The human and canine IQ curves overlap. Humans are not standard. Measurement of education in units of time serves the interests of people whom taxpayers compensate by the hour (or month, or semester or year) but not the interests of students, future employers, or taxpayers. The net effect on student motivation is strong and negative. “A year of Algebra II” or “three credit hours of 19th Century American Literature” makes as much sense as “a pound of friendship” or “a square meter of curiosity”.

    Every proposal for reform of the US K-PhD education system raises the question: “Who will bell the cat?”

  3. Well, the concept that seat time == quality education is baloney. I can learn more in a day at a technical conference than I can in a entire semester of classwork (though I also have a lot of technical knowledge and degrees plus 3 decades of work experience backing me).

    I’d agree that the Carnegie Unit for education is probably on it’s last legs and will probably take a hike in the next 10-20 years.

  4. I like Sal Khan’s model of “mastery”: You have to get 10 math problems in a row right to move on to the next unit. Ten in a row means a lot more than 7 out of 10 for a “C”, because those three you missed may have concepts you’ll need in the next unit and you can start to fall behind.