Newlane Clock/Credit Hour Policy

Newlane Clock/Credit Hour Policy

Newlane University espouses a credit hour competency-based education approach. 

Newlane uses the “semester credit hour” unit of academic measurement, defined as follows: “Academic degree or academic credit-bearing distance education courses are measured by the learning outcomes normally achieved through 45 hours of student work for one semester credit.” as the reference for our credit hour equivalencies. While Newlane works with this definition in developing courses, and in documenting the semester credit hours for Newlane courses, the University’s philosophical approach to college credit is that credit should denote mastery over a set of learning objectives suitable for a college-level course, independent of instructional or student work time. In many ways, this approach is closer to the actual experience of many college students today–in both competency-based and time-based programs, it facilitates more rigorous attention to course outcomes, and it provides more flexibility in course design and assessment. 

Nevertheless, despite Newlane’s commitment to a competency-based learning approach, Newlane courses are designed to require academic rigor and effort that requires time equivalent to traditional time-based courses. For the purposes of assigning semester credit hours, Newlane course developers assume only that the student has met the criteria to enroll in a degree program, and that they have completed any prerequisite courses for a given course. These criteria accommodate different levels for courses (e.g., introductory, intermediate, and advanced) and degrees (Associate and Bachelor’s). In determining and assigning semester credit hours, outside of these criteria, Newlane course developers assume the student is unfamiliar with the course content. 

Newlane course developers use the following estimates for time for academic tasks (Newlane organizes the tasks into four categories: Engagement–engaging in activities related to mastering the course goals or objectives; Preparation–conducting research, studying for assessments, etc.; Presentation–work related to producing a course project or a mini-course project exercise; Assessment–participating in assessment activities):

Academic reading Engagement20 pages per hour
Academic video viewing  EngagementTime per video
Academic other mediaEngagementVariable
Academic writingPresentation1 hour per page
Academic presenting (slides)Presentation1 hour per slide
Academic presenting (video) Presentation1 hour per 30 second video
Conducting research for writing or other presentationsPreparation2 hours per written page/presentation slide/30 seconds of video
Studying for assessmentsPreparation20 min per objective
Self-assessment Assessment30 min
Mid-Course hearingAssessment30 min
Course exam Assessment30 min
Course hearingAssessment30 min

Courses are the smallest unit for which students can earn credit. To justify the credit hour estimation for a given course when developing a course, and where possible, Newlane course developers first align the course with a comparable course, including aligning to the number of semester credit hours. Newlane course developers also use the times noted above allotted for different types of academic tasks to arrive at a total number of hours for a course (including instructional and student work). Newlane also references feedback from students in End of Course Evaluations to get an informal estimate of the time students spend on academic activities related to the course to inform semester credit hour estimates.