Saturday, February 14, 2015

Needed: A Better Measure of College Learning Than "Seat Time" - Stuart M. Butler, Brookings Institution

Two years ago the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching announced that it was going to “rethink” the credit hour as the benchmark for learning in higher education and other levels of schooling. So it was disappointing last week when Carnegie’s long-awaited report on its rethink finally came out. The Foundation agreed with most of the criticisms of the credit hour, calling it “a crude proxy” for learning. Other problems recognized in the report are that tying federal aid to credit hours undertaken is an inefficient way to link financial support with student progress. Moreover, with the growth of online learning, which allows students to learn at their own pace, seat time is not a meaningful measure of progress.

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