Graduate Credit Hour Policy
UPR graduate courses are typically 3 credit hours each. Credit calculations for these courses follow our realistic research into the student learning process. This has been refined by asking students how long they take listening to course lectures and by ensuring they spend adequate time with their forum discussions, readings and assignments.
As per CCHE recommendations, for every hour of credit, students must engage in 10 hours of academic engagement and 20 hours of preparation.
a. Instructional time includes asynchronous or synchronous learning where students are gaining new information and/or interacting with the instructor. Instructional time may include but is not limited to
i. Posted modules or lessons written or procured by the instructor
ii. Required additional website documents
iii. Chat room, bulleting board or email discussions with the instructor and/or other students
iv. Completing an interactive tutorial or computer-assisted instruction
v. Other activities that include instructor interaction and involvement
UPR courses contain instructional materials which are primarily in an audio format. Each week, the student must listen to an audio lecture for any course. These audio lectures, of one hour duration each, are dense in nature due to the unavailability of real time teacher-student interaction, and on an average, students listen to these 2-3 times before they absorb the content. Based on our student and alumni surveys we have found that listening to course lectures counts for at least 2 hours per week. Each week, students also complete a password protected interactive tutorial, which counts for an average of 48 minutes per week. Students also participate in 2 mandatory one hour teleconferences during the quarter, which average to 12 minutes per week. This gives a total of 3 hours of academic engagement per week, as required by DEAC C.23, Policy on Credit Hours.
b. In addition, preparation activities outside of academic engagement time are included in the syllabus. The number of hours spent outside of academic engagement time can be difficult to determine based on learning styles, abilities, rates of retention, subject matter of the course, and so forth. A general guideline is that students should expect to spend double the amount of instructional time in activities and assignments. Examples of activities include
i. Writing papers
ii. Reading articles or text
iii. Small group work
iv. Visiting other websites
vi. Completing assignments from the textbook
vii. Other activities that do not include direct instructor interaction and involvement
viii. New Hybrid Course
UPR courses specify required and recommended readings to supplement each weekly lecture. On an average, such reading material includes introductory texts averaging 30 pages per week, which takes an average of 1 hour to read; and more advanced texts averaging 25 pages per week, which takes an average of 1 hour to read. Students read responses, prepare and write forum postings for approximately 1 hour per week. Courses typically have a research paper component, which requires writing 3000-5000 word essays or 15-20 pages double spaced. Preparation and writing time combined of approximately 1 hour per page, results in a prorated 2 hour per week. Study time for quizzes and exams takes about 1 hour per hour per week. This adds up to 6 hours of preparation time weekly, as required by DEAC C.213, Policy on Credit Hours.
The total number of hours per week, inclusive of academic engagement and preparation amounts to 90 hours for a 10 week quarter course carrying 3 credit hours.