Credit Hours and Class Instruction Time

The same amount of material and the same instruction-to-study time ratio is expected from a 3 credit hour course, regardless of session length. Below are the credit hours standards for a regular 14-week term. Credit hour are regulated by the University’s bylaws. Here are the official rules and regulations pertaining to credit hours:

3335-8-24  Credit hours.

(A)  All courses shall be assigned a number of credit hours in accordance with the procedure outlined in rules 3335-8-02 to 3335-8-04 of the Administrative Code. This may be any number from zero on up; however, in determining the credit hours assigned, the department, school, college and council on academic affairs should use as a guide the following suggested standards:

(1)  One credit hour shall be assigned for each three hours per week of the average student's time, including class hours, required to earn the average grade of "C" in this course.

(2)  One credit hour shall be assigned for each two consecutive hours of practical or experimental work per week in any department or school.

(3)  One credit hour shall be assigned for each three hours of laboratory work per week, when no additional outside work is required. When outside work is required, then the standard in paragraph (A)(1) of this rule shall be applied.

(B)  In determining the hours per week required by the course or work, the council on academic affairs may, in appropriate cases, consider the average weekly hours spent during a semester, summer term, or session on the course or work. It should be remembered that the above are guides only and may be deviated from for good cause.

(C)  When comparing or combining semester credit hours with quarter credit hours, one semester credit hour shall be the equivalent of one and one-half quarter credit hours.

(Board approval dates: 7/9/2004, 6/22/2012)

As stated above, credits work on a 1 to 3 ratio. Every 1 credit hour assigned to the class equates to total of 3 hours of work per week for a “C” grade (1 hour of instruction and 2 additional study hours per week). Therefore a 3 credit hour course (which most WGSS courses are) during a 14-week term should have 3 hours of instruction and 6 hours of homework/study time per week, for a total of 9 hours per course per week, for the student to earn a C grade.

ASC honors provides further instruction to homework time ratio (https://aschonors.osu.edu/preorient/scheduling):

Study Time and Hours in Class for a Grade of "C"

Class 1 - 1 credit, 1 hour in class (1 x 2 = 2 hours of study)

Class 2 - 4 credits, 4 hours in class (4 x 2 = 8 hours of study)

Class 3 - 3 credits, 3 hours in class (3 x 2 = 6 hours of study)

Class 3 - 3 credits, 3 hours in class (3 x 2 = 6 hours of study)

Class 3 - 3 credits, 3 hours in class (3 x 2 = 6 hours of study)

Total: 14 credits, 14 hours in class (28 hours of study) per week

Summer Sessions

All summer sessions (4-week, 6-week, 8-week, and 12-week terms) are held to the same credit hour standards of a regular 14-week term. According to the credit hour formula, each 3 credit hour course requires 126 hours of dedicated time per term. Here’s how those hours break down for 3 credit hour courses during summer term:

Study Time and Hours in Class for a Grade of “C” during Summer Sessions

4-Week Sessions – 3 credits, 10.5 hours in class, 21 hours of study (31.5 total hours per week)

6-Week Sessions – 3 credits, 7 hours in class, 14 hours of study (21 total hours per week)

8-Week Sessions – 3 credits, 5.25 hours in class, 10.5 hours of study (15.75 total hours per week)

12-Week Session – 3 credits, 3.5 hours in class, 7 hours of study (10.5 total hours per week)

It’s important to keep these regulations in mind as you go about structuring your courses and syllabi. Online instructors who don’t have regular class meetings to help enforce the mandated hours of instruction should pay careful attention to their course structure to ensure the correct number of hours per week are met.

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