Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Policies-8

14-1 Policy on Course Schedule Types, Credit Hours and Delivery Modes

1.0  Purpose

1.1         The University offers many different types of courses that are designated on the course schedule for each term. To promote consistent designations, this Policy defines each type of course appearing on the schedule.     

1.2          Courses are allocated one or more credit hours.  Credit hours are used to determine a student’s progress towards his or her degree or certificate or for other academic or operational purposes.  To ensure consistent credit hour allocations, this Policy establishes the standard for awarding a credit for each schedule type.  Each standard meets the minimum requirements established by the Board of Governors:  “A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that reasonably approximates not less than: (1) one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or (2) at least an equivalent amount of work for other activities, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading toward to the award of credit hours” (WSU Code Annotated 2.43.04).   

    1.3    Courses use a variety of modes of delivery, which are designated on the course schedule.  To promote consistent designations, this Policy defines each course delivery mode.

2.0  Course Schedule Type and Credit Hour

2.1         Definitions

         Schedule Type-The schedule type is determined by the dominant instructional format or method employed in a course.

  Hour-Except when used in the phrase “credit hour”, the term “hour” refers to a 50 to 60 minute period of time.
 

2.2         This section defines each course schedule type, assigns a three-letter symbol to it and specifies the amount of student work required for one credit hour, including required contact hours, which are indicated according to instructional method. 

2.2.1 Clinical (CLN)

Clinical experiences are a part of the program that allows for observation, participation, studies of individual  pupils or clients, individual field work, and practicums both on and off campus. Credit for clinical experiences in programs is determined in accordance with recommendations of specific accrediting bodies or applicable state regulations.  For a clinical schedule type, one credit hour shall be assigned for each three hours of clinical experience per week for a total of 45 hours per 15-week term.

2.2.2 Discussion (DSC)

Two-way communication between instructor and students typically related to the lecture and/or assignments. Discussion sections must be attached to a lecture or other type of course. For a required discussion section, one credit hour shall be assigned for each one hour meeting plus two hours of out of class work per week for a total of 45 hours per 15-week term.

2.2.3 Individual (IND)

Individual study with consultation and guidance from instructor.  An individual study is freestanding and not linked with any other course schedule type.  An individual study will not have meeting times in the class schedule. The meeting times for all individual study courses will be listed as “arranged.” Courses related to writing dissertations, theses, or senior/master’s essays should be listed as individual studies. Private applied music lessons with the MUP subject area code should also be classified as IND. For an individual study, one credit hour shall be assigned for three hours of student work per week for a total of 45 hours per 15-week term.

2.2.4  Laboratory (LAB)

Instructor supervises creative or investigational work by students (individually or as a group) in a controlled environment requiring specialized equipment and/or facilities. The primary emphasis is on learning by doing and observing. Labs give students first-hand experience in developing and practicing skills, translating theory into practice, and developing, testing, and applying principles. Labs are most often associated with lectures, but also may be freestanding. For a laboratory, one credit hour shall be assigned for an amount of lab time plus out-of-lab time equaling three hours per week for a total of 45 hours per 15-week term.  

2.2.5  Lecture (LCT)

A lecture is primarily one-way communication of prepared content from instructor to students. This is the most common class type in undergraduate education and may be combined with a discussion section and/or lab. For a lecture schedule type, one credit hour shall be assigned for each hour of lecture plus two hours of out-of-class work per week, for a total of 45 hours per 15-week term.  

2.2.6 Combined Lecture/Discussion (LD)

Lecture-Discussion courses combine two types of courses into one for scheduling purposes.  The lecture portion is primarily one-way communication of prepared content from instructor to students. The discussion portion is two-way communication between instructor and students typically related to the lecture and/or assignments.   For a lecture-discussion, one credit hour is assigned for one hour of meeting time per week, whether lecture or discussion, plus two hours of out of class work per week, for a total of 45 hours per 15-week term.

2.2.7  Combined Lecture/Lab (LL)

Lecture-Lab courses combine two types of courses into one for scheduling purposes.  The lecture portion is primarily one-way communication of prepared content from instructor to students. The lab portion then utilizes the knowledge obtained within the lecture in the laboratory setting. For the lecture portion of the course, one credit hour is assigned for an amount of lecture and out-of-class time equaling three hours per week for a total of 45 hours per 15-week term.  For the lab portion of the course, one credit hour is assigned for an amount of lab and out-of-lab time equaling three hours per week for a total of 45 hours per 15-week term.

2.2.8  Seminar (SMR)

Students prepare materials and lead discussion under the instructor's guidance. Typical differences from lectures include smaller class enrollment (usually fewer than 20 students), lively discussions, and less time devoted to instructor’s presentation of material. Seminars are usually for a small group of students in advanced status within their programs, graduate and professional students, or those participating in special programs such as Honors or learning communities.  One credit hour shall be assigned for one hour of seminar and two additional hours of work outside of the classroom (reading, writing, problem assignments, etc.) per week for a total of 45 hours per 15-week term.

2.2.9  Fine Arts Studio (FAS)

A fine arts studio is a course with primary emphasis on student activity leading to skill development and the enhancement and encouragement of the student’s design skills, ability, and/or artistic growth. Needed materials, equipment, and/or tools are provided, or recommendations are made for their acquisition. Evaluation of individual learning may include public display of proficiency and/or evaluation by faculty other than the student’s instructor. The FAS designation is limited to courses offered with subject area codes in the Department of Art and Art History and meets standards set by the constituent members of the National Office for Arts Accreditation.  One credit hour shall be assigned for two hours of studio plus one hour of work outside of the studio per week for a total of 45 hours per 15-week semester.

2.2.10 Performing Arts Studio (PAS)

A performing arts studio is a course with primary emphasis on student group activity leading to skill development and the enhancement and encouragement of the student’s performance ability and artistic growth through intensive rehearsal and public performance. Needed materials, instruments, and/or equipment are provided, or recommendations are made for their acquisition. Evaluation of individual learning includes public performance and/or evaluation by faculty other than the student’s instructor.  The PAS designation is limited to courses offered with COM, DNC, MUA, or THR subject area codes and meets standards set by the constituent members of the National Office for Arts Accreditation.  One credit hour is assigned for three to five rehearsal hours per week for at least 45 hours per 15-week semester.   

2.2.11 Internship (INT)

An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent. Internships can be paid or unpaid.  One credit hour shall be assigned for three hours of internship experience per week for a total of 45 hours for a 15-week semester.

2.2.12 Honors (HON)

The Honors designation indicates an additional credit hour that is being awarded for upper-level undergraduate courses (2000 level or above), approval must be granted by the instructor of record, the department offering the course and the Honors College. Honors students receive one additional credit hour for extra work as agreed upon by the instructor and the student.

 2.2.13 Other (OTH)

          An “other” designation indicates a course that is approved to award fewer credit hours than are otherwise authorized by this Policy.  No course may be assigned a credit hour that represents less than the amount of student work required by this Policy for a single credit hour. Under certain circumstances, however, a course may be assigned fewer credit hours than would be otherwise authorized under this Policy. Such reduced credit hours must conform to commonly accepted practice in higher education as determined by the Office of the Provost based upon adequate documentation supplied by the requesting unit. Commonly accepted practice includes the practice at institutions on Wayne State University’s approved peer list, which must be documented by the requesting unit.  

      2.3   Short/partial term courses

Partial-term courses, spring and summer session courses, and other courses offered over a different period of time than the standard 15-week semester will require the same amount of classroom and out of class work per credit hour as required of semester-long courses with that work distributed over the shorter period of time.

2.4        Workshops

Credit bearing courses offered for special populations by special arrangement will meet regular academic credit hour standards.

  2.5      Extension centers

          All definitions and standards apply equally to courses offered both on and off campus.  

3.0  Course Delivery Modes

3.1   Credit hour allocations will be based upon course schedule type regardless of the course delivery mode,
       including delivery of content and faculty-student interaction through one or more forms of distance education.
3.2   The following terminology describes the course delivery modes. Course delivery modes are published in the
        Schedule of Classes and may not be altered after the beginning of registration.

3.2.1  Traditional (TR)

Courses where instructors interact with students in the same physical space for 100% of the instructional time. Many WSU courses utilize online learning management systems such as Blackboard; therefore, traditional courses might also include some online elements such as viewing documents, participating in discussions, and submitting assignments.

3.2.2   Hybrid (HYB)

Courses where instructors interact with students in the same physical space less than 100% of the instructional time with the remainder of the instructional time provided through distance education.

3.2.3  Online (WEB)

Courses where instructors interact with students 100% through one or more forms of distance delivery. No portion of an online course will require student-instructor interaction in the same physical space.

4.0  Duration

4.1        This university policy is revocable by the president at any time and without notice.

5.0  Effective Date

5.1    This university policy is effective upon issuance.

 
Signed by President M. Roy Wilson May 22, 2014