All VCSU classes must document compliance with credit hour requirements as based on the Carnegie Unit, wherein students are expected to perform two hours of work outside of class for each ‘in class’ hour, for a total of three hours a week for each credit. Essentially, that means documenting at least 15 hours of “guided instruction”—the ‘in class’ time—and 30 hours of other coursework per credit in a semester (a two credit-class would need 30 hours in and 60 out, a three-credit class 45 hours in and 90 out, etc.). Since the Department of Education defines an hour as 50 minutes in all instances, a typical one-credit class would involve 750 minutes of guided instruction in a semester, and 1500 minutes of other coursework. In a typical classes like activity courses (for example, a lab class, or music ensemble) the number of hours/minutes per credit may increase.
All syllabi will conform to current VCSU standards regarding syllabus checklists and/or any other relevant VCSU policies and procedures. In addition, each syllabus must include a statement of estimated time expectations for coursework in accordance with this policy, and with the aides provided herein, to document the total number of hours spent in any particular class.
In terms of determining the time requirements of online classes, guided instruction could be compared to class time in a face-to-face class—anything that students would do ‘in class’ would count as guided instruction and should constitute 1/3rd of the coursework. Additional hours for that coursework, along with the hours dedicated to ‘guided instruction,’ will be outlined according to type of assignment/activity, in accordance to class type, and as measured against the DOE definitions above, in a format readily understandable to students.
Sponsor: VCSU Faculty Senate
Initially Approved: March 2015