The credit hour—the basic unit of currency that guides academic progress in higher education—is an inadequate measure of student learning that causes many problems for colleges. That’s the main finding of a new report, “Cracking the Credit Hour,” released on Wednesday by the New America Foundation’s Education Policy Program and Education Sector. It traces the credit hour’s history and suggests how the federal government might better assess student learning. “What’s needed is a new regulatory framework that not just allows but encourages the creation of higher-education programs based on learning instead of time,” the report concludes.
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