Determining Credit Hours

I'm in the process of redesigning 260+ corporate eLearning courses and I need to re-evaluate the amount of credit a student receives for completing a course. In the past, my predecessors have used the "That course has 15 slides so we'll award 1 hour of credit and since this course has 45 slides we'll award 15 minutes credit" method for determining credit. It's completely random and driving me crazy!

What I'm asking here is this, is there any standard in the eLearning community for determining how many credits a course should be worth? How do all of you make this determination?



5 Replies
James Brown

If the course does not follow ISTE standards or is presented by a non accredited college, it's basically worth 0 credit hours. When I was attending Boise State a 3 credit online course ran 16 weeks with approx. 20 hours of course work per week. As you can see 15 slides would probably equal .001 of a semester hour. If the corporation is setting their own hours, you could set them based on the corporate credit hour suggestion. Good luck.

Sheila Bulthuis

Keith, are you saying that in your organization "credit" = "seat time"?  I know that's how a lot of corporate training departments do it.  One way to estimate this is when you're beta testing the course, see how long it takes people to complete it.  Or, if that's not possible, see if you can just get one or two people to take it and time themselves.  Of course, with 260+ courses even that may be difficult....  so worst case, if the courses have audio, you can start with how long the course is in terms of audio, and then add appropriately for screen with interactions/activities/etc.

My two cents, for what it's worth.   

Sara Hargrave

Listed below are a couple of references I found on the Internet. Our agency uses the 2:1 ratio.

·         Seat time is the time spent by the learner in a learning environment. For many types of content, elearning clearly offers an advantage. The research generally shows that there is at least a 50% reduction in seat time when a course is converted from classroom learning to elearning. Brandon Hall reports it is a 2:1 ratio. Updated June 23, 2010 [online] available

·         Eric R. Parks, Ph.D. President/CEO ASK International, Inc. COO,, Inc.

One of the most challenging aspects of web-based training design is projecting how much time and money it costs to create custom web-based training. Companies have used a variety of approaches. One technique uses performance objective count. In this case every 5-7 performance objectives equals one hour of online learning. Another company uses an ILT conversion rule of thumb i.e. when converting instructor led training to the web every 2 hours of instructor led training translates into approximately one hour of online training or a 50% user seat time reduction.  [online] available