The tried-and-true credit hour is so entrenched in higher education, it’s hard to imagine a system that doesn’t measure students’ academic progress in units of classroom time. Generally speaking, if a student reaches 120 hours, he or she will be walking across the stage to claim a bachelor’s degree.
But the conversation around learning outcomes is changing, in part because of new technology-supported capabilities. Educators are asking if there are better ways to assess students’ attainment of pedagogical objectives. The New Media Consortium’s “Horizon Report: 2017 Higher Education Edition” predicts that in the next three to five years, this question — How should we measure the success of the educational mission? — will become pressing.