Butts in seats

An article by two academics, Moving Past Time as the Criteria: The Application of Capabilities-Based Educational Equivalency Units in Education, suggests that the "Carnegie unit," which equates college credits with hours spent in class with a qualified instructor is hopelessly out of date.

I couldn't agree more.

The Carnegie Foundation for Advancement in Teaching defined a college unit as 750 classroom hours back in 1909, long before the advent of the Internet, the computer, television, tape recorders, or the ballpoint pen. It's no surprise that simulations, distance learning, and online collaboration count for naught in the Carnegie scheme.

The researchers propose the Capabilities-Based Educational Equivalency (CBEE) unit as a replacement. The say the CBEE "offers an approach that is not time-dependent but is responsive to emerging technologies, supportive of systematic instructional design, and focused on the achievement of learners."


    CBEE units are supposedly based on educational outcome instead of duration. Looking for a way to make CBEE units consistent across courses and institutions, the researchers bring in Gagne's taxonomy of human capabilities.

    For each course, CBEE units are determined from Course Objectives (Given appropriate resources, learners will be able to…). Type of Objective (Gagne type) and Instructional method (text, online reading, async chat, etc.)

Colleges face a huge problem. They have no way to recognize what students learn outside of class.

I don't think these authors have the answer. Outcomes are outcomes. How one reaches them or how Gagne would pigeonhole them is irrelevant.

On a practical level, implementing competency-based education would probably involve more voodoo than what colleges are saddled with now. If a student learns three times as much in a Princeton course as in a Podunk U. course, does she receive three times as many credits? If not, why not?

I've assessed experiential learning for college credit in university assessment centers; it's the intellectual equivalent of touring the sausage factory.

I won't say where, but I've also developed lists of competencies for accredited off-campus degree programs. Most of the time, we developed the course before writing the competencies. This is like Charlie Brown painting the target around the arrow he has shot into the wall.

And what would happen if to courses that rate no CBEE units? A story in the August 14, 2002, New York Times reported "One day in 1931, Hamilton Holt, president of Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., startled his colleagues at an academic conference when he declared that Yale and Columbia, which he had attended in his youth, 'taught me virtually nothing.' The reason, Mr. Holt explained, was that the lectures delivered by his teachers, as with those delivered by professors almost everywhere, were examples of 'probably the worst scheme ever devised for imparting knowledge.'"

Your comments on my perspective are welcome.


Posted by Jay Cross at October 23, 2002 11:23 AM | TrackBack
Comments

30 Poppy Lane
Berkeley, California 94708

1.510.528.3105 (office & cell)



Subscribe to this Blog

Enter your email address to subscribe. We vow never to share your information with anyone. No Spam.

Subscribe Unsubscribe

Reference Pages

Articles
Blogs
Building Community
CSS, Semantic Mark-Up, and codes
Design
First Principles
Glossary
How People Learn
Knowledge Management
Learning Links
Learning Standards
Making It Work (Implementing)
Metrics & ROI
Presentations
Psychology
Social Software
String theory
The eLearning Museum
Time
Visual Learning


Search


Our Infrequent Newsletter
Sign up for our sporadic newsletter.
Email:


Entries by category...

Blogging
Books
Collaboration
Customer care
Design
Emergent Learning
handbook
Jokes
Just Jay
Learning
Meta
Networking
Outbound
Recycled from Blogger
Ref
store
The Industry
Time
Visual
Workflow-based eLearning


Blogroll


Internet Time Group



© 2004 Internet Time Group



Click for Berkeley, California Forecast
Berkeley, California


Recent entries

New Blog
Blogger Experience, Housekeeping, Something New
Loosely Coupled
Above all
Demographics is destiny
Are you setting the bar high enough?
Virtual Apps
Aerobic Learning
Work as Video Game
Oracle and Macromedia, Sitting in a Tree
The Blogosphere
ASTD Silicon Valley
Performance Support
Kingsbridge Conference Center
First Post by Email
Transition
Inactive Blog
RSS Feed for New Site
Comment Spam
Testing ... testing ... 1...2..3
IT Doesn't Matter - Learning Does.
All blogging is political
Mutlimedia Learning
Damn, damn, double damn
Nonverbal impact?
The New Religion
Shhhhh.....
Wolf! Wolf! Wolf! Wolf! Wolf! Wolf!
Business Process Management (2)
Really Big
Business Process Management Conference
WorkFLOW
Don't Lose a Common Sense: LISTEN
It's only natural
Gmail!
Go with the flow
Time Out for the Fair
Informal get-together in SF this Wednesday
Repetition, reverb, and echoes
Who Knows?
Ur-blogging
Cognitive Mapping
Push vs pull
The Big Picture on ROI
Art Break
TDF Finale
New Community of Practice Forming
Dropouts
More TDF04
Training Directors Forum 2004
A Rare One-Liner
PlaNetwork LIVE 2
PlaNetwork LIVE
ASTD 2004 Leftovers
Googlism
Worker Effectiveness Improvement, not KM
Upcoming Events
eLearning Effectiveness?
Jay's Talk at ASTD
Mintzberg & Cooperider
Lest ye forget
ASTD International Conference & Exposition 2004
Knowledge Tips
What is Workflow Learning?
ASTD msg 1 of n
Look out, it's Outlook
Collaboration at ASTD Next Week
Tell me a story
User indifference
Interdependence
The shortest presentation on metrics you will ever hear
Back to Blogger
Windows fixes
The Alchemy of Growth
Grab bag
Very loosely coupled
E-Learning from Practice to Profit
Robin Good kicks off Competitive Edge
China Bloggers
Sonoma Dreaming
Upcoming Events
Emergent Learning Forum: Simulations
'Lanta
The Best Things in Life Are Free
Metrics and Web Services
OpEd: ROI vs. Metrics
e-Merging e-Learning
Loosely Coupled
Search me
Exercise?