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HE Credit Practice in the UK . The Implications for the Standards of Awards. Paul H Bridges UK Credit Forum. Definition of credit. Credit is a formal quantified recognition of learning achievement awarded to learners. The roles of credit.

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Paul h bridges uk credit forum

HE Credit Practice in the UK

The Implications for

the Standards of Awards

Paul H Bridges

UK Credit Forum


Definition of credit

Credit is a formal quantified recognition of learning achievement awarded to learners

The roles of credit

The formal recognition of learning achieved in various settings

Recording progress towards qualifications

Enabling transfer between programmes and between institutions


The role of credit in defining academic standards

WHAT HAS BEEN LEARNT?

HOW MUCH HAS BEEN LEARNT?

HOW DEEP IS THE LEARNING?

Academic context

The amount of learning

Intellectual demand and depth of learning

AcademicStandard

The curriculum

The number of credits

The credit level


A Survey of HE Credit Practice in the UK

Previous surveys in 1998, 1999 and 2004; but 2012 was the first UK wide survey

  Is there, in effect, a single credit system in operation in the UK

  Have institutions adopted common labels for levels and common level descriptors?

Have institutions adopted common credit requirements for major awards?

  Are there significant differences in credit practice which have implications for students?


Research method and response

Questionnaire was designed with help and advice of members of the credit consortia

  Some continuity with previous surveys and also new questions

  Separate versions for England&NI, Wales and Scotland to reflect national frameworks?

Questionnaire placed online

  Total 65 responses; 53 England & NI; 5 Wales and 7 Scotland; one-third pre-1992 universities


How do you label the credit levels?

England and Northern Ireland






Condonement and compensation



Credit issues

Is it acceptable to condone module failure and award credit in respect of the condoned module?

Is it acceptable to compensate module failure and award credit in respect of the compensated module

Is it acceptable to set aside or discount weaker modules performances in calculating the class of honours achieved by a candidate


Credit issues

Is it acceptable to allow credit which as already been used to award a major qualification to be re-used towards another?

Should there be a framework or convention for minor HE awards?

What is the best way to determine the shelf-life of credits?


Condonement and compensation

Condonement

The marginal fail is not a significant shortcoming so the fail performance has been condoned and you may pass

Compensation

The marginal fail is not a significant shortcoming so the fail performance has been compensated by your positive performance elsewhere and you may pass


Credit value of condonement permitted

Level 4

Level 5

Number of institutions

credits

Levels 4, 5 and 6

Level 6


Credit value of compensation permitted

Level 4

Level 5

Number of institutions

credits

Level 6

Levels 4, 5 and 6


Should credit be awarded?

Condoned failure

The marginal fail has been forgiven and a retake is not required but there is no evidential basis for the award of credit

Compensated failure

The marginal fail has been compensated by a positive performance elsewhere. This formal recognition of achievement may be used as the basis for the award of credit.


How much of a weak performance may be discounted?

Level 5

Level 6

Number of institutions

credits

Unspecified levels

The total permitted



The use and abuse of credit

Credit is awarded in respect of achievement but if the same credit is used repeatedly for major awards, this is a form of abuse

Everyone accepts that there are situations where the credit may count towards an minor award and then may be used for major award

So how do we frame rules to permit the acceptable and stop the unacceptable?


A proposed way forward

Credit achieved may be used for any award in any family for which it is deemed acceptable

Credit from a certificated award may contribute to higher and larger awards in same family

Credit from a certificated award may not contribute to an equivalent or lower award

Once the highest award in a family has been certificated, the constituent credit has been spent. It is not re-usable for any award.


Minor awards

The terms certificate and diploma are used inconsistently

  • Differentiate between awards at different levels

  • Differentiate between awards of different sizes at the same level

    Certificate awards range from 20 to 120 credits

    Diploma awards range from 40 to 180 credits.

    Also variation in the use of foundation.

  • the term for awards at level 3

  • The term for awards at level 4

  • One institution offers preparatory awards at level 3

  • Advanced is applied to awards from level 4 to level 6

  • Half of institutions prefix small awards with the word University



Risks to academic standards

Condoning or compensating large amounts of module failure

Discounting or excluding numerous weaker module performances from the calculation of the honours classification

Permitting students to re-use credit which has already been used for a certificated major award such as an honours degree