Establishing Credit Value for JIBC Courses

Procedure Number
Policy Number
VP Academic
Program Council
Effective Date
March 15, 2005
March 05, 2015
Procedure Statement


Translating learning outcomes into teaching hours and then credit hours is a difficult exercise for all institutions.  For some, a very rigid method to establish credit is applied and for others it may be quite arbitrary.  Recent research suggests that the link between credit value and hours in class is, by and large, a fairly inconsistent practice across the country.  Within the post-secondary sector there are conversations that are beginning to investigate new ways of understanding learning and how this might translate to degrees and credits granted by institutions, but for the immediate, hours to credits is the working model. 

Harmonizing credit is and has been a complicated one for JIBC due mainly to the historical independence of program areas and the nature of the courses.  For a number of years JIBC has been working to standardize the way that they translate learning outcomes into credit hours and have adopted a model where 14 teaching hours is equal to one credit.  For many of the programs this model works well but recently some questions were raised as to how it may apply to professional training, experiential learning, blended learning and practicum settings.  Applying the current standardized model to all types of course delivery has resulted in some courses receiving a significant number of credits that seem to be over and above both the provincial and institute norms. 


Establishing credit for courses is the responsibility of each program area but the credit established must follow the procedure developed and approved by Program Council.   Each course and the established credit value must be endorsed by each school curriculum committee.  The Curriculum Committee of Program Council will be responsible to ensure that the credit value model is consistently applied throughout all schools but ultimately Program Council has authority over changes, modifications and revisions of the model. 

Technical Basis for the Model

JIBC courses assign credit hours based on hours of instructional contact; however treating all forms of delivery the same resulted in inconsistency and a wide span of credits for some courses.  Including large numbers of lab or practical hours has resulted in large credit values and thus exemplified a number of areas needing consideration:

1. The difference in instructional hours for different delivery methods: In order to equalize the difference between different instructional methods a weighting value was developed.  The weighting value is as follows:

Instruction Method


Weighting Value

Direct Instruction

The purpose of this type of learning is on the acquisition of new knowledge, skills and attitudes in a structured learning environment A variety of instructional techniques may be used in direct instruction (eg: lecture, seminars, group discussions, independent study, demonstrations, new skills instruction, role plays, etc.)


1 hour = 1 credit

Supervised Practice

The purpose of this type of learning focuses on the practice of newly acquired knowledge, skills and attitudes in a structured environment with equipment, and with faculty oversight for guidance.  Activities that would fit under this area are Gun Range sessions and simulations


1 hour = .5 credit

Practice Education, Field Placement, Internship or Co-op

This type of learning focuses on the application of skills, knowledge and attitude in the field environment.



1 hour = .33 credit

Please note:  these three approaches may be combined to determine total factored course hours used in the composition of credits for a single course.

2. Length of the term Not all courses are the same number of weeks so using the number of hours per week would not be equivalent, thus all courses need to be normed over a 14 week period.  While some courses may be delivered over different time frames the approved total student contact hours and number of weeks are the basis from which to begin to apply the formula.  To ensure that the calculation of credit hours under this model takes account of this variation of delivery timeframes instructional hours per week are ‘factored’ using the weighing value that is applicable and the number of weeks in a typical semester or the training period used by the course or program.  The factored instructional hours are based on the number of hours per week normed over a 14 week semester. This allows for comparing ‘apples to apples’.

 3. Rounding Values:  Using this model will result in calculations that include exact values of one-tenth or one-half.  In order to apply the model consistently the value should always be rounded in the traditional way with no credit course receiving less than .5 credit. Values should be rounded in such a way as to allow for increments of 0.5 credits to be applied to a course, with the maximum course value being 10 credits.

 4. Credit Swings: The impact of this change could be a dramatic swing in credits awarded for some programs, either up or down, which would be unintended and undesirable. For this reason, the banding scale below is recommended.   

Factored instructional hours


Academic Credit

0.1     - 0.5 hours



0.6 - 1.0 hour



1.1 - 1.5 hours



1.6 – 2.0 hours



2.1 – 3 hours



3.1 -4 hours



4.1 -5  hours



5.1  – 6.0 hours



6.1 – 7.0 hours



7.1  – 8.0 hours



8.1 – 9.0 hours



9.1 -10.0 or greater hours




Proposed Calculation Worksheet

Instructional method



Credit hour factor

Total factored hours


#wks/14 weeks


Factored instructional hours

Total academic credit as per the band*

Direct Instruction










Supervised practice










Practice Education, Field Placement, Internship or Co-op










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