Definition of Instruction Types on Course Catalog File

Iowa State uses Credit Hours (as defined by federal regulations) to represent the amount of work represented in student learning. The student contact time and work expectations outlined below reflect the anticipated minimum amount of student effort required for a typical student to achieve the learning outcomes per credit hour.  However, actual individual student time expends will vary based on skills, abilities, background knowledge, experiences, etc.

For Instruction Types effective through Summer 2020 - click here
Effective beginning Fall 2020:
 Typical minimum Student Effort Per Credit Hour
Instruction TypeFace-to-FaceHybridOnline

Lecture (LEC)

Organized instruction in a lecture (one-way communication) format. May be listed as the sole type of instruction for the course or in combination with laboratory or discussion sessions.

Class time: One class hour  (50 minutes) per week in class for full semester: 800 minutes per credit.

Out of class student expectation: 120 minutes per week, total of 1,920 minutes per credit.                                      
Total minutes of student effort per credit: 2,720 minutes.

A combination of class hours, online instruction and engagement, and outside of class student effort that equals 2,720 minutes per credit.

Student engagement with online instruction, activities, and discussion, with additional student effort outside of these interactions that equals 2,720 minutes per credit.

Discussion (DIS)

Regularly scheduled small group discussion session that is offered in addition to lecture instruction, but is generally scheduled in smaller groups than the lecture. This type of instruction is only offered in combination with lecture and may not be used as the only type of instruction for a course.

Class time: One class hour (50 minutes) per week in class for full semster: 800 minutes per credit. 

Out of class student expectation: 120 minutes per week, total of 1,920 minutes per credit. 

Total minutes of student effort per credit: 2,720 minutes.  

A combination of class hours, online instruction and engagement, and outside of class student effort that equals 2,720 minutes per credit.

Student engagement with online instruction, activities, and discussion, with additional student effort outside of these interactions that equals 2,720 minutes per credit.

Lab (LAB)

Laboratory experiences that require special-purpose equipment for student participation, experimentation, observation or practice in a field of study. May involve discussion of a forthcoming laboratory or review of a completed laboratory session. Includes scheduled laboratory periods as well as laboratory experiences for which times may be selected by individual students.

Class time: Two to three hours (110-240 minutes) per week in class for full semester: 1760-3840 minutes per credit.

Out of class student expectation: 60-120 minutes per week, total of 960-1,920 per credit.

Total minutes of student effort per credit: 2,720- 5,760 minutes.

A combination of contact hours, online instruction and engagement, and outside of class student effort that equals 2,720-5,760 minutes per credit.

Student engagement with online instruction, activities, and discussion, with additional student effort outside of these interactions that equals 5,760 minutes per credit.

Combination (COM) Combination of Lecture, Lab and/or Discussion.

A class meeting time that includes a mixture of Lecture, Lab, and/or Discussion, all of which occur in the same room during the same time period.

Class time: Contact hours fall between the range for lecture/discussion and lab, between 50 and 180 contact minutes per week for full semester: 800-2,880 minutes total per credit.

Out of class time varies based on class contact time.

Total minutes of student effort per credit of 2,720- 4,800 minutes.

A combination of contact hours, online instruction and engagement, and outside of class student effort that equals 2,720-4,800 minutes per credit.

Student engagement with online instruction, activities, and discussion, with additional student effort outside of these interactions that equals 2,720-4,800 minutes per credit.

Studio (STO)

An organized method of instruction with emphasis on the synthesizing nature of the design process and conducted through critique and one-to-one interactions. All students are engaged in creative/artistic activities that are not formulated in a lecture setting. The process requires experiential work where student test, observe, experience and practice the discipline in a hands-on setting.

Class time: Two to three hours (110-180 minutes) per week in class for full semester: 1,760-2,880 minutes per credit.

Out of class student expectation: 60-120 minutes per week, total of 960-1,920 minutes per credit.

Total minutes of student effort per credit: 2,720- 4,800 minutes.

A combination of contact hours, online instruction and engagement, and outside of class student effort that equals 2,720-4,800 minutes per credit.

Student engagement with online instruction, activities, and discussion, with additional student effort outside of these interactions that equals 2,720-4,800 minutes per credit.

Research (RES)

A course that requires independent research on the part of the student. It includes only course numbers ending in "99". Hours spent on course per week may vary from week to week.

Average of 3-5 hrs (180-300 minutes) per week of student effort (including contact time with instructor) for the 15-16 weeks of the semester. This equates to total student effort of 2,700-4,800 minutes per credit.

Average of 3-5 hrs (180-300 minutes) per week of student effort (including contact time with instructor) for the 15-16 weeks of the semester. This equates to total student effort of 2,700-4,800 minutes per credit.

Average of 3-5 hrs (180- 300 minutes) per week of student effort (including contact time with instructor) for the 15-16 weeks of the semester. This equates to total student effort of 2,700-4,800 minutes per credit.

Independent Study (IS)

Independent projects such as special problems or special topics in which the student works more or less individually at various locations, ordinarily requiring intermittent consultation with the professor. Hours spent on course per week may vary from week to week.

Average of 3-5 hrs (180-300 minutes) per week of student effort (including contact time with instructor) for the 15-16 weeks of the semester. This equates to total student effort of 2,700-4,800 minutes per credit.

Average of 3-5 hrs (180-300 minutes) per week of student effort (including contact time with instructor) for the 15-16 weeks of the semester. This equates to total student effort of 2,700-4,800 minutes per credit.

Average of 3-5 hrs (180- 300 minutes) per week of student effort (including contact time with instructor) for the 15-16 weeks of the semester. This equates to total student effort of 2,700-4,800 minutes per credit.

Supervised Experience (EXP)

Supervised experience in an area of specialization that may be conducted either on or off campus with the student making periodic reports to the instructor. Includes practicum, internship, student teaching, and cooperative work experience.

Supervised experiences expectations vary across disciplines and types of experiences. A minimum 40 hours (2,400 minutes) of student effort is expected per credit. However, the range of student effort per credit varies from 40 hours to 80 hours (2,400-4,800 minutes), with the typical experience being 64 hours (2,560 minutes) of effort per credit.

Supervised experiences expectations vary across disciplines and types of experiences. A minimum 40 hours (2,400 minutes) of student effort is expected per credit. However, the range of student effort per credit varies from 40 hours to 80 hours (2,400-4,800 minutes), with the typical experience being 64 hours (2,560 minutes) of effort per credit.

Supervised experiences expectations vary across disciplines and types of experiences. A minimum 40 hours (2,400 minutes) of student effort is expected per credit. However, the range of student effort per credit varies from 40 hours to 80 hours (2,400-4,800 minutes), with the typical experience being 64 hours (2,560 minutes) of effort per credit.

Affiliated Programs (AFF)

 

Within the course offering system, an instruction type of "Affiliated Programs" (AFF) exists. This code is used to capture students who are enrolled in study abroad and/or exchange types of programs at Iowa State University where the students earn credit from a different institution that transfers back to Iowa State. Credit hours, contact time and student expectations are establisthed by the offering institution following the credit hour policies of that institution. Credits tranfer in based on standard transfer credit policies.

Effective through Summer 2020:

Lecture
(LEC)

Organized instruction in a lecture (one-way communication) format. May be listed as the sole type of instruction for the course or in combination with laboratory or discussion sessions. One contact hour per week (800 minutes per semester) per credit.

Recitation (REC)

Organized instruction in a recitation (two-way communication) format. May be listed as the sole type of instruction for the course or in combination with laboratory sessions. Includes workshops and seminars. One contact hour per week (800 minutes per semester) per credit.

Discussion (DIS)

Regularly scheduled discussion session that is offered in addition to lecture instruction, but is generally scheduled in smaller groups than the lecture. This type of instruction is only offered in combination with lecture and may not be used as the only type of instruction for a course. One contact hour per week (800 minutes per semester) per credit.

Laboratory (LAB)

Laboratory experiences that require special-purpose equipment for student participation, experimentation, observation or practice in a field of study. May involve discussion of a forthcoming laboratory or review of a completed laboratory session. Includes scheduled laboratory periods as well as laboratory experiences for which times may be selected by individual students. Two or three contact hours per week (1600 or 2400 minutes per semester) per credit.

Combination (COM)

A class meeting that includes laboratory activities as defined above in addition to lecture or recitation instruction, all of which occur in the same room during the same time period. Use lecture and lab standards to calculate contact time.

Studio
(STO)

An organized method of instruction with emphasis on the synthesizing nature of the design process and conducted through critique and one-to-one interactions. Two to four contact hours per week (1600 to 3200 minutes per semester) per credit.

Research (RES)

A course that requires independent research on the part of the student. It includes only course numbers ending in "99". Hours spent on course per week may vary from week to week, though the standard is one contact hour per week (800 minutes per semester) per credit.

Independent Study
(IS)

Independent projects such as special problems or special topics in which the student works more or less individually at various locations, ordinarily requiring intermittent consultation with the professor. Hours spent on course per week may vary from week to week, though the standard is one to two contact hours per week (800-1600 minutes per semester) per credit.

Supervised Experience
(EXP)

Supervised experience in an area of specialization, that may be conducted either on or off campus with the student making periodic reports to the instructor. Includes practicum, internship, student teaching, and cooperative work experience. Contact hours vary, but the minimum standard of 800 contact minutes per semester per credit applies.

Affiliated Programs (AFF)

Courses offered as part of programs operated in conjunction with other universities or research laboratories at sites other than ISU, but for which students register for credit through ISU. Includes Lakeside Laboratory courses and Int St courses with the title Study Abroad Credit. Contact hours vary. Minimum of 800 contact minutes per semester per credit.