Jul 24, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Online Credit and Contact Hour Equivalency Guide

Online Credit and Contact Hour Equivalency Guide

To help guide instructors in the development of their online course (synchronous and asynchronous) curricula and syllabi, examples of instructional activities and their course equivalencies are provided below.  Online courses should provide an equivalent amount of work and student learning outcomes as traditional in-person courses.  



Instructional Activity


Credit/Time Equivalency

Active learning

Instructor facilitated learning in which students are engaged in professionally based learning/experience.  Instructors lead students in evaluating course content/objectives in conjunction with experience.  Instructional learning provides in-depth knowledge and application of course content/objectives to experiences.  

1 active learning strategy = 1 hour of instruction

Blogs, journals

Instructor guided, learned concepts shared with class, feedback and assessment received

1 post = ½ hour instruction; 1 shared post and review of classmates’ posts = 1 hr instruction

Case Studies

Instructor leads students in performing in-depth higher order analytical skills Analysis is shared with instructor and/or classmates for feedback and assessment. 

1 case study analysis and post = 1-2 hours depending on case length and depth of analysis. 

Advanced Literature Review

Instructor selected articles and readings, self-paced reaching and reflection 

1 article/reading review and reflection = 1 hour of instruction per article

Group Projects

Instructor guides student in collaborative project with specific expectations for participation and production of group artifact.  

1-hour group collaboration= 1 hour of instruction

Discussion Boards

Instructor guides and mediates class discussion via online discussion board.  Instructors and students engage in learning the course content as it relates to course objectives.  Specific assessment criteria for analysis and discussion, time frames, expectations for participation, etc. are applied.

Initial post—minimum 250 words (requires reading all posts) =1/2-hour instruction; 1 post/reply (requires reading all posts and responding to a minimum of 2 posts) =1-hour instruction



Peer Review/Assessment

Student evaluation of peer’s work.  Students are provided with evaluation criteria from the instructor.

Student review of peer assessment and feedback to student/instructor = 1-2 hours of instruction


With instructor assistance, students compute, analyze and interpret data using tools such as SPSS, Excel, SAS, etc.

Computation of data = 1 hour of instruction


Evaluation and analysis of data (written assignment) = 1 hour


(Time is dependent upon the type and complexity of data analysis)

Online Quizzes/Exams

Instructor created quizzes/exams through which students demonstrate their knowledge to provide faculty with feedback to assess students’ progress (may be formative and summative assessments).

1-hour quiz/exam = 1 hour of instruction (does not include final exam)

Instructional Reading and Notetaking

Instructors provide students with instruction and course reading materials to facilitate in-dept understanding and conceptualization of course content and learning objectives.

1 chapter of reading/notetaking = 2 hours of instruction

Article Review

Instructor lead activity in which students apply higher order analytical skills in assessing scholarly article form professional journals.

1 article and analysis = 2-3 hours of instruction

Reflection Paper

Instructor lead activity in which students apply personal experience to course content/learning objectives.

1 reflection paper (2-3 pages) = 1 hour of instruction

Group Conferences

Instructor meets with students/class to collaborate and discuss course content in a synchronous learning environment; set expectations for student participation and feedback.

1 hour conference = 1 hour of instruction

Individual Conference

Instructor meets with individual student in collaborative, synchronous environment.  Student is expected to prepare materials for review prior to the meeting, participate, and respond to instructor feedback.

1 hour individual conference = 1 hour of instruction


Instructors guide students through compilation, evaluation, and production of learning portfolios.  Portfolios align with course learning objectives.

2-3 hours = 2-3 hours of instruction per topic, standard, learning objective

Project Assignment

Instructor assigns a project related to the course content and learning objectives

1-2 hours of instruction per week for the duration of the project (dependent on the project)

Instructor Presentations

Instructors provide students with instruction, including instruction in a virtual classroom setting or online, pre-recorded lecture presentations.

1 hour = 1 hour of instruction

Instructional PowerPoints/Videos

Instructor-created content provided to students in various delivery formats, which allow student to interact with content, develop further understanding of course objectives, and develop critical thinking and analytical skills.

1 hour = 1 hour of instruction

Workplace Integration

Instructor guides students as they engage in structured, professional experiences and intentionally apply course content and knowledge to workplace experiences.  

1-2 hours of instruction per week for the duration of the semester/assignment (depending up the project)


Faculty supervised student development, completion, and defense of an original research project in the student’s field of study. 

Variable: Credit and contact hours are determined on an individual basis with the assigned faculty member.

Source: Kennesaw State University (2013); Revised by Valdosta State University (2017); Revised by Ferrum College (2020).