Statement on Credit Hours:Credit hours awarded must be determined by sound practice regardless of course delivery method. In accordance with SACS Comprehensive Standard 3.4.6 web-based courses should adhere to the following:
The number of contact hours for courses that meet face-to-face with an instructor is defined by the number of hours spent in classroom; typically 750 minutes in the classroom is required for one college credit. Contact hours in synchronous online environments may be recorded in the same manner as for traditional classes.
However, contact hours in asynchronous learning environments are more difficult to monitor. Therefore, the definition of contact hours in asynchronous learning environments at ETSU is based on the following guidelines:
- The course syllabus should clearly document that the course covers the same amount of material or course content that would normally be expected if the class were a traditional campus-based course. Clear documentation includes the course objectives covered, the course topics covered, and the stated expectations for readings, projects, and other assignments as well as the stated learning outcomes. It is the responsibility of departmental faculty teaching in an asynchronous environment to determine if the course content delivered in an asynchronous environment is of sufficient scope and rigor to ensure the amount of material delivered is comparable to the same campus-based course.
- During the planning and development of an asynchronous learning environment, faculty should estimate the time a typical student will take interacting with the course content. This should be equivalent to the number of contact hours normally expected in a campus-based course, and should be documented in the course syllabus. Hours for completing homework assignments, working on projects, studying for examinations, etc., should be considered outside the contact hour requirements for the course.
- Faculty are encouraged to determine class attendance by the evaluation of student participation in scheduled online discussions, required interaction with the faculty as well as other classmates, and the timely submission of class assignments rather than simply by the number of logins provided in the statistics measured by the course management system.