ONLINE COURSES

Online Course Contact Hours | Office of Digital Learning

Online courses should have the equivalent amount of contact hours per student credit hour as those delivered in other modalities. The student credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction (defined as a nominal 50-minute classroom hour) and a minimum of two hours of out‐of‐class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester hour of credit or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours. The amount of academic credit awarded for such other academic activities is specified in UAM 6,081.

This definition applies in every instance in which academic credit is awarded to students, regardless of whether instruction is delivered face-to-face, online, remote, hybrid, or by some other mode.

For the typical three credit class, it is expected that a student will be engaged in classroom learning experiences of 150 minutes x 15 weeks = 2250 minutes. This means the student should spend the equivalent amount of time within their online classroom participating in discussion boards, taking quizzes/examinations, viewing video or PowerPoint slides, reading information from linked web sites, reviewing instructor lectures or any other items that engage the student within the online classroom. Recommended calculations for time-per-online activity can be found in the attached table [see following page]. Homework hours at the University of Nevada, Reno should equate to approximately two hours per every in-class contact hour for any given course. Items that fulfill the homework hours are reading the course text, completing formal writing/ research assignments, answering questions on text readings, conducting research, studying for examinations, and other out-of-classroom course requirements.