Enhancing Online Courses through Alternative Instructional Equivalencies

Concurrent Session 3

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Providing students with an online or blended course that is comparable to a face to face course can be challenging.  Utilizing alternative instructional equivalencies to enhance online courses ensures a positive impact for both the students and faculty through governing hours of classroom instruction.


Deborah Mixson-Brookshire, is a Professor of Management at Kennesaw State University. She has been an educator for over 18 years. Striving to create an innovative classroom experience for her students, she utilizes experiential education tools including distance learning to accomplish course outcomes. Deborah has published a variety of articles involving her experiential learning and distance learning research interest. Instructing and leading a variety of workshops, she is able to share her research and experiential pedagogical methods with others. She has also given international and national presentations sharing her passion for teaching and distance learning.

Extended Abstract

Ensuring quality in online/blended courses is a high priority for institutions and all components of the courses should be taken into consideration.  Instructional hours can make an impact on both the faculty and the student, but we want the impact to be positive for both parties.  “Enrollments in online courses have been growing faster than overall higher education enrollments in the past several years” (Means, Bakia, & Murphy, 2014, p.2). With the increasing enrollment, we need to ensure the quality of our online/blended courses is improving and is offering the same instructional hours as our face to face courses.   Looking to increase your institutions online courses, one of the steps is to provide faculty development opportunities to introduce them to teaching in an online or blended format sharing the importance of tracking instructional hours.

This poster presentation will include a summary of my college’s model for engaging the faculty member in a professional development opportunity about alternative instructional equivalencies.  Our model encompasses a two way approach through a workshop and a required report submission.  We also provide a one stop distance learning shop for all of our faculty that has resources and materials to enhance distance learning within their courses. Ensuring faculty understand the value and importance of alternative instructional equivalencies (AIEs), we offer a workshop detailing the federal and SACS requirements, positiveness of utilizing AIEs, and how to calculate online course materials and assessments  multiple times a year for faculty who teach online.  I will provide participants with handouts describing our workshop, an AIE chart example, and course reporting examples.  Also, I will engage with the participants through sharing ideas and approaches to increase faculty awareness about the importance of governing classroom instruction hours.

Additionally, I will share details of our one stop shop and the value of providing ongoing faculty professional development opportunities.  During the interactive participation within my presentation, I will highlight the concerns and issues faculty and administrators have encountered with AIEs, and some strategies to overcome these challenges.  Finally, I will describe the impact we have experienced within our online/blended course positively impacting the student and faculty.

The value of this shared professional development opportunity could also be used for face to face courses improving the instructional time within courses by making them better quality.