Interaction Standard


The course is designed to include regular and substantive faculty-to-student interaction.


The course should include regular (repeated) and substantive instructor-initiated interactions that are related to the academic subject matter. This interaction must be more than giving a numerical grade or providing feedback on student work. In addition, grading of student submissions cannot be the sole form of instructor interaction in the course.

The following examples are provided as a suggestion of ways a course and instructor could meet the interaction standard. The course (or Course Worksheet) should include evidence of multiple methods and multiple instances. The interaction within the course should be taken on the whole, considering whether interaction opportunities are optional versus required.

Examples to look for in the course:

  • Planned regular (weekly or twice monthly) announcements or other communication that directly addresses student contributions to the course, including challenges and successes. Students should have a channel to respond to announcements.
  • A general open discussion thread is available for students to post questions on muddy points. The instructor encourages learners to participate and answer their peer's queries.
  • If grading rubrics are used, the rubrics should include clear, thorough descriptions for each criterion reference point.
  • In a discussion thread, the instructor responds with formative coaching to student posts.
  • The instructor allows for iterative submissions (ie. rough drafts) and provides feedback on the submissions.
  • Instructor provides opportunities for students to engage in reflection on aspects of their learning and plans responses to such reflections.
  • Instructor provides a mechanism for students to provide feedback on the course experience regularly, and articulates a plan to respond to this student communication.
  • Instructor requires students to meet during office hours (virtual or otherwise, at least once during the semester).
  • A structure is in place to facilitate ongoing conversations around assignment feedback, and learners are encouraged to reflect on and respond to this feedback.

To meet this Standard, a course may include:

  • Course policies or syllabus statements around interaction plans.
  • Assignments that include planned interaction in their design (instructions).
  • Reviewers can check the Course Worksheet for more details from the instructor.