Plan Interactions

DOE Guidelines

The Department of Education (DOE) recently clarified what is meant by "regular and substantive" interaction between instructors and students in online courses.

“Regular” is defined as taking place on a “predictable and scheduled basis” and “substantive” means students are engaged through teaching, learning, and assessment as well as at least two of these five activities:

  • providing direct instruction;
  • assessing or providing feedback on a student’s course work;
  • providing information or responding to questions about the content course or competency;
  • facilitating a group discussion regarding the content of a course or competency;
  • or other instructional activities approved by the institution’s or program’s accrediting agency.

Additional Information

While the DOE sets out a minimum guideline, interactions in online courses are an important and valuable part of learning online. Check out our page detailing how to build interactions and foster a learning community online if you are interested in delving deeper into this topic.