Course Design Review Standards with Annotations: Interaction

Instructional Technology has developed Course Design Review Standards (CDRS) to be used in the development of online and blended courses at St. Edward’s University. These standards are based on best practices in course design and rubrics developed by the Online Learning Consortium and the Open SUNY Course Quality Review. The standard is listed with annotations below.  View the complete Course Design Review Standards.

This page covers standards 28 through 32 which deal with Interaction.



Standard 28: Expectations for timely and regular feedback from the instructor are clearly stated (response time regarding questions, email, assignments).

This standard is based on the Open Suny Course Quality Review Rubric Standard 38.

Standard 29: Expectations for interaction are clearly stated (grade weighting for participation, models/examples of quality discussion board posts, and timing and frequency of posts).

This standard is based on the Open Suny Course Quality Review Rubric Standard 39.

Standard 30: Course design demonstrates opportunities for instructor to build social presence with students.

This standard is based on the Open Suny Course Quality Review Rubric Standard 40.

Standard 31: Course contains resources or activities intended to build a sense of class community, support open communication, and establish trust.

This standard is based on the Open Suny Course Quality Review Rubric Standard 41.

Standard 32: Course is designed to afford students the opportunity for activity or interaction in the course in time to enable them to comply with the university’s substantive interaction policy.

This standard is based on the university’s Substantive Interaction Policy for student work in an online class.

Substantive Interaction Requirements 
All students in online courses at St. Edward’s University will be required to submit assignments and maintain substantive interaction in courses throughout each term. You are encouraged to begin substantively interacting with classmates and/or the instructor as soon as possible during the first week and all subsequent weeks of each term.

Requirements for the First Week

To establish participation, you must log-in into each course within the posted Schedule Adjustment Period for each course and either submit an assignment or substantively interact with classmates and/or the professor (See: What is Substantive Interaction? below). Failure to log in to your course(s) and meet the substantive interaction requirement within the Schedule Adjustment Period for each term as listed in the Graduate Bulletin may result in an administrative withdrawal from the course(s).

The University Substantive Interaction participation requirements for the course overrule any course late-work policies for that week.

What is Substantive Interaction?
Substantive interaction is participating in each one of your online classes in graded, academically-oriented activities, including but not limited to: posting in discussion forums, submission of graded assessments, and/or participation in live virtual class sessions. Substantive Interaction will be assessed throughout the entirety of your course(s).

The complete list of CDRS with annotations may be found on these pages:


Open SUNY Course Quality Rubric, Open SUNY Center for Online Teaching Excellence and the Online Learning Consortium, Inc.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)