Course Certification Checklist
Interaction is addressed by Standards 6, 14, 16, and 17 on the Course Certification Checklist.
Standard 6 states, “Instructor and student introductions are made online. Ideally, these introductions are in video format or at least include an image of the person.”
Standard 14 states, “Module/unit learning objectives or competencies describe outcomes that are measurable and are consistent with course level objectives/competencies.”
Standard 16 states, “The instructor’s availability is clearly stated, including a schedule for online office hours.”
Standard 17 states, “The instructor uses a tool available to the entire class which allows for general question and answer about the course or syllabus.”

To ensure students have an engaging learning experience, faculty are encouraged to include a variety of interaction types in their course design. Interaction types include student-to-student, faculty-to-student, and student-to-course content. Faculty can leverage many tools within Canvas to facilitate many essential interactions in a course. Some common elements of interaction include the following:

  • Synchronous interactions that support the direct and real-time interactions between individuals.
  • Asynchronous interactions that support the indirect interactions between individuals.
  • Student-to-student initiated or led interactions.
  • Student interaction with course-related content.
  • Faculty initiated or led interactions.




Regular and substantive interactions represent the frequency and type of activities within an online class that allow participants to exchange knowledge, information, concepts, and ideas in a manner that promotes thoughtful learning through active engagement with people, content, and resources.

Regular interactions are dictated by the learning activity within the course and may vary in frequency throughout the course. These types of interactions can fall into a number of overlapping categories:

  • Weekly course summaries describing the upcoming week’s activities or summarizing the previous week’s results.
  • Course logistics such as reminders or other types of communications such as statements of policies, change of dates, or general course announcements.
  • Feedback and assessment related to completion of assignments.

Substantive interactions are those that promote active learning and thoughtful reflection and that provide opportunities to expand understanding and knowledge. Substantive interactions often take the form of instructor feedback to students on various assessments.

While UMKC does not dictate specific parameters regarding “regular interactions” and/or timely responses, the following table provides examples of best practices toward regular interactions and timely responses based on the Quality Matters rubric and the Online Learning Consortium scorecard.

Interaction/Tool Best Practice
Email 24 – 48 hour response time
Q & A discussion forum 24 -48 hour response time
Announcements 1 per week
Assessment feedback (e.g. papers, projects, journals, assignments, etc.) 1 week from due date (notify students if there is a delay from the feedback response time indicated in the course syllabus)
Presentation feedback

48 hour feedback response time if synchronous presentation

1 week from due date feedback response time if asynchronous presentation

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Workshops and Training

The Instructional Design and Technology team offers free online and face-to-face trainings focused on technology implementation and quality course design. Check out our frequently updated training calendar to view all current offerings. Want to request a departmental or one-on-one course consultation? Please schedule an appointment now!

Instructional Technology Support

UMKC uses a variety of e-learning tools including the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS), Panopto for lecture capture, Zoom for synchronous course sessions and meetings, and many more. Learn more about the unique features of these tools and discover how to implement them in your own course.

Course Certification Checklist

Instructors may request for the Quality Matters certified UMKC Instructional Designers to conduct a review of their online course using the Course Certification Checklist. Courses meeting each element of the Certification Checklist will be certified for online instruction at UMKC.

Office of the Provost

Administrative Center, Room 300G
5115 Oak St.
Kansas  City, MO 64110