Regular and Substantive Interaction (RSI)
What is Regular and Substantive Interaction?
Regular and substantive interaction (RSI) refers to types of communication and interactions between students and faculty in online classes as determined by the U.S. Department of Education. The following information about RSI applies to all modalities of online learning, including online (synchronous and asynchronous) and blended as stated on the Understanding Course Delivery webpage.
Regular Interaction — An institution MUST ensure regular interaction between a student and an instructor or instructors by:
- Providing the opportunity for substantive interactions with the student on a predictable and scheduled basis commensurate with the length of time and amount of content in the course or competency
- Monitoring the student’s academic engagement and success and ensuring substantive interaction with the student when needed for monitoring or upon request by the student
Substantive Interaction — Engaging the students in teaching, learning and assessment, consistent with the content under discussion, including AT LEAST TWO of the following:
- Providing direct instruction (synchronous only)
- Assessing and providing feedback on a student’s coursework
- Providing information and responding to questions about the content of a course or demonstrate competency
- Facilitating a group discussion regarding the content of a course or demonstrate competency
- Other instructional activities approved by the institutional or programmatic accrediting agency
Why does RSI matter? RSI is more than a federal requirement — it is also a hallmark of effective teaching. Research from many online quality assurance programs — such as Quality Matters (QM), Online Learning Consortium (OLC) and The State University of New York (SUNY) — has established that teacher-student interactions are an essential component of learning. RSI has a positive impact on student success, retention and advancement.
Substantive Change: Distance or Correspondence Education. Higher Learning Commission (HLC); 07/2023.
Regular and Substantive Interaction Faculty Resources for Online Learning was developed by Empire State University and adapted for CCC by the Division of Academic Professional Development, Instructional Design & Online Learning. This document is shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
Regular and Substantive Interaction Overview was developed by Everett Community College and adapted for CCC by the Division of Academic Professional Development, Instructional Design & Online Learning. This document is shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License