Standards for Design: Part 28 – Opportunities for interaction

Welcome to the twenty-eighth blog post in a forty-four week series walking through and explaining the Quality Matters standards.

This is the second standard in the fifth general standard of the Fifth Edition, 2014, Quality MattersTM Higher Education Rubric focusing on Learner Activities and Learner Interaction.  This post continues our discussion about creating meaningful Learner Activities and Learner Interaction and how they relate to the idea of Alignment to the Learning Objectives.

Standard: 5.2 Learning activities provide opportunities for interaction that support active learning.

Now that we have our aligned assessments and instructional materials, we need to start figuring out what learning activities we are going to have students interact with.  In the last blog, we briefly mentioned about the Community of Inquiry Model.  This model argues that there are three aspects of interaction in an online course – Cognitive Presence, Social Presence and Teaching Presence. The Cognitive Presence looks at the interaction with student to the content. The Social Presence examines the student-student interaction, while the Teaching Presence examines the student-instructor interactions that happen in the course with the idea that the instructor takes an active, participating role in the course.

The Community of Inquiry Model is a prime example of interactive, active learning, which is what this standard is all about. All three types of interactions should be present in an online course.

This standard is also a great example about how Quality Matters focuses on the design of an online or hybrid course rather than the delivery.  In a QM Peer Review, it is asked that courses are copied into a blank shell because the peer reviewers should look to see if these discussions exist, not how students responded.

Contact The Ohio State University Quality Matter Coordinator, Tim Lombardo at to learn more about Quality Matters and learn more how OSU faculty and staff can be compensated for the cost of training through the ODEE Quality Matters Grants.

All Quality Matters related ODEE Distance Education blog posts can be found at the Quality Matters category of the ODEE Distance Education Blog


Adapted from the Fifth Edition, 2014 Quality MattersTM Rubric © by The Ohio State University

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