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Hours of Operation:            Mon-Fri 8:00a – 4:00p (Closed Weekends)

Designing for Interaction

Establishing and maintaining regular effective contact is an important aspect of delivering an online and hybrid-blended course. It is not only a requirement for Middle States, New York State and the U.S. Dept. of Education – it is also a practice that encourages and facilitates student-centered instruction and increases student learning outcomes.

For additional information on the federal requirement for regular and substantive interaction between students and instructors, please visit the following site: Regular and Substantive Interaction (Empire State University)

Types of Regular Effective Contact

Interaction in an online environment takes place in three ways:

Student-Instructor Interaction
  • Course announcements
  • Personalized feedback through eClass Gradebook
  • Discussion Forums
  • Zoom (MSMC’s integrated synchronous tool in eClass)
  • Email, or DMs on eClass
  • Phone calls, other 1-1 sessions, etc.
Student-Content Interaction
  • Topics, Modules or Units in eClass
  • Lectures (audio and video)
  • Podcasts/webinars/screencasts
  • PowerPoints
  • Websites, YouTube videos, streaming films
  • eTexts and journal articles from MSMC Library
Student-Student Interaction
  • Discussion Forums
  • “Watercooler” or “Course Q&A” forum, or other informal discussion forums where students can talk about class-related and non-class-related topics
  • Collaborative projects through eClass or other web based tools

Group Projects in Online Courses

In online courses, group projects have clear benefits. First, they can help to avoid a common pitfall in online courses, which is student isolation. And two, it provides a chance for students to work in a team towards a common goal in a virtual way – a means of collaboration becoming more prevalent in the workforce as well.

However, it is also widely known that group projects in any type of course can be challenging. To address these potential pitfalls, check out these tips for how to create and facilitate a successful group project in an online course.

Group Projects in Online Courses