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Online Studies: Blog

Updates, tutorials, and tips for Falcon Online and distance education.

Regular and Substantive Interaction (RSI) Updates

by Jasmine Checchi on 2022-08-15T08:15:00-04:00 | Comments

Regular & Substantive Interaction (RSI) - New and Improved

What's New With Substantive

Good news, DSC has been ahead of the curve with our regular and substantive interaction (RSI) training and log. The goal of the federal regulation (34 C.F.R. § 600.2) is still to promote quality teaching, learning, and assessment in distance education. The definition of distance education has been updated to provide more consistency and clarity among institutions in regards to online, hybrid, and hyflex modalities. These updates include the types and amount of interactions that qualify as substantive as well as additional guidance on expectations regarding regular.

A few changes worth noting are two interactions are required, with the content and length of the course in mind, to be substantive as well as actively monitoring student engagement and proactively reaching out as part of regular. Chances are you are already meeting these requirements. For example, two forms of substantive interaction could look like your scheduled office hours, where you are initiating an opportunity to provide information or answer questions, and providing predictable feedback that students can use to improve. Furthermore, monitoring student engagement is also a best practice by checking Grades or Class Progress to ensure students are not falling behind.

Wondering what to do next to make sure you're interactions are considered RSI? We've got you covered!

Leveled Up Log

For the faculty that have already completed RSI training, we recommend using the newly remixed RSI log. We have taken this resource to the next level by incorporating additional guidance from the regulation and examples straight from our own DSC faculty. The RSI log now serves as a built-in guide and an easy-to-use template.

Loyal readers of our blog may remember a blog post a few months back about an HTML template to help you track your RSI. The steps to add the HTML template to your course are the same:

  1. From a module in Content, click the Upload/Create button.
  2. Create a File.
  3. Add a title and click the checkbox below the title to "Hide from Users."
  4. In the drop-down menu next to the title box, select Substantive Interaction Record.
  5. Save and Close.

Refreshed RSI Training

Are you looking for a more in-depth understanding? As a result of these updates, we are rebranding and refreshing our internal training to align with the amended federal regulations. First, we are following the industry trend to weave the two essential ingredients, regular and substantive, into one easily recognizable acronym - RSI. Second, we are wrapping up the RSI training redesign, which includes new content and activities built to provide opportunities to recognize the details and identify examples that qualify under the regulation. Finally, the discussion area has been purposefully designed to serve as a community of practice between DSC faculty.

This refresh includes all new video content, featuring the following faculty who graciously provided valuable testimonials into how they have infused RSI into their hybrid and online courses:

  • Bettye Parham, School of Computer Science
  • Dr. Donald May, College of Education
  • Donna Mixon, School of Humanities & Communication
  • Dr. Ericka Tillman, School of Business Administration
  • Gabi Booth, School of Mathematics
  • Dr. Harun Thomas, School of Humanities & Communication
  • Dr. Jessica Kester, School of Humanities & Communication
  • Dr. Katheryn Csonka, School of Nursing
  • Kelly Brooks, School of Mathematics
  • Dr. Margie Hensler, College of Education
  • Marion Pasricha, School of Social Science & World Languages
  • Dr. Shirish Lala, School of Health Careers
  • Dr. Taryn Brown, Hosseini College of Hospitality Management
  • Vincenzo Piazza, School of Humanities & Communication
Preview & Pause for Applause

Back by popular demand, Dr. Ericka Tillman shares the guiding STAR to help faculty when creating RSI.

Direct link: STAR (3:48)

Think of substantive interaction in the spirit of the law as opposed to the letter of the law...what am I doing to make this course feel personal and accessible to my students instead of what do I have to do to make sure that I check this box.

-Dr. Kester

I couldn't have said it better myself. Thank you to all the faculty as well as the amazing folks in Instructional Resources and the Division of Online Studies for their collaborative efforts to make this a meaningful update for new and existing faculty.

Next Steps

All faculty can access the new RSI Log HTML template in Falcon Online. New faculty will be enrolled in the refreshed RSI upon its release later this semester. Existing faculty interested in completing this training are welcome to register on the FIC Training webpage. For specific questions regarding your RSI, we encourage you to connect with your chairperson. As always, please make sure you're subscribed to ensure you are up-to-date with the latest tips and tricks from the FIC!


Jasmine Checchi
Instructional Designer, Division of Online Studies
jasmine.checchi@daytonastate.edu | 386-506-4278
Online Studies | Faculty Innovation Center (FIC)


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