RSI FTW (For the Win!): Actionable Approaches for Ensuring Regular and Substantive Interaction in Online and Blended Learning Courses

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Meaningful engagement between instructors and students is an essential component of successful online and blended learning, driving higher quality interactions and experiences. This aligns with accreditation requirements as well as the Department of Education’s rules requiring courses to include regular and substantive interaction (RSI) especially in distance and competency-based education "to ensure federal financial aid funds are used appropriately."

In this workshop, your facilitators will 1) discuss how to create a learning environment that cultivates quality, meaningful interactions and 2) share innovative, best-practice examples of regular and substantive interaction in action across diverse contexts. Participants will explore the tools and approaches to best support students in sharing their ideas and engaging more deeply in their learning, as well as collaborate with their colleagues on developing high-impact strategies for ensuring RSI. This workshop is perfect for educators, practitioners, and designers with any experience level with RSI - it is geared towards anyone looking to reflect on and deppen points of engagement in the courses that they are building, teaching, and continuously improving.

Participants will leave this workshop with greater understanding and practical knowledge for how to:

  • Identify the essential elements of Regular and Substantive Interaction (RSI)
  • Apply the OSCQR Rubric to assess and improve RSI within online and blended courses
  • Evaluate use cases for practical, easy-to-use tools to assist in cultivating engagement
  • Develop a plan of action to drive higher quality interactions and experiences

There is a fee of $300 for this pre-conference Master Class. You may also register for this Master Class as part of a special $550 Combo package of 2 Master Classes (1 AM and 1 PM class).

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Dr. Nicole Weber is an Assistant Professor in the Educational Foundations Department at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where she also coordinates the Instructional Design and Learning Technology (IDLT) master’s degree program. Prior to her current position, she served as the Associate Vice President (AVP) of Learning with the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), working closely with staff and global partners to advance professional learning opportunities, continuous improvement efforts, and research in support of quality digital, blended, and online learning. Before joining OLC, she was the Director of Learning Technology at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where she led online and blended faculty development efforts, technology training for the digital learning ecosystem, and emerging technology exploration and evaluation, collaborating across the institution to support student learning and success. With a depth of experience leading global, national, and campus initiatives that support continuous improvement of digital, blended, and online learning, Dr. Weber has presented widely at conferences in the field, as well as published various blogs, reports, playbooks, and articles sharing her work. Dr. Weber holds a B.A. in English from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, a M.S. in Cultural Foundations of Education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a Ph.D. in Urban Education specializing in Social Foundations of Education with an emphasis on designing engaging digital learning environments. Her research interests focus on the impact of technology on the learning environment and research-driven practices for effective digital, blended, and online learning, support, and leadership.
Dr. Eric Loepp is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he teaches courses in American government, political behavior, and research methods. His disciplinary research focuses on candidate evaluations and electoral decision-making, particularly in primary elections. He also studies pedagogy, with an emphasis on data- and technology-enhanced teaching techniques. This work has been recognized with distinctions including the American Political Science Association’s CQ Press Award for Teaching Innovation and the Cisco/Presidio Teaching with Technology Innovator Award, and has been featured in such journals as Electoral Studies, the Journal of Political Science Education, the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion, & Parties, Research & Politics, American Politics Research, and PS: Political Science & Politics.

Extended Abstract