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New Federal Rules for Online Learning (Effective July 1, 2021)

The U.S. Department of Education finalized rules on online courses and distance education. Their rules require regular and substantive interaction between students and their instructors. These rules went into effect Thursday, July 1, 2021. UHV faculty and adjuncts using the UHV Canvas LMS should familiarize themselves with the rules.

Elements of Regular and Substantive Interaction

The ED defines “substantive interaction” as “engaging students in teaching, learning and assessment, that is consistent with the course content under discussion and includes at least two of the following activities totaling at least 50-60 minutes every week for a 3 credit-hour course in a long fall/spring semester, or a scaled number of minutes for a course with a different number of credit-hours and a shorter or longer semester:

  1. Attending a synchronous class, lecture, recitation, or field or laboratory activity, physically or online, where there is an opportunity for interaction between the instructor and students;
  2. Submitting an academic assignment;
  3. Taking an assessment or an exam;
  4. Participating in an interactive tutorial, webinar, or other interactive computer-assisted instruction;
  5. Participating in a study group, group project, or an online discussion that is assigned or led by the instructor;
  6. Interacting with an instructor about academic matters; and
  7. Required discussion forum activity associated with the course material.

Definition of Online Learning

Online Learning (sometimes also referred to as Distance Learning or Distance Education) is education that delivers instruction to students who are separated from the instructor or instructors, and that supports regular and substantive interaction between students and instructor(s) either synchronously (students are required to log in and participate in class at a specified time each week) or asynchronously (online learning that allows students to view instructional materials each week at any time). Technologies used for instruction may include the following: Internet; one-way and two-way transmissions through open broadcasts, closed circuit, cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite, or wireless communication devices; audio conferencing; and video cassette, DVDs and CD-ROMS, if the cassette, DVDs, and CD-ROMs are used in a course in conjunction with the technologies listed above.

Additional information is provided from the UH Main Campus, and the U.S. Department of Education websites:

Faculty Troubleshooting and Help

Technology Coordinator Contact Information for Faculty (opens in a new window)

TurnItIn Instructions (open in a new window)

TurnItIn Faculty Help 

How to Interpret the TurnItIn Similarity Report (opens in a new window)

Full Documentation on TurnItIn Similarity Report (opens in a new window)

TurnItIn LTI Integration Help (opens in a new window)

Respondus LockDown Browser Accessibility Resource (opens in a new window)

HMH Portfolio Implementation Guide (retired) 

Publisher Integrations:

Cengage Learning (opens in a new window)

McGraw-Hill Education (opens in a new window)

Pearson (opens in a new window)

Wiley (opens in a new window)

Canvas Student Tracking & Reports:

View Course Access Report (opens in a new window)

Instructor Guide - Canvas New Analytics (opens in a new window)

Canvas Accessibility Statement:

Canvas Accessibility Standards (opens in a new window)

Anthology Ally:

Anthology Ally Help for Faculty (opens in a new window)

UHV Inclusive Learning and Accessibility Technology  (Anthology Ally) (opens in a new window)

Anthology Ally Community Website (opens in a new window)

Canvas Instructor Guide:

Canvas Instructor Guide (opens in a new window)