Expectations for Instructor-Student Interaction

In online and hybrid (blended) courses, we ensure regular effective instructor/student contact. This guarantees that the student receives the benefit of the instructor’s presence in the learning environment–both as a provider of instructional information, and as a facilitator of student learning.

SCC Guidelines

All distance education courses at Sacramento City College, whether fully online or hybrid (blended) will include regular effective contact as described below:

Initiated Interaction

Instructors will regularly initiate interaction with students to determine that they are accessing and comprehending course material and that they are participating regularly in the activities in the course.

Providing students with an open ended question forum, although appropriate, does not constitute the entirety of effective instructor initiated interaction.


DE Courses are considered equivalent to face to face courses. Therefore, the frequency of the contact will be at least the same as would be established in a face to face course.

Contact shall be distributed in a manner that will ensure that regular contact is maintained, given the nature of asynchronous instructional methodologies, over the course of a week and should occur as often as is appropriate for the course.

Type of Contact

Regarding the type of contact that will exist in all SCC DE courses, instructors will, at a minimum, use the following resources to initiate contact with students:

  • Discussion forums with appropriate instructor participation
  • Email
  • Weekly announcements in the Learning Management System
  • Timely feedback for student work.
  • Timely response to student emails or inquiries
  • Instructors should also choose to use other forms of communication, through group or individual meetings, orientation and review sessions, supplemental seminar or study sessions, field trips, library workshops, telephone contact, correspondence, voice mail, CCCConfer, video conference, podcast, or other synchronous technologies.

Establishing Expectations

There will be an instructor and/or department established policy describing the frequency and timeliness of instructor initiated contact and instructor feedback.

This will be posted in the syllabus and/or other course documents that are made available for students when the course officially opens each semester.