Quality Matters Standard 5
Learning Activities and Learner Interaction

Specific Review Standards

5.1 The learning activities promote the achievement of the stated learning objectives or competencies.

5.2 Learning activities provide opportunities for interaction that support active learning.

5.3 The instructor’s plan for interacting with learners during the course is clearly stated.

5.4 The requirements for learner interaction are clearly stated.

Active Learning

Active learning occurs when learners engage by “doing” something, such as discovering, processing, or applying concepts and information.

Learning Activity

A learning activity is any form of learner participation that serves to reinforce course content. Often, an activity allows for practice, discovery, and trial-and-error.


Alignment occurs when course components are consistent with your learning objectives, so that materials, activities, and assessments work together to ensure that learners are achieving the stated outcomes. Be sure that each activity supports the level of learning that students are expected to demonstrate. This table provides examples of activities and assessments that are appropriate for each level of Bloom’s taxonomy.


  • Provide opportunities for students to practice new skills through ungraded activities or low-stakes assessments.
  • Provide students time and opportunity for reflective thinking.
  • Create a numbering system for course level objectives to include in activity descriptions, to demonstrate alignment.
  • Include opportunities for students to interact with you through active learning activities.
  • Include opportunities for students to interact with each other through active learning activities.
  • Include opportunities for students to interact with the content through active learning activities.
  • Explain somewhere in the course or syllabus how you will provide feedback on assignments and how quickly students can expect that feedback.
  • Explain somewhere in the course or syllabus what days/times and how quickly you will respond to student emails.
  • If the course uses discussion board assignments, you have explained how often you plan to reply to student posts.
  • The course or syllabus clearly states the requirement and expectations for student interaction.

Next Steps

Do course tools align with the course and module/unit-level learning objectives or competencies? See Course Quality Checklist and Toolkit 6 – Course Technology to see how course tools can effectively support assessments, instructional materials, and learning activities.

See our other Course Quality Checklists for more information:


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The University of Alabama College of Continuing Studies | Adapted from Northern Illinois University Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning 6/27/2020 | © 2014 New Mexico State University Board of Regents | Quality Matters https://www.qmprogram.org | Revised 4/14/2021