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Web-Based Learning: Legal/Policy Analysis
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Web-Based Learning: Legal/Policy Analysis

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  • 1. Legal/Policy Analysis for Ozarks’ Distance Education Working Group: MANDATORY DISCLAIMER: While I am a licensed attorney, my license is in voluntary inactive status. The information included in here is not provided in any capacity as legal counsel, but as information from an experienced legal researcher.
  • 2. Legal Requirements – Code of Federal Regulations requires institutions to meet licensure/compliance regulations for any state they operate in • • • • • • • Review interstate contact history Research state agency regulations Develop a relationship with regulators Determine where to apply/renew Apply!/Renew! Document everything Determine post-approval steps and timelines – APSCU v. Duncan 681 F.3d 427 (2012) did not overturn the CFR rule, just required more procedure
  • 3. Cost Estimates • No reliable estimates exist • “Average” based on anecdotes from surveys Initial Fees Min. Cost Avg. Cost Max. Cost $ 46,530.00 $ 258,650.00 $ 703,450.00 Fee for waiver/exemption No waiver/exemption Waiver/exemption possible Annual Fees $ 97,050.00
  • 4. Mission Questions: students in other states attending virtual classes Mission Statement live life fully richness of life provided by study of the liberal arts quality of life provided by professional preparation uniquely supportive academically sophisticated and challenging environment on a beautiful campus adjacent to the Ozark Mountains first priority is the education of students Intellectual, Social, Spiritual Development Fiscal responsibility DE Pro/Con         
  • 5. Mission Questions: supplementing campus courses with virtual courses Mission Statement live life fully richness of life provided by study of the liberal arts quality of life provided by professional preparation uniquely supportive academically sophisticated and challenging environment on a beautiful campus adjacent to the Ozark Mountains first priority is the education of students Intellectual, Social, Spiritual Development Fiscal responsibility DE Pro/Con         
  • 6. Mission Questions: web-based learning within face-to-face classes Mission Statement live life fully richness of life provided by study of the liberal arts quality of life provided by professional preparation uniquely supportive academically sophisticated and challenging environment on a beautiful campus adjacent to the Ozark Mountains first priority is the education of students Intellectual, Social, Spiritual Development Fiscal responsibility DE Pro/Con         
  • 7. Mission Questions: web-based classes offered via consortia Mission Statement live life fully richness of life provided by study of the liberal arts quality of life provided by professional preparation uniquely supportive academically sophisticated and challenging environment on a beautiful campus adjacent to the Ozark Mountains first priority is the education of students Intellectual, Social, Spiritual Development Fiscal responsibility DE Pro/Con         
  • 8. Accreditation Questions: Credit Hour • U of O uses “seat time” • Federal law requires “seat time” or equivalent “instructional time” • Dear colleague letter (DCL) clarified that “instructional time” is time in which the instructor is academically engaging students Academically Engaging Not Academically Engaging Academic assignments/exams Logging into electronic classrooms Interactive tutorials/instruction Unsupervised homework/research Student contact related to course Vacation time Assigned study group/ discussion Counseling/orientation
  • 9. Accreditation Questions: Additions/Changes • New programs require prior approval and usually a substantive change evaluation – Courses in which 75% or more of instruction and interaction occurs with faculty and students physically separated from each other – Programs in which 50%+ of the required courses can be taken through distance delivery • Consortial arrangements must be reported at least – 50% + of the credits in a program from consortia institutions requires prior approval through substantive change application – 25-49% requires notice through institutional data update – No clear info for less than 25%
  • 10. Recommendations • Do not implement DE as a system to enroll additional students; at this point – – – – The investment would be considerable A comparable return would be unlikely It would detract from campus-based students It would not weave nicely with the mission • Take steps to implement web-based learning as a supplement to current courses – – – – The investment would be minimal A good return on the investment is likely Campus-based students would directly benefit It would weave nicely with the mission
  • 11. Recommendations (cont.) • Suggested steps: – Look into consortium courses – Seriously evaluate use of “seat time” versus “instructional time” in the credit hour policy – Ask HLC liaison whether/which applications might be necessary (e.g., less than 25%, seat time/instructional time, consortia) – Discover which instructors would be interested in piloting blended/online courses