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Russ Poulin: The Regulatory Landscape is Changing – And There’s No Map of What’s Ahead


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Day 3 Presentation
Russ Poulin, WCET
NUTN Policy Presentation: The Regulatory Landscape is Changing – And There’s No Map of What’s Ahead

Open SUNY Summit 2018 -
Annual conference for the SUNY online teaching and learning community of practice.
February 28 - March 2, 2018, SUNY Global Center, NY, NY.

Conference website:

Open SUNY Online Teaching:

Published in: Education
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Russ Poulin: The Regulatory Landscape is Changing – And There’s No Map of What’s Ahead

  1. 1. The Regulatory Landscape Is Changing… And There’s No Map of What’s Ahead Open SUNY Summit 2018
  2. 2. Russ Poulin Director, Policy & Analysis WCET WCET is the leader in the practice, policy, & advocacy of technology‐enhanced learning in  higher education. @RussPoulin
  3. 3. Who Are You? What is your primary role?  Faculty  Instructional Design  Student Services  Library  Administration  Other
  4. 4. Agenda  Higher Education Act Reauthorization  Regular and Substantive Interaction, WGU  Owes $700M, and What Does that Mean for  You?  Federal State Authorization – Will They or  Won’t They?  They Want to Regulate My Assessments?  Net Neutrality Explained…by Who?
  5. 5. Higher Education Act Reauthorization
  6. 6. Higher Education Act Reauthorization‐115hr4508rh.pdf Chair Virginia Foxx HR 4508
  7. 7. Higher Education Act Reauthorization
  8. 8. A Reminder About Bills
  9. 9. WGU‐definition/‐interaction/
  10. 10. “We (OIG) did not assess whether the school’s  model was improving educational quality or  expanding access to higher education. We are  not withdrawing our findings or the  corresponding recommendations.”
  11. 11. “Distance education means education that uses  one or more of the technologies listed in  paragraphs (1) through (4) of this definition to  deliver instruction to students who are  separated from the instructor and to support  regular and substantive interaction between  the students and the instructor, either  synchronously or asynchronously…” WGU Regular and Substantive Interaction ECFR: Title 34, §600.2
  12. 12. WGU: What Counts as “Regular and Substantive Interaction”? Interaction must be: 1) Initiated by the instructor. 2) “Regular” and (probably) somewhat  frequent. 3) “Substantive” – of an academic nature. 4) With an instructor that meets accrediting  agency standards. From a WCET Frontiers analysis by Russ Poulin, WCET, and Van Davis, Blackboard:‐regular‐and‐substantive‐interaction/
  13. 13. What You Should Know…  Only a problem if more than 50% of your  coursework is declared correspondence.  OIG who would like to apply the definition  broadly to any innovation…both at a distance  and on‐campus.  This will require a Congressional fix.‐oig‐report‐on‐wgu‐part‐2/
  14. 14. What Should You Do? React…But Don’t Overact  Assess your vulnerabilities.  Use this as an opportunity to engage in  discussions about quality instruction.  Alert your government relations team to  support fixes.‐oig‐report‐on‐wgu‐part‐2/
  15. 15. State Authorization Regulations
  16. 16. Federal State Authorization Regulation
  17. 17. Federal State Authorization Regulation  Demonstrate Compliance  Recognize Reciprocity  New “Public” Disclosures  Note especially for programs leading to  professional licensure  New “Individualized” Disclosures
  18. 18. Federal State Authorization Regulation July 1, 2018  Will it go into effect?  If they enforce it…  …many clarifications needed.  Regardless…    State & SARA are in place.
  19. 19. Student Identity for Academic Integrity and Financial Aid Fraud Chapter 34, 602.17(g):
  20. 20. Student Identity for Academic Integrity and Financial Aid Fraud The existing regulation… (g) Requires institutions that offer distance  education or correspondence education to have  processes in place through which the institution  establishes that the student who registers in a  distance education or correspondence education  course or program is the same student who  participates in and completes the course or  program and receives the academic credit….  Chapter 34, 602.17(g):
  21. 21. Student Identity for Academic Integrity and Financial Aid Fraud The agency meets this requirement if it— (1) Requires institutions to verify the identity of a  student who participates in class or coursework by  using, at the option of the institution, methods such  as— (i) A secure login and pass code; (ii) Proctored examinations; and (iii) New or other technologies and practices that are effective in verifying student identity; and… Chapter 34, 602.17(g):
  22. 22. Student Identity for Academic Integrity and Financial Aid Fraud (2) Makes clear in writing that institutions must  use processes that protect student privacy and  notify students of any projected additional  student charges associated with the verification  of student identity at the time of registration or  enrollment. Chapter 34, 602.17(g):
  23. 23. Student Identity for Academic Integrity and Financial Aid Fraud‐aid‐fraud/
  24. 24. Student Identity for Academic Integrity and Financial Aid Fraud In PROSPER…page 502… ‘‘…in a case in which the instruction delivery model allows  for the separation of the student from the instructor— …(i) the agency or association requires the institution to  have processes through which the institution establishes  that the student who registers in a course or program is  the same student who participates in, including, to the  extent practicable, testing or other assessment, and  completes the program and receives the academic  credit..”‐115hr4508rh.pdf
  25. 25. Student Identity for Academic Integrity and Financial Aid Fraud‐115hr4508rh.pdf BEWARE OF VENDORS
  26. 26. Explaining Net Neutrality
  27. 27. Russ Poulin Director, Policy & Analysis WCET WCET is the leader in the practice, policy, & advocacy of technology‐enhanced learning in  higher education. @RussPoulin