Distance Learning Policy

At the Law School, a “distance education course” is defined as a course in which more than one-third of the required classroom minutes are delivered from outside the classroom and/or a course in which William & Mary Law students participate from remote locations. “Distance education courses” do not include courses in which an occasional guest speaker appears via technology from a remote location; courses in which an instructor uses technology to teach an occasional class from a remote location; or courses in which an instructor prerecords material to be viewed or heard by students in advance of a class session.

All distance education courses offered for credit at the Law School shall be in full compliance with all ABA Standards governing distance education (currently Standard 306). No student may enroll in a distance education course for credit until that student has completed instruction equivalent to 28 credit hours toward the J.D. degree.

In addition to compliance with any applicable ABA Standards, all distance education courses offered for credit at the Law School must comply with the following requirements:

  1. All distance education courses shall provide for significant synchronous interaction between the instructor(s) and the students. “Synchronous interaction” means that the instructor(s) and the students engage with one another at the same time despite spatial separation.
  2. A student may receive credit for no more than two distance education courses and for no more than a total of six credit hours of distance education courses.
  3. Credit toward the J.D. degree for study offered through a distance education course will be awarded only where (1) the academic content, (2) the method of course delivery, and (3) the method of evaluating student performance are approved as part of the Law School’s regular curriculum approval process. Approval must be sought for all distance education courses even if a course with the same name and content is already part of the approved J.D. curriculum.
  4. If an instructor for a proposed distance education course is not a member of the full-time faculty, his or her appointment as an adjunct faculty member must be approved in the same way as other adjunct faculty members.
  5. The Vice Dean and/or the Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development shall work closely with instructors of distance education courses to ensure that such courses provide (a) ample interaction with the instructor(s) and other students both inside and outside the formal structure of the course throughout its duration, such that students in distance education courses have opportunities to interact with the instructors and other students that equal or exceed the opportunities for such interaction in a traditional classroom setting; and (b) ample monitoring of student effort and accomplishment as courses progress.
  6. The Associate Dean for Administration, the Registrar, and the Vice Dean are responsible for maintaining an effective process to verify the identity of students taking distance education courses and to protect student privacy.