Education Policy, Law, and Ethics in the Virtual Environment

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Course Number: DEL 7410
Course Name: Education Policy, Law, and Ethics in the Virtual Environment (Online)
Course Description:    Students will examine higher education law and policy beginning with a basic understanding of the American legal system, how policies are created, and ethical implications as well as exploring institutional accountability and the rights and responsibilities of students and faculty.  This course draws from real-life cases in American universities and provides knowledge and tools to effectively respond in an environment of increasing litigation.
Prerequisites:    None
Level: Graduate
Credits: 3
Format: Online
Program: MS in Distance Education Leadership

Registration Instructions

NOTE: The information below is representative of the course and is subject to change.  The specific details of the course will be available in the Desire2Learn course instance for the course in which a student registers.

Additional Information

Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, you should be able to

  • Create a charter that encompasses a legal structure within the context of a virtual college or university environment.
  • Create a governance system.
  • Analyze faculty issues and concerns in higher education.
  • Propose solutions to issues related to student conduct in a virtual environment.
  • Evaluate FERPA situations.
  • Recommend strategies that protect intellectual property rights of the college or university.

Modality emphasis: A fundamental understanding of the different learning environment modalities for virtual education is valuable for individuals advancing in the field of Distance Education Leadership. This course is comprised of solely asynchronous components; however, the opportunity for synchronous sessions exists either via an orientation seminar with the instructor or if your group agrees to synchronous meetings regarding the group project.

Unit Descriptions:

Unit 1 - A look at the Legal System
This unit will provide you with an introduction to the American legal system. This foundation will help us better understand how to manage virtual educational environments based on recent laws and policies.

Unit 2 - Analyzing Faculty Issues and Concerns in Higher Education
In this Unit we will explore the specific issues and concerns that affect faculty at institutes of higher education.

Unit 3 - Propose solutions to issues related to student conduct in a virtual environment evaluate FERPA situations
In Unit 2 we looked at faculty and the relationship they have with the institutions they teach for. Now let’s take a look at the student. What rights and responsibilities does the student have? We will also examine the contractual relationship between the student and the institution (college or university).  Lastly we learn about FERPA and its effects for both faculty and students.

Unit 4 - Recommend strategies that protect intellectual property rights of the college or individuals (instructors and students)
Our last discussion question asked us to “explain what “education records” mean under FERPA. How can instructors and universities protect these records in an online learning environment? The two Lessons in Unit 4 will explore electronic communications and what liability and immunity exists for institutions.

Exams:  mid-term quiz and final quiz

Assignments:  10 weekly learning checks, 10 discussions, 2 Problem Set Analysis Papers, 1 group project outline and paper, 1 journal, 5 question sets

Grading Scale:

Assignment Points Total
Weekly Discussion Posts 20 points x 10 200
Weekly Check for Learning 15 points x 10 150
Problem Set Analysis Papers 100 points x 2 200
Group Project – Outline 50 points x 1 50
Group Project – School Charter Final 200 points x 1 200
Mid Term Quiz 50 points x 1 50
Final Quiz 50 points x 1 50
Professional Development Journal 25 points x 1 25
Question Sets 15 points x 5 75
Total   1000

Grading Scale
A 940-1000
A- 900-939
B+ 870-899
B 840-869
B- 800-839
C+ 770-799
C 740-769
C- 700-739
D+ 670-699
D 640-669
D- 600-639
F 0-599

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