In accordance with ABA Standard 306, a distance education course, or an online course, is one in which students are separated from the faculty member or each other for more than one-third of the instruction and the instruction involves the use of technology to support regular and substantive interaction among students and between the students and the faculty member. These courses are taught using a Learning Management System (LMS) (i.e. Canvas). Faculty may also use a LMS to supplement or enhance their face-to-face courses, though not replace face-to-face time with on-line time.
Faculty must complete a course proposal form and go through the curriculum approval process to teach an online course. Faculty can teach a web-enhanced course at any time. Faculty must include in the course proposal and in the course description what percentage of their course will be online (100%, 75%, 50%, 33%, other). A course which is 100% online means a faculty uses a learning management system (i.e. Canvas) to provide all teaching and learning online; no face-to-face classes occur. Faculty who teach between 99% and one third online use a LMS (i.e. Canvas) to provide a combination of online classes with their face-to-face classes.
Online courses at Albany Law School are generally asynchronous. This means that learning takes place online in a Learning Management System (LMS) (i.e. Canvas) where students interact with one another through discussions and assignments that are facilitated by a qualified law professor. An asynchronous learning environment like this allows students to access the course content on their own schedule, which is ideal for those who are employed or who have other obligations.
Although the courses offer a great deal of flexibility in that students may log in and participate at any time during the day, these courses are not self-paced. Students are expected to participate regularly and continually throughout each module in the course. All online courses also have set deadlines which are required for discussion postings, quizzes, written assignment submissions and the completion of other learning activities.
2.1 Faculty are encouraged to seek course development assistance through our Office of Online Learning and Instructional Technology. The course development process pays particular attention to materials, activities, engagement, communication, organization, and assessments tied to learning goals.
2.2 Faculty are encouraged to execute and deliver an online class by actively engaging students through multimodal teaching strategies: feedback, assessment, discussions, video, audio, and other appropriate techniques/material.
2.3 Faculty will be encouraged to provide regular and concrete feedback on student effort and performance. Faculty should communicate expectations to students in advance.
2.4 The Online Learning and Instructional Technology Office provides training of faculty, staff and students. All faculty teaching online need to participate in training for teaching online. The Associate Dean of Academic Affairs handles the ongoing evaluation and review of classes.
2.5 Faculty teaching online need to continuously monitor the number of hours and time necessary for the credit hour allocation of the course.