Building Engagement in the Implementation of Online Education Compliance Goals

Concurrent Session 4
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

After a brief overview of online education compliance (e.g., program integrity and web accessibility) presenters will guide a discussion of policy formation and implementation strategies that are inclusive of the various stakeholders affected by compliance mandates, including students, faculty, staff, and vendors.


Richard (Ricky) LaFosse, J.D. As Compliance and Policy Lead for the the Office of Academic Innovation at the University of Michigan, Ricky provides guidance on the complex regulatory framework for distance and online education. Ricky earned his J.D. from the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University in 2016 and is a Ph.D candidate in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program at Indiana University.

Extended Abstract

Online courses must comply with a complex regulatory framework including federal, state, and accreditor regulations and standards This session begins with a brief overview of core areas of compliance to consider when designing and administering online courses and programs (e.g., consumer protection and state authorization requirements, web accessibility for individuals with disabilities, and the crucial but controversial Title IV distinction between distance education and correspondence education). Presenters will then guide a discussion of policy formation and implementation strategies that are inclusive of the various stakeholders affected by compliance mandates within the institution and of third-party vendors as well as opportunities for advocacy and leadership outside of the institution. This discussion will be organized around three core objectives: (1) Attendees will develop a greater familiarity with major compliance areas associated with online education. (2) Attendees will develop a greater awareness of the many stakeholders affected by compliance policymaking and policy implementation and the potential ways in which policy appropriation can positively or negatively contribute to various compliance objectives. (3) Attendees will consider the perspectives of students, faculty, supporting staff, administrators, and third-party vendors and contemplate new or revised policies, policy implementation approaches, and advocacy strategies that are appropriate to their institutions and roles within those institutions.

Recommendations for and discussion of compliance strategies for small, medium, and large or complex institutions or university systems will be highlighted throughout the presentation. The presenters’ recommendations derive from research into institutional effectiveness, leadership, and policy implementation as well as professional experiences in administering compliance initiatives in online education. By referencing this research and experience, the presenters will make a case for increased collaboration across departments at institutions and emphasize the need to bring faculty, staff, administrators, and students in the compliance policymaking and implementation processes.

To keep attendees engaged throughout, the presenters will provide a Slido link ( at the beginning of the session. Using the Slido page, presenters will regularly engage attendees by requesting answers to several polling and multiple-choice questions, followed by small and whole-group discussions related to the Slido results. Audience members will be encouraged to ask questions, either by typing up their questions on the Slido page for presenters to see and respond to, or by simply asking from their seats. The presentation will conclude with a Q & A, and encouragement from the presenters for attendees to connect with one another (as well as the presenters) so that the conversations started during this session may continue. Ultimately, the presenters hope that attendees will leave with the knowledge and insight, offered by fellow attendees as well as the presenters, that will enable attendees to develop suggestions for an effective compliance approach that is appropriate for their institutions.