News and Information
August 24, 2017

Comments Sought on Proposed Changes to Opinion Regarding Remote Courses

Update 11/3/17: After reviewing comments, the MCLE Board amended and approved Opinion 16 on 9/18/17. See final approved opinion.

 

The Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Board is seeking comment on proposed changes to Opinion 16 regarding the standards for MCLE courses presented remotely.

The proposed changes are intended to clarify the standards for approval of remote live and non-live MCLE courses and expand the scope of delivery methods available for remote non-live MCLE courses. The opinion makes no substantive changes to the current requirements for approval.

Comments or questions may be submitted by September 15, 2017, to Gale Cartwright, Director of Member Compliance and MCLE, at mcle@vsb.org.

 

MCLE OPINION 16

COURSES PRESENTED REMOTELY (Course Presented by Distance Learning Methods)

The purpose of this opinion is to provide guidance for the application of the MCLE Regulation 101(u) (A Course Presented by Distance Learning Methods) to courses presented live remotely or presented non-live remotely.  Courses presented remotely must meet the following requirements:

  1. Live Remote CLE Courses  

1.   Live remote CLE courses are programs where CLE faculty is not in the same location with course attendees. 

2.   Live remote CLE courses must afford live simultaneous interaction between the attendees and the presenter with respect to the subject matter of the course. 

3.   For purposes of this opinion “simultaneous live interaction” means the opportunity for real-time synchronous communication between and among the presenter and the attendees. 

4.   Simultaneous live interaction may be accomplished by any form of live interaction, including, but not limited to, telephonic communication systems, simulcast, internet discussion groups, web meetings, or the use of other technology that facilitates active discussion or interaction. 

5.   All live remote CLE courses must include high quality written instructional materials.

6.   Live remote CLE courses utilizing technology-based learning systems without simultaneous live interaction features do not qualify as live remote CLE programs; however, they may qualify as non-live remote CLE programs.

7.   A live remote CLE course is not a “pre-recorded course or non-live CLE course” and is thereby allowable for any portion of the minimum of twelve (12) credit hours of approved CLE as provided in MCLE Regulation 102.

  1. Non-Live Remote CLE Courses  

1.   Non-live remote CLE courses are programs where a live presentation has been recorded and presented via any electronic media (e.g. videotaped, DVD or CD-ROM presentations, audiotaped or CD presentations, pre-recorded telephone seminars, technology-based learning systems, webcasts or on-demand online courses, etc.) that do not include simultaneous live interaction with the presenter as defined in MCLE Regulation 101(j).

2.   A non-live remote CLE course is considered a “pre-recorded course or non-live CLE course” and is thereby only allowable for eight (8) of the minimum of twelve (12) credit hours of approved CLE as provided in MCLE Regulation 102.

3.   All non-live remote CLE courses must include high quality written instructional materials and must provide a means to access the presenter or subject matter expert for questions during or after the presentation.

4.   Non-live remote CLE courses utilizing technology-based learning systems without simultaneous live interaction features may qualify as a pre-recorded or non-live remote CLE program provided it meets the requirements for CLE approval including Section II Paragraph 3 above.

  1. CLE Course Providers

1.   For purposes of this opinion, a presenter is either (a) the faculty member qualified by practical or academic experience to teach the subject taught during the CLE course or (b) the course content creator for a course provided via a technology-based learning system.

2.   For the purposes of this opinion, a subject matter expert is a person qualified by practical or academic experience to facilitate discussion among the attendees and answer questions during or after the seminar regarding the subject matter of the CLE course.

3.   A faculty member presenter or subject matter expert shall be available for no less than fifteen (15) minutes of the live remote CLE program for simultaneous, live interaction with the attendees.

4.   The provider of a course which is delivered remotely must have a system that maintains an archival record which allows certification of attendance to be controlled by the provider, permits the provider to verify the date and time of attendance and does not rely solely on a representation made by the participating attendee. For example, for an internet delivered course, a system which identifies the log on and log off of an attendee and prevents inaccurate representations regarding attendance and participation may satisfy this requirement.

5.   The provider of a course which is delivered remotely must effectively demonstrate the basis for awarding CLE credit hours by providing the length of the program. If a course is delivered via a technology-based learning system, the provider must provide a minimum typical participant completion rate.   

6.   A provider of a course which is delivered remotely where the presenter and the attendee are not simultaneously engaged in the course must clearly specify during its registration process when the last substantive revision of the course was made. Courses may not be approved for more than three (3) years after the date the course was originally recorded, except those courses determined by the Board to be substantively current.

7.   Courses must be presented through audio or audiovisual means.

8.   Course sponsors must provide the MCLE Board with free access to all CLE courses so that they may be reviewed for compliance with the MCLE regulations.

9.   Without limitation, course accreditation may be terminated if the course sponsor is found to have failed to meet applicable MCLE regulations and the guidance provided by this opinion.  Such findings may result in denial of approval to the sponsor for future distance learning programs.

10.   The provider must furnish high quality written instructional materials in accordance with MCLE Board Opinion 14.

  1. Attendees

1.  The attendee must self-certify that any remote course was taken in a setting physically suitable to the course or program and that a suitable learning environment existed. To ensure compliance with MCLE Regulation 102(f), for any course delivered remotely where the presenter and the attendee are not simultaneously engaged in the course, the attendee must also self-certify that the course for which credit is sought is not substantially identical to a course for which the same member received credit during the same completion period or the completion period immediately prior to the one for which credit is sought.

2.  The attendees must self-certify receipt of high quality written instructional materials made available electronically or provided in printed form.

 

[MCLE Regulations 103(h)] 

Approved 6/22/98 Effective 7/1/98

Revised 12/10/01, Revised 10/21/03, Revised 10/25/2011

Proposed revision approved by MCLE Board 8/21/17

 

Updated: Apr 26, 2017

Updated: Nov 03, 2017

Updated: Nov 03, 2017