The Law School complies with ABA requirements with respect to distance education. A JD candidate may apply no more than one-third of the credit hours required for the J.D. degree (that is, no more than 30 credits of 90 total credits) in distance education courses.

A distance education course is “one in which students are separated from all faculty members for more than one-third of the instruction and the instruction involves the use of technology to support regular and substantive interaction between the students and all faculty members, either synchronously or asynchronously.” (ABA Standards; Definitions (7)).

The University of Wisconsin-Madison distance education policy guidance may be found here: Distance education uses one or more of the technologies listed below to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor and to support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor, either synchronously or asynchronously. The technologies may include:

  1. The internet.
  2. One-way and two-way transmissions through open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite or wireless communications devices.
  3. Audio conferencing.
  4. Video cassettes, DVDs and CD-ROMs, if the cassettes, DVDs or CD-ROMs are used in a course in conjunction with any of the technologies listed above.

With respect to verification of student identity and protection of privacy, the UW-Madison policy states:

UW-Madison verifies student identity through a system of secure logins and passwords first established for a student at the time of admission. A student ID card and a NetID are assigned to all students. The NetID and password are required for students to login to university computing and networking services, including the learning management system (i.e., Canvas), MyUW, O365, Google, Box, etc. The university uses Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to add an extra layer of security to the NetID login process. MFA combines the NetID/password with a smartphone/token/fob to verify identity. This extra step helps protect online identities and UW-Madison digital assets.

The same standards are used for secure login to Canvas for distance education courses as is required for login services required for face-to-face instruction, and for students to access payment and financial records. Course rosters include pictures of students taken for their student ID card. Many online classes use video-conferencing, thus instructors have an opportunity to match faces and names.

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