Pursuant to Massachusetts General Law Chapter 112, §87XX ½ and 254 Code of Massachusetts Regulation (CMR) 5:00, the Board developed the following “Requirements for Online Continuing Education Courses” to be utilized by all Board approved Real Estate Schools, effective February 1, 2010.
An Online Continuing Education course shall only be offered by an authorized Real Estate School licensed by the Massachusetts Board of Registration for Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons (Board) for continuing education credit (254 CMR 4:00 and 5:00).
All Online Continuing Education courses offered by a Real Estate School must meet the requirements of currently published Board curriculum as described in 254 CMR 5:00(2). The Real Estate School shall ensure that all courses meet the requirements for Real Estate School Authorization and Continuing Education as prescribed in 254 CMR 4:00 and 5:00 respectively. Each curriculum shall be reviewed by the Real Estate School to ensure offered "subject matter areas" comply with the relevant subject-matter areas in the Board approved continuing education curriculum. It is the responsibility of the Real Estate School to verify that the course content is accurate and up-to-date.
Prior to the beginning of a course, the Board approved continuing education outline and orientation shall be provided to the student which shall include but not be limited to the following: how credit will be recorded for later access; technology requirements for completion of the course; links to school policies including such policies on misrepresenting student identity and refunds; description of how much time a student has to complete the course; information about access to content and technical support and method to obtain answers to student questions.
Each Online Continuing Education course must be time-based. The course shall require, at a minimum, two (2) hours for completion of the course to receive continuing education credit. Also, the course shall allow a student to complete the course at multiple intervals (i.e. a student may begin the course and complete one (1) hour of the course and then may come back later to complete the second hour of the course). Please see above Course Introduction on the Real Estate School’s obligation to notify the student regarding the length of time the student has to complete the course for continuing education credit. It is the responsibility of the Real Estate School to ensure that the course’s delivery method complies with current federal and state statutes. Also, the online course may not run continuously. You will need to impose prompts or pauses or stops to ensure that the student is actively engaged with the course. For example, every 5-15 minutes, the course should prompt the student to either answer question(s), force the student to key the computer, etc. to confirm active student engagement and/or participation.
Each Online Continuing Education course may contain periodic informational multiple choice queries and/or assessments during the course to help the student assess their level of comprehension and ensure understanding. Correct answers are not required to advance past the self assessment / quiz section of the course. Upon selecting an answer the student will receive a text description of why their choice is either correct or incorrect.
Instructors / Experts
Each Online Continuing Education course shall be administered by a Board approved Instructor / Expert as defined by 254 CMR 4:00(7). The Real Estate School shall explicitly state the following including but not limited to (1) the name of the course Instructor / Expert; (2) specific times when the Instructor / Expert is available to answer questions; (3) best means to communicate with the Instructor / Expert; and (4) expected response time by the Instructor / Expert.
The Real Estate School shall provide technical support to the students and shall specify set times when technical support is available.
Question / Evaluation
All students shall have the ability to submit questions and complete a survey for the Real Estate School at the completion of the course. This may be accomplished via the following methods including but not limited to email, other online communication method, telephone contact, or periodic Question and Answer sessions with Instructors / Experts. Also, each student shall have the opportunity to submit an evaluation to the Real Estate School on topics including but not limited to course content, course delivery method, and the Instructor / Expert.
The Real Estate School shall maintain records of courses completed through the school by all students as well as provide a certificate of completion to all individuals who complete the course offerings as required in 254 CMR 4:00 (5) and 4:00 (6)(h).
Attendance Monitoring Policy
The Real Estate School shall have a policy explaining how it intends to verify a student’s identity. Also, the Real Estate School shall retain a statement by the student/licensee stating that the student/licensee certifies under the pains and penalties of perjury to have solely completed the course.