Curriculum Requirements

Educational Objectives

The educational objectives of online responsible pet owner courses must include, but are not limited to the promotion of:


Timed Coursework

The course must be offered online, and each course must be timed.

Courses must include built-in timers to ensure the minimum hours of instruction have been completed by the participant

Timed Coursework and Hours

Each course must include a minimum of 2 hours of instruction.

One instructional hour is equal to 50 minutes of time.


Attendance Verification

Each course must contain a procedure for attendance verification to ensure the participant is active for the full length of the course.

Student Identity Validation

As part of the attendance verification system, course providers must have a system in place for confirming the identity of students engaged in completing coursework. This personal validation system must include the following requirements:

  • Personal validation questions. The course provider shall ask a minimum of 10 personal validation questions throughout the course.
  • Time to respond. The participant must correctly answer the online personal validation question within 90 seconds. Failure by the participant to respond within 90 seconds will result in the validation question being scored as incorrect.
  • Placement of questions. At least one personal validation question shall appear in each major unit or section.
  • Exclusion from the course. The course provider shall exclude the participant from the course after the participant has incorrectly answered more than 30 percent of the personal validation questions.
  • Correction of answer. The course provider may correct an answer to a personal validation question for a participant who inadvertently missed a personal validation question. In such a case, the course provider shall record both answers and an explanation of the reasons that the course provider corrected the answer.

You may implement alternate methods that meet or exceed the level of security provided by the personal validation question method (above), however alternative methods will require a written request for approval from the department.


Course Materials

All course materials must have the following characteristics:

  • Appropriate grammar, spelling and punctuation
  • Appropriate illustrations and graphics that are consistent with the educational objectives
  • Comprehensive presentation of subject matter that is consistent with the educational objectives

Learning Evaluation

Course providers must incorporate a process that verifies student comprehension of course material and educational objectives.

Content validation questions shall be multiple choice, and course providers must not identify the correct answers for the students.

Unit or Section Exams

  • The course provider must ask at least one course content validation question following each major unit or section.
  • The questions must be difficult enough that the answer may not be easily determined without having first read the unit or section content.

Course Mastery Exam

Course providers must test students for mastery of the course content by asking at least 2 questions from each major unit or section.

The test bank for course content mastery questions must include at least 5 questions from each major unit or section.


Course Failures

Students must correctly answer at least 70% of the content validation questions to successfully complete a course.