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FirstGear

Online learning to be offered in future?

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Since COVID-19, law schools have moved their education online. Are any law schools going to keep this distance learning system? I am from Edmonton, Alberta, and limited geographically; I own property here and have a tenant, spouse, and animals to take care of. Thus, if online learning is not maintained: I'm limited to U of A and their unique policy of averaging LSAT scores, instead of only considering the best one.

Edited by FirstGear

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I would be in favour of that! But judging from how online classes are going from the students side, not likely at all. 

 Though maybe the profs are liking it. 

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3 minutes ago, legallybrunette3 said:

 Though maybe the profs are liking it. 

I am a current law student and in my experience the profs more or less universally dislike it. Probably more consistently and to a greater extent than students.

I would be highly surprised if the online format was retained beyond the point at which it is no longer a necessity due to COVID.

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18 minutes ago, CleanHands said:

I am a current law student and in my experience the profs more or less universally dislike it. Probably more consistently and to a greater extent than students.

I would be highly surprised if the online format was retained beyond the point at which it is no longer a necessity due to COVID.

This is my experience as well. Still, I don't think online format course delivery and assessment methods will disappear entirely once it is safe to hold classes in person again. Short intensive courses (i.e 1 week 1L intro to lawyering ethics courses) or supplimentary/remedial courses in particular I can imagine being continually offered in a digital format (atleast as an alternative to in person attendance) for convenience and accessibility purposes. 

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It's impossible to say at this point, so I have no real basis for this, but with the vaccine rolling out now my guess is that there's maybe a 50/50 chance of online school continuing into the fall? I imagine we will be back in person by next winter. 

I also doubt that schools will want to continue online after the threat of COVID subsides. It's been a tough transition for profs who have never before needed to use a predominantly online format. Not to mention that many people seem to feel the absence of in-person aspects of law school - events, galas, lectures, orientation, experiential learning not done through a screen, etc. These have been supplemented online to an extent, but you're paying a hefty fee to attend any school; I imagine people would have something to say about that in conjunction to losing out on a huge part of the law school experience. Personally, I wouldn't like it.

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One of my instructors took to recording all of his lectures last year, so people could chooses whether or not to come to class, or could review classes after the fact. Those recordings make up our asynchronous class now (which isn’t my favourite, but I think that’s more me than the format).  I would like if more instructors did this. Being able to review the recordings this semester has been great, and mixing that with in person learning would be ideal in my view. I’d still go to class, but I think it would be a great option for people who are trying to fit schooling into preexisting busy schedules. 

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11 minutes ago, PlatoandSocrates said:

One of my instructors took to recording all of his lectures last year, so people could chooses whether or not to come to class, or could review classes after the fact. Those recordings make up our asynchronous class now (which isn’t my favourite, but I think that’s more me than the format).  I would like if more instructors did this. Being able to review the recordings this semester has been great, and mixing that with in person learning would be ideal in my view. I’d still go to class, but I think it would be a great option for people who are trying to fit schooling into preexisting busy schedules. 

This will never become the norm.

I personally find this completely absurd (given that teaching is part of their core job duties), but it's part of the arrangement between UBC and the professors there that the lectures are the professor's intellectual property and they cannot be compelled to allow classes to be recorded (I assume this is not unique to UBC). Some professors are fanatical about this and absolutely refuse to permit any recording of their lectures under any circumstances.

I must say I was incredibly pissed off when a professor whose academic focus is on refugee and prisoner rights, and who ostensibly has devoted their life to advocating for marginalized people and virtue signals about that fact, refused to allow me to get a friend to record one of her classes because I had to be in court at that time representing an indigent client on a criminal matter on a volunteer basis.

Edited by CleanHands
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33 minutes ago, CleanHands said:

This will never become the norm.

I personally find this completely absurd (given that teaching is part of their core job duties), but it's part of the arrangement between UBC and the professors there that the lectures are the professor's intellectual property and they cannot be compelled to allow classes to be recorded (I assume this is not unique to UBC). Some professors are fanatical about this and absolutely refuse to permit any recording of their lectures under any circumstances.

I must say I was incredibly pissed off when a professor whose academic focus is on refugee and prisoner rights, and who ostensibly has devoted their life to advocating for marginalized people and virtue signals about that fact, refused to allow me to get a friend to record one of her classes because I had to be in court at that time representing an indigent client on a criminal matter on a volunteer basis.

Yes, I don’t imagine they could ever be compelled to do so, but it would be nice if some of them extended the courtesy. It would be good for revision, those who fall ill, and that exact situation you mention. 
 

Sounds like a nonsensical situation as well. What does she think you’re going to do, put one 90 minute class online for pirating? Who cares. Leave it to the law profs to be that nitpicky over their IP. (Funny enough, my instructor with the recording is my property instructor). 
 

 One of my instructors this semester is against recording, but she’s pretty great otherwise, so I won’t hold it against her too much. 

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It is extraordinarily unlikely that law school will move to an online format post-Covid. Law is one of those things that is very hard to learn properly in an online format.

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On 12/13/2020 at 1:29 PM, Mal said:

Law is one of those things that is very hard to learn properly in an online format.

Go on?

@Mal I'm curious about your reasoning for that statement since your black is my white and my white is your black on this one.

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I can't speak to the effect of online learning on law school specifically. But in general, education consists of two parts: the intellectual, and the social. The latter is significantly inhibited by online only learning environments, and as a result, I doubt it will ever come to be the exclusive medium of instruction. And believe it or not our parents had it right: it's important to figure out how to socialize (as this is a life skill and school is a great way to learn).

Will traditional schooling be supplemented by online learning? Absolutely! But I think it would be a poor choice to go down that path for all instruction. Who wants to pay the same tuition (it won't go down seeing as the legacy infrastructure is massive and well, needs to be paid for) for ostensibly only half of the original deal? 

Edited by AllanRC
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Pre-COVID, I had some profs whose practice was to record and post their in-person lecture. Don't count on this being true across the board though.

Honestly, you'll miss out on the richness of law school if you willfully do it online. Beyond classes, there are opportunities to volunteer, join clubs, attend social events, take files and develop relationships with professors and peers. The current arrangement takes away so much of what makes law school an experience. And even if you're in it for the sole purpose of getting a job, the opportunity to network and form connections is HUGE. As a 3L, I've had the privilege of being immersed in the law school culture and I certainly hope for others who follow that in-person learning resumes by next year. You'll be paying a lot of money so get the most out of the experience.

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52 minutes ago, AllanRC said:

I can't speak to the effect of online learning on law school specifically. But in general, education consists of two parts: the intellectual, and the social. The latter is significantly inhibited by online only learning environments, and as a result, I doubt it will ever come to be the exclusive medium of instruction. And believe it or not our parents had it right: it's important to figure out how to socialize (as this is a life skill and school is a great way to learn).

Will traditional schooling be supplemented by online learning? Absolutely! But I think it would be a poor choice to go down that path for all instruction. Who wants to pay the same tuition (it won't go down seeing as the legacy infrastructure is massive and well, needs to be paid for) for ostensibly only half of the original deal? 

The social aspect is another discussion for sure, but I personally don’t place much importance on it - most things remain possible or are enhanced (volunteering, joining clubs, attending social events, developing relationships with peers and profs). I have been through 5 or 6 universities in my time so perhaps I’m socialized out and valuing the intellectual engagement above all else. Really I’m just curious to know other opinions on what makes the online learning of law itself more difficult. 

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I’m fairly confident that it won’t continue into the future. At least in Ontario there were some LSO requirements restrictions regarding exclusive online learning. I imagine once it’s no longer required we’ll revert back to the old method. 

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