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March 13, 2007

Recommendations for Offering Legal Instruction over the Internet

In Five Recommendations to Law Schools Offering Legal Instruction over the Internet, 11 J. Tech. L. & Pol'y 285 (2006) [Westlaw], Daniel C. Powell writes (2006)

There are good ways and bad ways to offer instruction from a distance. To ensure that legal education remains a shared enterprise and an interactive endeavor between professors and students, asynchronous mediums of instructions should be used to supplement a more interactive and synchronous primary mode of instruction. To avoid common pedagogical limitations and administrative problems, law schools should be careful to “own” their course and program offerings and to use relational marketing techniques to keep distance education nearby.

Powell offers five practical recommendations. The first recommendations addresses what to offer and the remaining four offer advice on how to offer distance learning. Together these recommendations are intended to advise law schools on how to successfully expand into distance learning while avoiding common administrative problems and pedagogical limitations.

  • Recommendation #1: Offer Programs More Generously Than Courses
  • Recommendation #2: Collaborate with Other Schools in Offering Courses but not when Offering Programs
  • Recommendation #3: Use Synchronous Delivery of Information, like Videoconferencing, for the Primary Mode of Instruction
  • Recommendation #4: Use Asynchronous Forms of Delivery to Increase the Level of Interaction and Support the Primary, Synchronous Form
  • Recommendation #5: Use Relational Marketing to Retain and Recruit Distance Education Students

More generally, I cannot recommend too strongly Brave New Classrooms: Democratic Education and the Internet (2007) because it offers an invigorating analysis of the dangers and possibilities of e-learning. Brave New Classrooms includes sixteen essays from educational practitioners, including some of the best-known theorists of Internet-based education. Cross-posted on Law Librarian Blog. -- Joe Hodnicki

March 13, 2007 in Technology -- in general | Permalink

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