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January 25, 2007

Take Corporations from UCLA Prof. Bainbridge!

At his eponymous website, Prof. Steve Bainbridge is posting both the lecture audio and the powerpoint slides from his Corporations class at UCLA. He even includes quizzes and answers!

Does this devalue the education at UCLA by making it available to everyone--even those who don't attend?

Or does it increase the value of a UCLA education by showing off its very fine teaching? (I suspect the latter is more likely.)

Will other law professors follow? Harvard's Zittrain/Palfrey/Fisher/Nesson have repeatedly offered material specially designed for online consumption. Posting lectures online for public inspection allows others to critique one's lectures--it allows anyone to sit in on, and thus judge, a professor's teaching. That will give many professors pause, before they do so.

A side-benefit is that entry-level corporate law professors--especially one's teaching from the Klein/Bainbridge/Ramseyer text--could listen to Steve's lectures before giving their own.

I would be remiss not to note the IP issues here. Who owns the lecture (and thus has rights to authorize public dissemination)? As I understand, Berkeley claims to own the MP3 recording for its professors, but gives ownership of the lecture itself to the individual professor. I don't know what UCLA claims (perhaps there is a Regents policy on this). That said, I'm would be surprised if the Regents would interfere with the dissemination of educational material in this manner.

I asked Steve about his intentions and he reports that he sees it "as a service to adopters of my casebook and students"--and, corporate-minded person that he is, "as guerrilla marketing."

In my view this is a brilliant move by Steve. Kudos to him for his leadership.

Anupam Chander

January 25, 2007 in Technology -- in the classroom | Permalink


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This is cool. There are a lot of folks doing this sort of thing. At Classcaster ( http://www.classcaster.org/ ) over 60 law professors and librarians are blogging and podcasting their courses. Many are entering their third semester of Classcaster podcasting. Classcaster holds over 2000 hours of lectures and summaries, slides, syllabi, and commentary in over 19 areas of the law. It is possible to listen to entire first year's worth of lectures. Classcaster is freely available to faculty and librarians at any of the over 200 CALI member schools.

Also, a number of schools are building their own archives of courses. Of these, Nova Southeastern has a great example in its Legal Replays collection ( http://www.nsulaw.nova.edu/legalreplay/index.cfm ). Legal Replays provides an archive of courses many in MP3 format with available presentations.

I suppose that my one question is why more folks aren't doing this?


Posted by: Elmer Masters | Jan 26, 2007 5:04:13 PM

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