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Online & Hybrid Learning Pedagogy Best Practices and Standards Development at AALS on Thursday, January 2

Posted by William Byrnes on December 30, 2019


If you are attending the first afternoon of AALS Thursday, please join our discussion Online & Hybrid Learning Pedagogy Best Practices and Standards Development at Marriot Wardman Park Hotel’s Roosevelt Room 4, from 3:30-5:15 p.m. on Thursday, January 2 in a Q&A format.  Discussants include Dean April Barton (Duquesne), Dean James Hackney (Northeastern), Dean Megan Carpenter (New Hampshire), Prof. Rebecca Purdom (Emory), John Mayer (CALI), David Thomson (Denver), and Prof. William Byrnes (Texas A&M).

The discussants will help lead an audience conversation: “Since the publication of the first set of best practices and model rules, what have we learned? What should the community be considering now?

Our goal for this discussion is to test whether there is an appetite for an updated set of best practice standards and model rules. The five-year project sponsored by the Harvard Project on the Legal Profession to draft a set of best practices and model standards for online learning in legal education, Distance Learning in Legal Education: Delivery and Recommended Practices, is published by CALI: download here.  This conversation will continue next summer at SEALS and at the 2021 AALS meeting.

Specific discussion points may include:

  • Do we need to modernize best practices? Were we wrong about anything five years ago?
  • Do we need to update model rules? Who/what organization is the target for model rules? How should the ABA and regional accreditors review online law classes?
  • Some states still restrict how many online classes students may count toward taking the bar. Does this affect the growth of online law programs? Should it? Should this community engage those states? How?
  • Many online offerings by law schools are in their non-JD degree programs. How should the accreditation discussion for these programs consider online offerings? How will their regulation affect online JD classes?
  • Some law schools report status differences between faculty who teach online, and faculty who teach residential classes. Is this status difference a problem? If so, how should the problem be approached?
  • Some law schools heavily use adjuncts to teach online law classes. Is this a problem? If so, what steps should be taken?
Hope that you can join our discussion this Thursday at AALS!

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