I recently returned from the Sloan Consortium’s International Conference on Online Learning. It was quite fascinating and well worth my time (and employer’s money).
Law schools seem way behind other academic institutions when it comes to distance ed; mostly because the ABA severely restricts the amount of online courses students can take (from accredited law schools), and perhaps in part because legal academia is more conservative than other types of academia. (I think. I just made that part up). Still, law professors are incorporating more online learning in their courses (if you have a hybrid class where 1/3 or less of is online, then it doesn’t “count” as an online course), and law schools are offering certificate and LLM programs that are completely online. That was why I and my boss went to this conference: so we could better assist our professors who want to do this.
I counted three of us there as being from law schools (if anybody knows differently, correct me. There were over 2,000 attendees and the list of them was not organized in a fashion that I could decipher). People were sort of fascinated by us. (To be fair, we are fascinating). I was left wondering, as I often am at conferences, if there is really something different about law school/law students from other disciplines, or if this is something we (in legal academia) tell ourselves to make us feel special. I still don’t have the answer to this.
My notes, if you are interested.