Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Online Learning Resources and Tips

Currently, all ABA accredited law schools have moved online. This means many of us are in new territory when it comes to working with our students. Some schools already have online or hybrid programs, but for many, this is completely new!

I've been hosting bar workshops and classes on zoom for awhile now. I wanted to share some things that I have found to be useful when teaching on zoom, as well as lists of resources I've compiled from elsewhere. (Elsewhere being our listserv and twitter, or through colleagues)

My own tips:

  1. If possible, ask that students leave video on. I find this works better to foster community, and you get better participation. 
  2. However, they should mute their microphone when not talking. This one might be obvious, but even the sound of typing gets picked up on the microphone, and can be distracting to other students. 
  3. The chat feature can be wonderful, but probably only in small groups. I find it works well if I have a workshop of under 20, but it would likely be distracting in a larger class. Its a great way for students to participate, or to keep track of questions until the end.
  4. I have found the polling feature to be a great way to get people to participate. Obviously this is best used for multiple choice style questions, but I think it can be used creatively for all manner of things. 
  5. Share screen to share essay prompts, sample answers, power points- great! However, the white board is great in theory, but I find it hard to use. Maybe it's me, or my lack or artistic ability. Instead, I pull up a blank word document, which I find easier to create charts and graphs on, like I would in a non virtual classroom.

Other resources:

CALI (Center for Computer Assisted Legal Instruction)

And online learning guide from Roger William's  and LawTutors' Brittany Raposa:

Suffolk Law's Sarah Schendel compiled a great list of resources on twitter:

and finally, an article about better focus with online learning:


If you have your own tips, or I've left out any great resources, please leave them in the comments!

(Melissa A. Hale)

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