Distance Education

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UNLV law professor Diana Gleason has recently published an article entitled Distance Education in Law School: The Train Has Left the Station in SSRN. 

Here’s the abstract:

“[This article} posits the idea that law schools are getting left behind a national trend to add distance education to the higher education curriculum to the detriment of legal education and law students. Approximately half the article describes reasons for the growth in distance education in non-law academia, followed by reasons why distance education has not impacted law schools. The remainder of the article discusses three changes taking place that will bring distance education to law schools. Specifically, students expect more, students are seeking a less expensive alternative to the brick and mortar law school, and a student population with non-traditional goals and demographics is starting to enter law school.”

This article is very timely as we consider the addition of online courses here especially at the Master’s level. There would seem to be a demand by students who cannot attend courses on campus due to illness,  family responsibities, jobs, and other restrictions.

ABA Section on Legal Education & Admission to the Bar (Standard 306—Distance Education) was accepted in 2002.  This makes online classes a feasible option at the law school.

Technology issues related to online course content, however, are many — hardware, software, content hosting, bandwidth, digtal content formats, training, technical support to name a few.

First, here are some of  our Hosting Options:

  • TWEN – space restrictions limit uploading of digital audio & video, No COST, password -protected,  discussion forum, assignment drop box, claendar, gradebook, document pages for class materials, web links , interactive features- live chats, instapolls
  • iTunesU – NO COST,  500 Gb of space for digital audio (mp3) & video (mp4), password-protected, can upload pdfs also, need itunes software to use, can use for marketing as well as distance education, no interactive features
  • Classcaster -NO COST- can upload documents, digital audio and video, blogging discussions, can password-protect, no interactive features
  • WordPress – NO COST for 50 MB of space (can buy more), can upload documents, digital audio and video, blogging discussions, can password-protect, no interactive features
  • Adobe Connect – $450 set up fee and $150 yearly subscription for each professor to store content on their server, web-based live classes (with the internet & adobe flash player), real-time polling, archived content for later viewing
  • Webex – similiar to Adobe Connect – more suited for training
  • Elluminate Live – another alternative to Adobe which seems to work in an educaitonal environment
  • Outside servers such as AAN
  • Our Own

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