Sunday, December 05, 2004

Online Learning is Coming - Also to Law

Online Learning (E-Learning) is Coming - Also to Law

Ray Schroeder at the blog Online Learning Update writes:

"Online learning has entered the mainstream of American higher education. "

Yet, U.S. News writes in "Learning in Legal Limbo" that the American Bar Association has yet to embrace the concept of e-learning in spite of the appearance of online law schools, such as Concord. Is the ABA bucking a coming online learning trend? Of course they are.

As written at CNN, "Online schools clicking with students". Indeed, we already have an online law school as well.

Concord - An Online Law School

For actual school experience, see Confessions of an Early Internet Educator by Jack R. Goetz, President and Dean, Concord Law School, which summarizes six years of experience with an online law school.

Based on Goetz's experiences, there can be no other conclusion except that it is only a matter of time until learning through video lectures and by other online methods will become more widely used in law school education.

Past Problems with E-Learning

There are of course also pitfalls ahead, however, and not all university e-learning systems have been successfully organized or implemented, as reported in the Economist, which writes, inter alia:

"University professors head the list of the skeptical and contemptuous. In some cases this is a defensive posture. Adding an online component to a regular course could mean more work without an accompanying pay rise. A deeper fear is that their positions will be eliminated altogether."

It is always remarkable to find that academics are often progressive as far as the rest of society is concerned but are defensive arch-conservatives when their own academic fields or professional skins are involved.

In fact, due in part to resistance by academia, e-learning has not advanced nearly as fast as originally thought. See e.g. What Keeps Universities from Embracing e-Learning?

See also the study by Robert Zemsky & William F. Massy, "Thwarted Innovation: What Happened to E-learning and Why".

Ken Switzer has a rebuttal to Zemsky and Massy. See also What's New.

E-Learning is Coming, Slowly but Surely

Despite these negative voices, E-Learning is progressing in e.g. the European Union and in the UK (HEFCE - Higher Education Funding Council for England). Ca. 20% annual growth is expected in the USA.

Online learning is also at the inception of "transforming" the US military.

E-Learning for professionals in law-related business matters is also increasing, e.g.

see the INTA Trademark Basics 2004 E-Learning Program. INTA is the International Trademark Association.

See also on the topic of e-learning at universities (as well as the related distance education):

E-Learning at U.S. News including their A-Z List of E-Learning Institutions

e.g. Stanford University, which offers 218 such courses, whereas the comparable Eastern schools, such as Harvard and Yale lag far behind on this score.

More at:

Master of Distance Education degree - UMUC

eLearn Magazine

PGCert Employment Law by e-learning

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