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Ahead of the Curve: Teaching In the COVID-19 Era
Law.com | Aug. 11, 2020
So what does risk taking mean in the context of online law teaching? In a nutshell, it’s a call to be more ambitious this semester than simply delivering lectures over Zoom. And it’s a warning to not lower expectations for both students and professors simply because the mode of teaching is different. “What I’ve been hearing over and over is, ‘I can’t do this, I can’t do that because….online,’” Kohn said during her symposium comments. “We need to stop thinking about technology as a limiting factor.”
Professor Nina Kohn Offers “Teaching Law Online: A Guide for Faculty”
“Teaching Law Online: A Guide for Faculty.” Journal of Legal Education (2020).
As law school classes move online, it is imperative that law faculty understand not only how to teach online, but how to teach well online.
Professor Nina Kohn’s article is designed to help law faculty do their best teaching online. It walks faculty through key choices they must make when designing online courses and concrete ways that they can prepare themselves and their students to succeed.
The article explains why live online teaching should be the default option for most faculty, but it also shows how faculty can enhance student learning by incorporating asynchronous lessons into their online classes. It then shows how faculty can set up their virtual teaching space and employ diverse teaching techniques to foster an engaging and rigorous online learning environment.
The article concludes by discussing how the move to online education in response to COVID-19 could improve the overall quality of law school teaching.
Dean Boise, JDinteractive Featured in Raising the Bar Commentary on Distance Learning
Dean Craig M. Boise is featured in the summer 2020 issue of Raising the Bar, the publication of AccessLex’s Center for Legal Education Excellence. Dean Boise’s thoughts on JDinteractive, the College of Law’s fully interactive online law degree program—part of Raising the Bar’s “Distinguished Thinker Commentaries on Distance Learning”—can be read starting on page 27.
Online Law Degree Program Benefits Many in COVID-19 Pandemic
Syracuse University News | May 15, 2020
Throughout March, many law schools transitioned to online instruction in response to COVID-19. At Syracuse University, it has been relatively easy. “We’re very fortunate at the College of Law that we’ve already spent years thinking through how you bring law school online in a way that works for students,” says Nina Kohn, a David M. Levy Professor of Law and faculty director of online education …
This NY university offers the first online dual JD/MBA in the US
Study International News | April 29, 2020
While other universities are already offering joint undergraduate and graduate degrees in law and business, Syracuse University is the first to offer a programme that students can take entirely online.
How it works is that students first apply for the online JD, known as JDinteractive or JDi for short. Upon completion of a set number of courses in this programme, they can then apply for the online MBA …
Professor Nina Kohn Reviews the Move to Online Learning During COVID-19 for eLearning Inside
eLearning Online | April 27, 2020
Online J.D. programs were well-equipped to transition their in-person students online. “We were lucky in that we had the capacity to easily move in-person students over to the online modality,” Syracuse Professor and Faculty Director Nina Kohn said. “We have a student affairs office that’s used to working with students remotely. We have an office of career services that knows how to make programming available online. We have an IT staff that understands how to support faculty and students on Zoom” …
Law School Innovators: Taking Legal Ed Online
ABA Law Student Podcast | April 10, 2020
Join Dean Craig M. Boise, Faculty Director of Online Education Nina Kohn, and host and JDinteractive 1L student Meghan Stapleton Steenburgh for an ABA Law Student Podcast on making legal education more accessible through online programs and other innovations. This two-part podcast also features JDi 2L students Mandy Mobley Li, Katy Morris, and Ernie Sawyer, who offer tips and tricks for adjusting to online learning.
Professor Nina Kohn: Move Class Online … But Do It Right
Syracuse.com | March 19, 2020
With coronavirus surging, universities around the country have shuttered physical classrooms and moved classes online. These changes have been met with concern that the result will be substandard education, and educational experts have warned that faculty will be unable to create engaging online courses on short notice. But online education is not necessarily inferior, and low expectations risk creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.
High quality education can be delivered online. There is ample research on online education, including in higher education, that shows that it can be an effective modality for teaching both concepts and skills. Whether moving on-campus courses online requires fundamental changes in teaching methodologies to avoid sacrificing quality depends, in large part, on the online format.
Many people equate online education with self-paced (or “asynchronous”) methods that lack real-time interaction. The creation of high-quality, interactive, self-paced classes often requires faculty to rethink how they teach and takes a considerable investment of resources. This investment may be worthwhile as the self-paced format can encourage reflective learning and make education accessible to students with inflexible schedules due to work or care-giving obligations. However, it means that it is unrealistic to expect faculty or universities to be able to rapidly pivot to high-quality, asynchronous instruction …
Professor Nina Kohn Discusses Online Legal Education on LawtoFact.com
LawtoFact.com | March 6, 2020
Professor Leslie Garfield Tenzer speaks with Nina Kohn, the David M. Levy Professor of Law and Faculty Director of Online Education at Syracuse University College of Law about developing online classes for legal education …
The Many Possibilities for Online Legal Education
Law.com Ahead of the Curve | Jan. 28, 2020
… this month, I heard from Syracuse again. It was touting the upcoming “Third Year Away” program, which will allow third-year law students in the traditional J.D. program to spend the year off-campus in externships, while taking online classes taught by regular faculty. (The program is akin to what Washburn University School of Law has done with its Third Year Anywhere program, with some minor differences.) Nina Kohn, the faculty director of online education at Syracuse, told me last week that the idea behind the new program is to allow third-year students to get some practical experience in the locations where they aspire to practice. (It will only become available to the new first-year students who start this fall.)
… So each of these new offerings is leveraging the online course platform that Syracuse created for the core JDInteractive program, but for slightly different populations of students. That got me thinking about the idea of online JDs being, perhaps, more versatile than I had initially understood them to be. Once a school has invested the money necessary to develop online courses—and convinced faculty to teach those courses—it makes sense to figure out other ways to use that technology for all students …
SU Launches First Online JD/MBA Degree in the Nation
The Daily Orange | Jan. 26, 2020
“Once we had an on-campus and online J.D. program and an online MBA program, we had this opportunity to bring them together,” said Nina Kohn, director of online education at the College of Law.
Online courses include live sessions in which faculty present lectures in real-time, allowing students to interact with both the professor and their classmates.
“Our standards are the same, whether you are in our residential program or our online program,” said Kathleen O’Connor, associate dean of online education at the College of Law. “It’s our professors that maintain the rigor in their courses.”
Students pursuing the joint degree first apply for an online J.D. After completing a number of JDi courses, they can apply for an online MBA. The MBA applications will open in fall 2020 and will also be available to current JDi students.
Online Program is Helping Military Members and Spouses Get Law Degrees
Military.com | June 22, 2019
This Military.com article focuses on JDinteractive’s ability to allow active military, the military-connected, and veterans to pursue a law degree without having to commit to a three-year residential program …
From Okinawa to Germany and bases in the U.S., military spouses and active-duty troops are attending a law school in upstate New York, thanks to the first online program accredited by the American Bar Association.
“You just click on the link,” Michaela Gonzalez, wife of an Army Specialist in Vilseck, Germany, said of how she attends class at Syracuse University’s College of Law …
JDinteractive Named Top Online Law Degree Program by Criminal Justice Degree Hub
criminaljusticedegreehub.com | June 2019
Criminal Justice Degree Hub’s ranking of the best hybrid and online JD degree programs looks at reputable, accredited institutions. “We then ranked them according to their Tuition Cost (current IPEDS data), Student Satisfaction (Niche reviews), and Alumni Salary Expectations (from College Scorecard).”
“Syracuse University stands apart from other programs because it is ABA approved and fully online. As an online program, it is interactive and encourages students to stay engaged in the material. The live online classes offer a chance to interact with peers and discuss topics with professors similar to traditional classes. The university offers the flexibility students need to manage their personal and career obligations while obtaining their degree.
Online Law School Courses Pass the Test
TaxProfBlog | March 26, 2019
The skills for teaching online law school courses are not unlike those needed for the practice of law. Both require concise writing, well-organized outlines and the ability to speak without appearing that you’re reading from a script, says Ellen Murphy, assistant dean of instructional technologies and design at Wake Forest University School of Law.
And despite the stereotypes about online offerings being low-quality, Murphy says that when the courses are done well, students and professors may have a better connection than they would with in-person classes. With online learning, she adds, “you can’t hide in the back row” …
If taught well, online law school courses can pass the test, experts say
ABA Journal | Feb. 6, 2019
And despite the stereotypes about online offerings being low-quality, Murphy says that when the courses are done well, students and professors may have a better connection than they would with in-person classes … Accredited law schools with recent online offerings include Syracuse University College of Law, the University of Dayton School of Law and Southwestern Law School …
Online Law School is a Win for Syracuse University
The Daily Orange | Feb. 5, 2019
“This program will be incredibly helpful to those who just can’t pursue an on-campus law school education. Whether it be because of jobs, families or any other reason, the commitment of being a full-time student on campus for three years can be taxing.”
JDinteractive: Heading to law school was the next step for Kathryn Morris … just not in Oregon
Onondaga County Bar Reporter | February 2019
“I started Googling ‘online law school’ and quickly discovered that there was a new program that would fit my needs,” she said. “This program is quite literally the only way that a legal education is approachable given my professional and family life.”
Nina Kohn Discusses JDinteractive on Channel 9’s Bridge Street
LocalSyr.com | Jan. 17, 2019
LRAP Arms Race
Law.com Ahead of the Curve | Jan. 14, 2019
A trio of elite law schools have recently improved their Loan Repayment Assistance Programs for graduates in public interest and other low-paying jobs, and Syracuse University College of Law’s brand new hybrid J.D. program offers a glimpse of legal education’s future …
3 Tips for Choosing an Online Law Program
US News & World Report | Jan. 15, 2019
… Beginning with the January 2019 semester, Syracuse became the first law school to launch an ABA-accredited program featuring these live online classes. Students must still complete 12 credits in-person on Syracuse’s campus – through short, skills-focused intensive residencies held during the first week of the student’s law school education, a second week during the second semester and four long weekends scheduled at the student’s convenience over the remainder of his or her time in law school …
First-ever online law program starts at Syracuse University
WSYR News Channel 9 | Jan. 10, 2019
… “I live within two miles of five law schools in Chicago, all of which have part-time programs, but I really am comfortable with this type of learning,” said Ray Scannell, an online law student through SU …
Law School’s Online Program Attracts Students With Higher LSAT Scores Than Its On-Campus Program
Above the Law | Jan. 10, 2019
Syracuse Law’s JDinteractive program got off to a great start this week, and according to Nina Kohn, the school’s associate dean for online education, the students in the online program had higher LSAT scores than students in the residential program.
Syracuse’s New Online JD Portends Popularity of Hybrid Programs
Law.com | Jan. 9, 2019
… Syracuse’s hybrid differs from existing offerings in part due to its emphasis on online classes delivered in real-time, alongside the more common self-paced online classes of other programs that allow students to complete them at their convenience. JDinteractive took four years of planning, [Nina] Kohn said, and classes are taught primarily by the school’s regular law faculty.
“I think we have the potential to set the standard for what a quality legal education looks like in this online space,” she said …
JDinteractive: An Online Law Degree Program Designed to Expand Access to Justice
NYSBA Journal | September 2018
This article describes the program and its implications for the legal profession and those the profession serves. Specifically, it discusses the potential of this rigorous, yet flexible, approach to legal education to reach talented students who cannot reasonably attend a residential law school. It then explores how the approach may help increase diversity within the legal profession, produce lawyers with client-relevant experience, and expand access to justice in underserved communities.
The Audacity to Innovate: Pioneering an Online J.D. Program
Inside Higher Ed | June 13, 2018
… One of the immediate advantages of hybrid and online programs is the flexibility they allow, as flexibility begets access. Syracuse … may now become an option for a talented student for whom the opportunity and other costs of a residential program would have been too high even to consider …
Navigating online professional degrees — potential and caution
Education Dive | March 21, 2018
Syracuse University College of Law is pioneering one of the nation’s hybrid J.D. programs, available for enrollment in 2019, and others are looking into the potential advantages of this type of offering, particularly as the post-secondary student body grows in non-traditional, mid-career adults seeking credentials from flexible programs …
6 Ways to Study Law Online
U.S. News & World Report | March 26, 2018
… Like Mitchell Hamline, the Syracuse University College of Law was recently approved for an ABA variance allowing its J.D. program to combine live and self-paced online classes with in-person sessions on the school’s campus or satellite locations, says Nina Kohn, associate dean for research and online education at the school. It is expected to launch in January 2019 …
SU Law First in Nation to Offer Live Online Law Program
News Channel 9 (Syracuse, NY) | March 12, 2018
“Nina Kohn, Associate Dean of Research and Online Education, SU Law School, says, ‘The legal profession is changing and law schools need to be aware of that and think about how do we prepare students for the legal profession of tomorrow and not the legal profession of yesterday.’
Students in the online program will be taught by College of Law faculty and will be held to the same high admission and academic standards as students in the College’s residential program, and will take all courses required by its residential J.D. program.
Kathleen O’Connor, Executive Director of Online Education for SU Law, says, ‘It is our program that we have in the building and now it will be available to students online.'”
Online JD Program Could Increase Accessibility at the College of Law, Faculty Say
The Daily Orange | Feb. 27, 2018
“I think we will be a pioneer,” said Christian Day, a professor in the College of Law. “I think we have the advantage of being the first (online J.D.) school, a fine law school at a fine university, and if we do it right, there will be other schools that will also do it” …
College of Law’s Nina Kohn Discusses New Online Juris Doctor Program
Syracuse University News | Feb. 26, 2018
“The program is the result of a multi-year process and careful deliberation by our faculty. Multiple faculty committees worked on this program, from the initial deliberation on whether to pursue it in the first place, to the general curricular framework, to specific course content.”
The Ice Is Melting for Hybrid J.D. Programs
eLearning News Online | Feb. 22, 2018
“Syracuse’s will conduct a majority of its coursework via remote online classes. For the remaining third of credits mandated by the ABA, students will travel to campus once per semester for intensive periods of study that will last roughly one week” …
Another Law School Launches Hybrid Online Degree
Education Dive | Feb. 16, 2018
“Despite critics’ concerns that legal education requires use of the in-person Socratic method, the ABA’s willingness to give accredited status to distance and blending learning in high-quality programs reflects online education’s staying power” …
Syracuse Law Gains Approval for (Mostly) Online J.D.
Inside Higher Ed | Feb. 15, 2018
Syracuse University College of Law has won approval from the American Bar Association’s accreditation division to offer a J.D. program in which roughly two-thirds of the course work will be completed online — although about half of the credits completed at a distance will be conducted live, in real time, school officials note …
Syracuse Law Announces “Live Online” J.D. Program
National Jurist | Feb. 14, 2018
“By allowing students to engage in real-time online classes from anywhere, the online J.D. will make the College of Law’s high-quality legal education accessible to students who cannot reasonably attend a fully residential program,” says Craig M. Boise, Dean and Professor of Law, Syracuse University College of Law …
ABA Set to Loosen Restrictions on Online Law Classes
Law.com | Feb. 13, 2018
… “It’s very exciting to have the opportunity to translate what we do as law professors into the online space,” Kohn said. “It’s exciting to think about how we can make the residential program, which has been our hallmark and our strength, accessible to students who can’t get to our campus” …