Now that we’ve had a chance to think about creating conditions for success before and during online law school classes, here are some tips for what to do during a distance education session.
After an online class…
1. Be kind. Share notes with a friend who misses class, even if they can very well take notes. Cut yourself some slack, too, if your performance isn’t what you want it to be. Your professors know you are under tremendous stress, that you didn’t choose this (heck, they didn’t either), that you may not have a quiet place to study, have unusual demands on your time and attention. Some days are going to feel hard and some days may feel ok. That’s normal.
2. Post. Whether you are taking an asynchronous or synchronous class, if your professor is maintaining a discussion thread or bulletin board, post questions there. Know that if you have a question, you are helping the other students (and the professor) by posting it. The answer may clear up confusion for students and invites the professor to explain things in a different way.
4. Stay in touch. Stay in touch with your classmates and your professor. If you ordinarily have a study group meeting every weekend, try to do the same virtually. Also be in contact with your professor. I am always glad to hear from students if there are things that would help them learn better. Pass along your suggestions with kindness. I appreciate them!
5. Relentlessly self-assess. After every class, week, few weeks, ask yourself what is working and not working with your remote education. How are you doing? What are the obstacles to your learning? The online education is not what most students signed up for, but now that it is upon us, focus eliminating obstacles where you can. Ask for any help you need.
6. Relentlessly review. It’s hard. We’re all distracted.
7. Dig deep. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to do something very extraordinary here. We are setting a standard that other people will look to in the future, when they want to know how legal education as a sector responded to a major crisis. Am I responding to this situation, in a way that is helpful to others? Am I putting my best foot forward, for myself and others, in circumstances I didn’t choose, living my core commitments about excellence, effort, and shared humanity?
Lofty thoughts indeed. We go forth united in purpose and understanding.