THE ADVOCATE 77
VOL. 79 PART 1 JANUARY 2021
Instructors use the same computer or the room’s built-in system to display
slides or other media content on the classroom screens, and the same material
can be seen by online students via the share screen function in Zoom
or Collaborate Ultra.
The students online can see and hear the instructor and in-class students,
and when the online students participate, those in the classroom can see
and hear them on the TV screen and speakers.
For small group work, we divide the students in the classroom into
groups and use the breakout room feature for the online students.
For those students who are unable to attend (because of distant time
zones, limited internet access, accessibility needs or other reasons), we
have the option to record through the videoconferencing application or
through the built-in lecture capture system in the classroom.
Although as many as 15 students can attend in-person, most commonly
we have between four and ten students sharing the physical classroom with
us and 30 to 35 students online. Approximately half the students in our
courses have attended in person at least once.
What Have We Learned?
1. Online teaching/learning technology is powerful but has significant
We have been pushed in new directions and learned new ways of reaching
students. The technology has enabled us to build a HyFlex classroom where
all the students, whether in person or online, can participate, and in which
we can lecture, use the Socratic method and orchestrate small group work.
In a sense, we have used the technology to recreate a space that feels much
like our pre-pandemic classrooms.
But notwithstanding the speed of light, many things take more time in a
digital realm than they do in the physical classroom. The spontaneity and
immediacy of in-person interaction, and the energy and focus that it builds,
are much more challenging to reproduce through the digital realm. Perhaps
the difference is accentuated because we are seeing some students in person
and so are constantly presented with the constraints of the online setting.
2. Connecting in person is enormously satisfying.
This is hardly a revelation, but the opportunity to connect in person with
some students has been a highlight in our weeks. Moreover, we have the
strong sense from informal student feedback that creating the opportunity
for students to meet in person and to spend several days in a row in the law
building with their peers has itself been worth the effort.
The capacity to connect with some students in person has also had the
effect of making us feel more connected with the whole class, including the