Nick Barber: The Legal Academic In the Internet Age – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted June 15th, 2017 in internet, legal education, news, publishing, universities by sally

‘I was contemplating my lectures for the coming academic year and I started to feel annoyed – I think the two were connected. Lecturing has started to seem a rather odd and inefficient way of communicating information about constitutional law to students. Though lectures can be fun to deliver, they are also a pain. For the lecturer, they consume a significant amount of time and energy, raising a sense of déjà vu, as last year’s insights and jokes are dusted off for a new audience. But things are worse for those who have to listen to the thing: dragged into a lecture that can last for an hour or more, a moment’s lack of concentration can mean important points are missed – and few in the audience will only suffer a moment’s inattention. It is becoming obvious that the opportunities presented by the Internet will change this over the coming few years; I would bet that the old-style lecture will only last little while longer (though there are strong forces of creaking institutional inertia protecting it). Putting to one side next year’s teaching, I began to speculate on the ways in which the Internet might change the ways in which we, as legal scholars, communicate our subject to students and to people more generally in the medium term. In this post, I will reflect on how I see legal academia developing over the next five or so years – I think we are on the cusp of a very exciting and largely positive shift in the way in which we operate.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 14th June 2017