In the best classes, the professor isn’t the only one teaching. We learn from each other. Connecting with other students and discussing the material is integral for building knowledge. You may be concerned that you’ll miss interacting with students in an online class, but even though our Advocacy and Elder Law LL.M. programs are conducted virtually, our classes are set up so that students connect every week.
There are two big ways students interact with each other—the most common is through discussion boards, followed by in person conferences.
Both of our online LL.M. programs, Elder Law and Advocacy, use discussion boards for class communications and projects. Both students and faculty interact on a weekly basis through the online discussion boards and video assignments. For example, a professor will post a question on the board and students will discuss said topic.
The discussion board provides a place for students to share documents and practice ideas with each other. Because the questions posed by the professors are practical, the students can share their real life experiences as part of answering. The professors monitor the discussion board throughout the week to add new questions, fostering new perspectives on the topics covered that week.
A more traditional way students can interact is through conferences. Students in our Advocacy program interact with each other every year at the EATS conference when the LL.M. students come to campus in person to meet each other and Professor Rose and to talk about what their individual research projects will be about.
LL.M. Elder Law students also meet yearly for the Special Needs Trusts conference. This is a unique 3-day course where students meet and discuss current topics and get to know each other.
The combination of in person meetings and online discussion makes students feel like they aren’t alone in their online classes. They build real relationships with their classmates, and learn from the varying types of students—from seasoned professionals, lawyers looking for a course change, and students fresh from law school.