In the fall of 2020, the CALT website is featuring updates from law professors about how their institutions are responding to the challenge of teaching during a pandemic.
Classes are almost entirely online this fall for all students, except students in two of our clinical courses who have the option of in person classes. Some of our graduate students are joining their programs from outside Canada and graduate program deadlines were extended due to the pandemic. December exams will be online and students will have a 24-hour period in which they can decide when to write their exam, which they will have 1.5 times the usual period to complete. We are not using any proctoring service for online exams.
Faculty members have been provided with some course relief to assist us with the work associated with preparing for online learning. We also have tech coaches who we can consult about technology issues, and a few TAs to support online learning. There are classrooms set up with the required technology for those who wish to come to campus to teach (and we have relatively free access to our offices, with physical distancing protocols in place; the law library is closed, however, with curbside pickup).
The faculty ran three spring/summer courses – which we don’t normally do – for students who had lost employment / other opportunities this summer, and faculty members who taught those courses have shared their experiences in teaching workshops. The faculty also hired additional student research assistants this summer to help support students who had lost employment, and faculty members were able to request an RA for up to 8 weeks of full-time work. We have a Slack channel to discuss teaching ideas/strategies for Covid-19 related issues and to respond to our Black Law Students Association’s calls to action.
We expect to hear about plans for the winter term by the end of September.