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.
Ryerson has moved to a fully online 1L curriculum (with some small, optional exceptions for integrated practice curriculum components). Intensive sharing of teaching and pedagogical ideas during the summer has led to a fairly consistent model: a mix of synchronous and asynchronous teaching. The balance varies, with some teaching predominantly through synchronous sessions, while others use more of a flipped classroom model. All faculty co-teach 1L courses with practitioners, who provide weekly one-hour synchronous sessions for each course.
Given this is the inaugural year at Ryerson, we haven’t had to transition 2L/3L courses to an online format, but the Faculty of Law has worked to cultivate a welcoming, energetic, and structured experience for students. The Faculty of Law has drawn from the experiences of the Ryerson Law Practice Program, which has a history of strong simulated firm practice and remote learning modules. Students are still adjusting to new teaching and learning methods, especially in terms of organizing timelines. Asynchronous learning is especially useful for students with gruelling class and/or extra-curricular schedules. It does take considerably more time to prepare properly than an ordinary lecture, which is especially burdensome on new faculty. We are now reviewing how to implement remote learning in upper year courses, in the event it remains required or advisable in the 2021-2022 academic year.