Mitchell Hamline staff, faculty train law professors worldwide on online learning

Coronavirus has prompted law schools to seek guidance on teaching remotely

A number of law schools — both here and in China — are turning to a U.S. law school that’s long been a leader in online learning, Mitchell Hamline School of Law.” — The National Jurist Magazine 

As law schools have moved classes online to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, many are turning to Mitchell Hamline for help.

The school has long been a pioneer and innovator in online learning, having started the nation’s first hybrid on-campus/online J.D. program at an ABA-approved law school in 2015.

In recent weeks, Mitchell Hamline staff and faculty have conducted remote training sessions for schools worldwide. “Some of you have learned very recently that you’ll be moving online, and we know that’s stressful,” Amanda Soderlind told participants at the open of one such session on Friday, March 13, that drew nearly 200 people. “We’re here to share our expertise.”

Soderlind is senior instructional designer at Mitchell Hamline. She led the session alongside several faculty and staff for more than an hour, as they presented information and fielded questions about everything from the capabilities and uses of various technical tools to the pedagogical aspects of teaching online versus in person.

Staff even boosted webinar capacity after so many participants expressed interest in joining, according to Kelly Von Ruden, the director of the school’s Blended Learning program. The session was similar to one Mitchell Hamline previously held for faculty and administrators at Peking University School of Transnational Law in Shenzen, China.

Earlier, in February, the Chinese law school reached out to Mitchell Hamline to request the training when restrictions due to coronavirus forced their students to remain at home.

“I think that what we are seeing in China is unprecedented—millions of students at all levels, from primary school students to PhD students, studying online nationwide,” said Christian Pangilinan, assistant dean of academic affairs at the School of Transnational Law in China. “Because the adoption of remote learning is occurring so rapidly, the opportunity to learn from Mitchell Hamline’s expertise in blended and online learning was invaluable to helping us maintain the quality of our education.”