Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Positive Aspect To Audio-Visual Legal Education

We have all heard complaints about Audio-Visual (AV) classes at the law school. To be honest I don't think it's that bad, just distracting when invariably something goes wrong each class. We are used to it though. We say to each other, "Par for the course. It's AV. What else do you expect?" Once one accepts that fact, it starts to feel normal. Good? Not good? I leave that up to the comments section.

I draw your attention, however, to one very important and positive aspect to AV: the power to record and watch later. This never seemed all that important to me until this past week when three of my professors scheduled their final review sessions, all at the same time! It appears that Wednesday afternoon is hot real estate in the final review market.

The good news? Because of our stellar AV capabilities I will be able to attend all three sessions, though I will have to pick and choose which sessions to view live and which to view recorded. In an AV-less world I would have to choose which session to attend, send my partner-in-law-school-crime to the other session, and we would BOTH miss the third. Or, we could always send an ambassador to the third.

All this to say: HURRAY! I have found something that makes me so very glad we have AV. What say you? Is it enough to outweigh the random glitches and snafus throughout the year?

Back to the negatives, from the teaching perspective, if students know the session will be recorded the professor may end up reviewing to a room of empty seats and a video camera. Hence, the image.

1 comment:

David Hutchinson said...

My experience with AV classes is that the technology has worked fine; certainly I have not noticed defects during each class.

But two things connected with my experience of the technology are perhaps worth mentioning:

1) Now and again the home classroom will be able to hear everything that goes on in the remote classroom even when no button has been pushed. What is typically overheard, necessarily funny on this account, are comments not meant for general consumption.

2) I have been in more than one class where the professor, when asked a question by a student in the remote location, turns to the screen displaying the remote students' heads, and addresses himself to that, as if therein abide the students. Of course the students in the remote location are then looking at the back or the side of the professor's head.

Note: in re: #2, I did not commit what I suppose is by now the cardinal sin of using a 'sexually biased pronoun'; in fact the professors I have observed are both male. And of course I object to calling something a 'sexually biased pronoun'; not just because it is almost cosmically goofy to do so, but also because it seems to suggest the pronoun itself is chauvinistic.